Chris Matthews came to Washington as a staffer for Sen. Tip O'Neil--hardly a fire-breathing conservative. As a pundit, sometimes Matthews doews first-rate work, cutting through the official talking points and getting to the real core of things.
At other times, he's a complete idiot; he turns into a reactionary thirteen year-old who engaging in a game of one upmanship with guests to see who can reflect the current popular prejudices of the GOP in the most offensive way.
Guess which one was on display this week.
On the January 18 edition of MSNBC's Imus in the Morning, Hardball host Chris Matthews cited nationally syndicated radio host Michael Savage's characterization of the award-winning film Brokeback Mountain (Focus Features, 2005), stating: "The wonderful Michael Savage ... what's he call it? 'Bareback Mounting.' That's his name for the movie." Host Don Imus responded: "Of course, Bernard [McGuirk, executive producer] calls it 'Fudgepack Mountain.'"
On Hardball today, Chris Matthews compared Michael Moore to Osama Bin Laden while discussing the newly released tape with Joe Biden.
Matthews: I mean he sounds like an over the top Michael Moore here, if not a Michael Moore. You think that sells...
"The wonderful Michael Savage" is one of the most vulgar, hate-mongering voices on radio. In 2003 he was fired freom a short-lived television show for shouting at a gay caller to "get AIDS and die." It wasn't a particualrly unusual performance for him.
Michael Moore is, of course, the famous liberal documentary maker and subject of endless conservative fat jokes. Although Moore opposes the war in Iraq, he has never called for the murder of Americans, the destruction of Israel, or holy war against Western civilization. His only resemblance to bin Laden is that he occasionally sports a beard. Frankly, Mel Gibson's new beard looks a lot more like bin Laden's than Moore's does.
So, what the hell is wrong with Chris Matthews? Watching him is like watching one of those stupid good twin/evil twin movies. When will the good twin finally triumph over the evil twin and lock him away forever? It can't come soon enough.