After the damage he did shilling for Republicans during President Clinton's impeachment and during the 2000 elections, as well as fawning over Bush's theatrics in the years following nine-eleven, Chris Matthews had begun, lately, to function like an actual journalist. From his pursuit of the Cheney gang and their efforts to destroy Plame and Wilson, right up until a couple of weeks ago when he suggested that the neocons had committed war crimes, Tweety seemed to finally being taking his role seriously.
But media-whore Matthews was on the scene again Thursday following Alberto Gonzales' testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. On a day when the Attorney General of the United States disgraced himself and the Bush Administration, Evil Tweety couldn't help but take some vicious swipes at the Democrats.
Matthews did ask some serious questions during Thursday's Hardball and David Shuster's report was professional and incisive, as usual. But Tweety found it necessary to both mock the Democrats and questions their motives. And if he had cause to do so, he didn't share it with his audience.
Right out of the gate, Matthews began by deriding Senator Leahy's concern about the scandal. This was Tweety's first question on the Gonzales hearing:
Is this, as Chairman Pat Leahy said, the greatest crisis of leadership unrivaled in the 137 year history of, I guess, whatever? Is this the biggest thing, this guy firing eight U.S. Attorneys?
His first guest, Robert Raben, patiently explained that the "crisis of leadership" is about how Gonzales is running DOJ, not just the U.S. Attorney purge.
Tweety then turned to his other guest, Republican hack David Rivkin, and asked:
Is this the biggest, bad thing in the world? Or is it a fundraising campaign by Chuck Schumer and the Democrats?
Just stop it! Rivkin responded "Pretty much," and went on to say that "there was very little substance," to the hearing, that "they didn't talk about specific attorneys," and "it was posturing, all about generalities." And, of course, Matthews didn't challenge him on those obvious falsehoods. But Robert Raben responded to Tweety's accusation:
I'm not sure [Republican] Senator Coburn would agree that he's involved in a conspiracy with Senator Schumer to raise money for the Democratic Party.
Later, Tweety, in fact, contradicted his whole bizarre, partisan-fundraising thesis by claiming, almost bemoaning, that none of the Republican Senators had defended Gonzo:
He didn't even have a ringer up there looking out for him.
Apparently, Matthews missed Orrin Hatch's attempt to do everything but nominate Gonzales for a Nobel prize.
Tweety went on to wonder why Patrick Leahy was being so "personal," and repeatedly asked, "What is the crime? What is the crime? What is the body of evil?"
Matthews also speculated that Bush could bring in a new "stellar candidate" for Attorney General, "somebody like Ted Olsen, who would make everyone feel better." Wha??? Ted Olsen? Yeah, Ted Olsen would never politicize the DOJ. You're a hack, Matthews. Why not just suggest Ken Starr for AG?
He then asked if the Democrats would "pay for hitting a Latino?"
Finally, Tweety repeated his worst, and wholly unsubstantiated, slur:
Has Chuck Schumer had enough of this case...has he raised enough money yet?
Perhaps it never occurred to Matthews that not everyone is motivated exclusively by greed and careerism. Tweety's entire charade on Thursday was just a transparent attempt to inject some kind of artificial balance into the story, and burnish his own "independent" credentials. That kind of self-serving, phony journalism simply isn't acceptable.
Chris Matthews -- once a media whore, always a media whore.