Even Chris Matthews doesn’t listen to Chris Matthews. [edited]

[UPDATE] Welcome, Instapundit readers.

(Via The Corner) Indeed, Mr. Barone [OOPS! York] we knew that this was coming. Talking head Chris Matthews was instructed to take umbrage at Rush Limbaugh’s use of the term ‘regime’ to refer to this administration:

“…The use of the word ‘regime’ in American political parlance is unacceptable, and someone should tell the walrus [Limbaugh] to stop using it.”

Matthews didn’t stop there. “I never heard the word ‘regime,’ before, have you?” he said to NBC’s Chuck Todd. “I don’t even think Joe McCarthy ever called this government a ‘regime.'”

[snip of numerous examples of the use of the phrase ‘Bush regime’ in news reporting]

Finally — you knew this was coming — on June 14, 2002, Chris Matthews himself introduced a panel discussion about a letter signed by many prominent leftists condemning the Bush administration’s conduct of the war on terror. “Let’s go to the Reverend Al Sharpton,” Matthews said. “Reverend Sharpton, what do you make of this letter and this panoply of the left condemning the Bush regime?”

Oops. Perhaps Joe McCarthy never called the U.S. government a regime, but Chris Matthews did. And a lot of other people did, too. So now we are supposed to believe him when he expresses disgust at Rush Limbaugh doing the same?

Naturally, it is not the fault of the talking head that it does not recall being fed lines to repeat about the ‘Bush regime.’ It is not the job of the talking head to remember what it is given to read; its job is to instead repeat the lines that real people have written, and to do so in a reasonably engaging and interesting manner. The talking head is not expected to think for itself, and is in fact discouraged from doing so. Thinking may interfere with its purpose, the complexities of which are likewise not the talking head’s concern.

That being said, there are a lot of people out there who apparently can’t get it through their skulls that Western civilization has finally licked the non scriptus, non est* problem. It’s all written down now, and usually in an easily-accessible location; in fact, it’s increasingly all being filmed now. Couple that with this culture’s taboo against hypocrisy, and you get awkward situations like this. The only solution is to not assume that things said years and years ago have faded away into the electronic aether, and plan accordingly.

Moe Lane

*Freely translated, it means “If there’s no paper trail, it didn’t happen.” This cultural rule of thumb was created before the invention of the printing press, cheap paper, photographic film, electric telephone, electronic data storage, and distributed computer networks; but the (slightly cynical) assumptions remain.

Crossposted to RedState.

25 thoughts on “Even Chris Matthews doesn’t listen to Chris Matthews. [edited]”

  1. Contrary to the assertions of Gil Scott Heron, the revolution will be televised, and tweeted and blogged and available on YouTube.
    A more accurate song might be the old 60’s number “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes.”

  2. Are we sure that Chris Matthews hasn’t been replaced by some pretty poor CGI? It is getting pretty hard to tell between a poor CGI character and a real human, save the human makes more mistakes and is more rigid…

  3. They know there is a record of everything, they just are used to being the gatekeepers of that record.

  4. Listening isn’t the issue.

    The issue is that everything the left says comes with an expiration date – Just like 4 week old milk left in the ‘fridge.

  5. Now will Matthews be man enough to publicly admit his hypocrisy, and retract his statement against Limbaugh? Not holding my breath.

  6. This would be why MSNBC is STILL losing viewers, even as audiences plummet to low- to mid-six figures.

  7. Bush was selected, not elected, so it is alright to call his administration a regime. The Won, OTOH, has been anointed, and the Hebrew word for anointed is messiah:

    “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” Is. 9:6. Music by Handel.

  8. “The use of the word ‘regime’ in American political parlance is unacceptable in reference to a Democratic administration

    There you go, Chris. I fixed it for you.

  9. So if referring to the U.S. government as a “regime” is so unacceptable, doesn’t that make Matthews worse than McCarthy?

  10. Submandave: Shouldn’t that be “a Democrat Party administration”? After all, we cannot be talking about democratic government. A democratic government would never pass a bill that was hated by 2/3rds of the people.

  11. “Fatman, President Bush was elected twice.”

    That is not what Keith Olberman told me.

  12. Great post as usual, but I think it’s Byron York who spotted this, not Michael Barone.

  13. Keith Olbermann would explain a lot, actually.

    But I think that there are some sarcasm meters in need of calibration.

  14. “that being said…” I often stop right there as it means what I just said was a head feint or look how I can state both sides of the problem. Weak writing, bad habit.

  15. This confirms my simple theory about leftist discourse. Anytime a leftist like Chris Mathews accuses the right of anything, it is inevitably something that they themselves have done. But nothing that they do ever counts. Conduct that is acceptable for their own is only evil if the right does it.

  16. Hey Fathead

    “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” Is. 9:6. Music by Handel.

    I got a cross around here somewhere in the garage. Uh, give me a few minutes and let me dig it out.


  17. I watched Matthews’ show when it first came on, but he had some balance then. Now it’s gone from Hardball to Ring Toss, more like a hired public relations organ for the Democrats. He just keeps shooting himself in the tongue.

    I waste a lot of time, but I don’t have time to waste on this clown.

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