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2005's Misinformer of the Year

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  • Robert Sterling
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com Chris Matthews: 2005 s Misinformer of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 2, 2006
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      Please send as far and wide as possible.

      Thanks,
      Robert Sterling
      Editor, The Konformist
      http://www.konformist.com

      Chris Matthews: 2005's Misinformer of the Year
      MediaMatters.org
      Fri, Dec 23, 2005

      Since our launch in May 2004, Media Matters for America has
      monitored, analyzed, and corrected conservative misinformation in
      the media, wherever and whenever we find it. As you may remember,
      last year our staff conducted an extensive review of all the
      misinformation we identified and corrected in the early days in
      order to name the first annual "Misinformer of the Year." We singled
      out one particularly egregious purveyor of falsehoods and awarded
      Bill O'Reilly the dubious title. O'Reilly graciously accepted the
      award on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor.

      This year, of all the news anchors, columnists, pundits, and
      reporters whose work we've critiqued and corrected, one man stands
      alone as a clear successor to the O'Reilly throne. We are pleased to
      announce broadcast journalist, former newspaper bureau chief, former
      presidential speechwriter, and best-selling author Chris Matthews
      has earned the title of 2005's "Misinformer of the Year." At times,
      it has even been difficult to tell the difference between 2005's
      Misinformer of the Year and his predecessor.

      For your reading pleasure, we've compiled some highlights of
      Matthews's most egregious false and misleading claims, as well as
      his glowing and gushing praise for President Bush.

      Without further ado:

      Chris Heart George, Part 1: Bush sometimes "glimmers" with "sunny
      nobility." On MSNBC's Hardball, during a discussion with Washington
      Times editorial page editor Tony Blankley of the effects on
      President Bush and his administration of the investigation into the
      leak of the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame, Matthews said "[S]
      ometimes it glimmers with this man, our president, that kind of
      sunny nobility." [Hardball, 10/24/05]

      Chris Heart George, Part 2: "Everybody sort of likes the president,
      except for the real whack-jobs ..." Insulting the majority of
      Americans who hold an unfavorable opinion of President Bush,
      Matthews exclaimed on Hardball: "Everybody sort of likes the
      president, except for the real whack-jobs, maybe on the left,"
      adding, "I mean, like him personally." [Hardball, 11/28/05]

      Chris Heart George, Part 3: Matthews praised Bush speech
      as "brilliant" even before it was delivered. Before Bush had even
      delivered his November 30 speech at the U.S. Naval Academy, Matthews
      used variations of the word "brilliant" twice to describe it, while
      deriding Democratic critics of the Iraq war as "carpers and
      complainers." [MSNBC live coverage, 11/30/05]

      Chris Heart George, Part 4: Bush "belongs on Mount Rushmore."
      Recounting his experience at a White House party, Matthews said that
      he "felt sensitive" during his interactions with the president,
      adding: "You get your picture taken with him. It's like Santa Claus,
      and he's always very generous and friendly." He continued: "I felt
      like I was too towel-snappy with him," explaining that Bush had
      noted his "red scarf" and remarked that he looked "preppy." During
      the same show, Matthews stated: "If [Bush's] gamble that he can
      create a democracy in the middle of the Arab world" is
      successful, "he belongs on Mount Rushmore." [Hardball, 12/16/05]

      Matthews on the filibuster debate: Democrats are "just sort of
      pouting and bitching." Matthews weighed in on the filibuster debate
      in May, declaring: "I think the Democrats started this fight. I
      think they did. ... You know, I think Democrats should win more
      elections. That will solve their problem." Days later, in discussing
      the Senate compromise agreement to avert the "nuclear option" to ban
      judicial filibusters, Matthews repeatedly espoused Republican
      talking points, claiming, among other things, that because of the
      recent bipartisan agreement aimed at averting the "nuclear option,"
      Democrats can stop "pouting and bitching ... [and] actually
      participate in legislation now"; that Republicans might "get double-
      crossed or screwed by the Democrats"; and that the Republican
      position that every judicial nominee deserves an up-or-down
      vote "sounds great to me." [Hardball, 5/18/05]

      Matthews repeatedly smeared Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. On April
      24, Matthews attacked Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) by
      referring to her as a "sort of a Madame Defarge of the left." On May
      30, Matthews questioned Clinton's ability to lead, expressing
      surprise that retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, an NBC military analyst,
      wasn't "chuckling a little bit" at the idea of Clinton giving orders
      to the troops as commander in chief. On July 11, Matthews said Sen.
      Clinton "looked more witchy" because she criticized the Bush
      administration's homeland security spending priorities on July 8, a
      day after the London bombings. On July 27, Matthews asked Sen. Rick
      Santorum (R-PA) if he thought Sen. Clinton is a "big-government
      socialist." [Hardball, 5/30/05; The Chris Matthews Show, 4/24/05;
      Hardball, 7/11/05; Hardball, 7/27/05]

