Strange Days at MSNBC
MSNBC's Chris Matthews seems determined to live out Groucho's famous quip that he has his principles, and if you don't like them...well, he has others.
Let's start with Matthews in February of 2008, during an interview with Obama supporting Democrat Kirk Watson of Texas, to whom Matthews barked, "Name some of [Obama's] legislative accomplishments... name any...:"
Matthews' legendary leg tingle has only just occurred that month as well, and much like Dr. Strangelove's alien hand syndrome, would take on a life of its own, eventually causing Chris to negate any worries over Obama's actual accomplishments. So much so that the day after the midterms, he would beat up on the supporter of another politician -- who actually had executive experience before she hit the campaign trail herself in late summer of 2008:
Then there's this amazing find -- video of Chris in 2005 praising...Glenn Beck:
The interview took place before MSNBC changed its format from News to Progressive Propaganda and before Glenn Beck added a TV show to his radio duties. That what makes the video so interesting. Matthews gushes over Glenn Beck during the interview, yes that's the same Chris Matthews who has nothing but vitriol for Beck now. Matthews opinions were left wing but they seemed more moderate than they are today, possibly because he had to adapt to the progressive format.
As for Glenn Beck, the interview could have been given today. Headline News and Fox have not made him change his opinions the way MSNBC may have with Matthews. The discussion covers his mistrust of Big Government, his warning about both political parties caring only about the status quo, and the failings of the mainstream media:
But then, Matthews was far more comfortable around conservatives in the 1990s, before his views "evolved." To invert Cold War-era fellow traveler Lillian Hellman, when you're on the left, you really do have to cut your conscience to fit this year’s fashions, in whatever direction they pivot towards.
But Chris was just one factor in the meltdown that MSNBC suffered over the past two weeks:
- Rachel Maddow goes Truther on the Oklahoma Federal Building attack of 1995.
- Lawrence O'Donnell (who famously went Incredible Hulk on the late Cathy Seipp in 2005) declares himself a socialist, adding that “I live to the extreme left.”
- Matthews seems to ask every-other conservative guest if he or she is "hypnotized" for some reason.
- Matthews sees brown shirts hiding behind every red state politician.
- And of course, Keith Olbermann disappears -- temporarily? permanently? -- under mysterious circumstances.
As with the Washington Post's string of incredibly questionable decisions in recent years, whatever is going on in MSNBC's boardroom is better drama than anything its parent company puts out on TV. Where does their "news" channel go from here?