      Matthews falsely claimed Democrats accused Alito of being "lenient
      on the mob." During MSNBC's coverage of the nomination of Judge
      Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court, Matthews repeatedly
      misrepresented a document about Alito that was circulated by
      Democrats. Waving the document around on camera -- but not quoting
      directly from it -- Matthews falsely claimed that the document
      accused Alito of being "lenient on the mob" and made the baseless
      assertion that, by mentioning a case involving organized crime,
      Democrats were "go[ing] after [Alito's Italian] ethnicity." In fact,
      the document, available here, made no mention of Alito's ethnicity
      and simply noted that he lost a high-profile mob case -- not that he
      was "lenient" on anybody. [Hardball, 10/31/05]

      Matthews made false claim about Jan. 30 Iraqi election. In praising
      the Iraqi election in January, Matthews falsely claimed that no
      insurgent attacks had occurred at polling places on election day. In
      fact, attacks on Iraqi polling places were widely reported during
      the January 30 elections. [Hardball, 1/31/05]

      Matthews distorted poll data to claim Catholics are increasingly
      Republican. Matthews cherry-picked poll data to support his
      misleading claim that Catholics have voted increasingly Republican
      since 1960. In fact, exit poll data indicate that Catholics are
      actually a swing constituency: In every presidential election since
      1980, a majority or plurality of Catholics have voted for the
      candidate who won the popular vote, including Bill Clinton in 1992
      and 1996 and Al Gore in 2000. [The Chris Matthews Show, 4/10/05]

      Matthews's panels consistently skew to the right. Matthews has
      hosted numerous MSNBC panels that contained far more conservative
      commentators than progressives. In 2005, the trend was especially
      prevalent during MSNBC's presidential inauguration coverage; and
      both before and after Bush's State of the Union address. While
      moderating discussion panels on Hardball, Matthews has repeatedly
      emphasized the liberal allegiances of progressive guests while
      failing to note that other guests on the same panels were
      Republican.

      Matthews distorted Murtha's Iraq proposal. Matthews repeatedly
      suggested that Rep. John P. Murtha's (D-PA) call for a redeployment
      of U.S. forces from Iraq was inconsistent with his record of
      being "known as the soldiers' friend" and "pro-Pentagon, pro-
      soldier." The suggestion echoed news reports that described Murtha
      as being "usually pro-military" -- implying that his position on
      redeployment is not -- and a "pro-military" Democrat, suggesting
      that the typical Democrat is not. [Hardball, 11/18/05]

      Matthews resurrected false claim that Saddam let Sunni
      fundamentalists "come in for ... training." Matthews falsely claimed
      that, prior to his overthrow by U.S.-led forces, Saddam Hussein
      allowed Islamic terrorists to train for chemical warfare in northern
      Iraq. In fact, as the Los Angeles Times noted on June 15, 2003, the
      training camp, operated by Kurdish Islamic fundamentalist group
      Ansar al-Islam, "was in an autonomous Kurdish region not ruled by
      Hussein." [Hardball, 11/9/05]

      Matthews falsely insisted that the ongoing insurgency in Iraq was
      unexpected. Ignoring evidence that the Bush administration received
      repeated prewar warnings of the potential for a sustained insurgency
      in Iraq, Matthews insisted that the continuing bloodshed had not
      been anticipated. Matthews suggested that the "enduring" nature of
      the Iraqi insurgency was a surprise and told viewers that he
      didn't "know many people who expected it to still be going on this
      long." However, as reported by USA Today, "Military and civilian
      intelligence agencies repeatedly warned prior to the invasion that
      Iraqi insurgent forces were preparing to fight and that their ranks
      would grow as other Iraqis came to resent the U.S. occupation and
      organize guerrilla attacks." [The Chris Matthews Show, 9/25/05]

      Matthews falsely attacked Wilson over Niger trip's genesis. Matthews
      falsely accused former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV of claiming
      during his July 6 Meet the Press appearance and in his July 6 New
      York Times op-ed that Vice President Dick Cheney had sent him on his
      February 2002 trip to investigate whether Iraq had tried to acquire
      uranium from Niger. In fact, Wilson never made such a claim in
      either his Times op-ed or his appearance on Meet the Press. Wilson
      wrote in his Times op-ed that CIA officials, not the vice president,
      asked him to go to Niger; discussing his op-ed on Meet the Press,
      Wilson said that the "the question [of Iraq seeking uranium from
      Niger] was asked of the CIA by the office of the vice president."
      [The Chris Matthews Show, 7/24/05]

      Matthews mischaracterized Democratic efforts to complete intel probe
      as "disingenuous," "using crocodile tears." Matthews baselessly
      assigned motives to both the Democrats' support for authorizing the
      president to take the country to war in October 2002 and their
      recent push to complete "phase two" of the Senate Intelligence
      Committee's probe into the prewar intelligence on Iraq. Matthews
      characterized Democrats' efforts to fully examine the Bush
      administration's handling of the intelligence
      as "disingenuous," "using crocodile tears," and "trying to climb
      down off the war." Matthews ignored Democrats' argument that the
      judgments provided to Congress on the Iraqi threat prior to the vote
      were later found to have been false or exaggerated. [Hardball,
      11/1/05]


      Contact information:

      Chris Matthews

      MSNBC
      viewerservices@...
      MSNBC TV
      One MSNBC Plaza
      Secaucus, N.J. 07094
      MSNBC contacts

      Hardball
      hardball@...

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