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Ben Johnson

Chris Matthews' Smears Incite a Censorship Witchhunt

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Posted on September 2 2009 1:58 am
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As anyone who has ever argued with leftists knows, leftists do not argue; they assault. A standard tactic of leftists, and petty people everywhere, is to attempt to crush an opponent through the use of state power or, failing that, by smearing him as racist, sexist, homophobic, or the all-purpose “mean-spirited.” David Forsmark did an excellent job reporting on former California Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter’s dispatching of Chris Matthews and Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Monday’s Hardball. Hunter pointed out the U.S. military waterboards trainees and asked if those two believe the armed forces are guilty of sadistically abusing hundreds of its own men.

Chris Matthews’ smears inspired MSNBC’s fringe viewers to begin a campaign to censor Hunter from the airwaves.

The smears began during the segment when Matthews realized Hunter had handed him his head. Hunter asked Chris, “what you’re saying is that scaring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was bad, even though he killed 3,000 Americans?”

Matthews suddenly smirked and played the chickenhawk card, a favorite of his: “I’m siding with John McCain, because he’s been there, in both regards: he served his country and he was tortured.”

Matthews — head spinning, leg tingling — apparently forgot his audience. Hunter replied, “I have got two sons who are serving in Iraq or have served in Iraq.” The smile retreated, and momentarily so did Matthews.

Like most men who have “been there,” Hunter was too modest to tell Chris he had served in Vietnam, where he conducted nearly a dozen helicopter missions and reconnaissance patrols, and earned the Bronze Star, the Air Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Parachutist Badge.

Matthews joined the Peace Corps from 1969-71, which gave him a draft deferment.

Realizing he had failed in his first sortie, Matthews fell back on the more reliable crutches of sexism-and-racism. During the interview, Hunter had called his former colleague “Debbie.” (Had he learned nothing from feminist Sen. Barbara Boxer‘s insecurity-and-hubris-fueled dressing down of Gen. David Petraeus?) When Wasserman Schultz falsely claimed the Geneva Conventions outlawed waterboarding terrorists, Hunter asked the staunchly pro-Israeli Congresswoman from a more staunchly pro-Israeli district whether she would call for Tel Aviv’s prime minister to step down, since he authorizes much harsher interrogation techniques than were ever envisioned at Gitmo. (She ducked the question.) In the segment‘s final moments Matthews shouted, “Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz — and I don’t call you ‘Debbie,’ and I don’t keep referring to Israel when you’re on the show, either.”

Soon, the nutroots sprang into action. The internet bible of the kook fringe, DailyKos – whose proprietor, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, holds regular conference calls with endangered Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid – responded with characteristic dignity and aplomb, “Duncan Hunter is an Asshole!” (The headline is now softened to “A**hole!”) It set something of a record for reductio ad Hitlerum:

I am not big on political correctness, however, this was beyond being politically incorrect, it was, as I said before, sexist and anti-Semitic at the minimum. I really think he should be taken to task for this, Matthews mentioned it, but it was over before long. To me this is much worse than any “Macca” [sic.] moment. It was offensive, intentionally offensive, not just a slip of the tongue. This man is downright evil. (Emphasis added.)

The diary entry went on to decry the fact that Hunter “weilds power.” [sic.] Neither he, nor most-or-all of those who have commented, realized Duncan Hunter is no longer in the Congress, although Chris Matthews introduced him as “a former Congressman, a former candidate for president,” who “was succeeded by his son, who served in the military.” (His son is also named Duncan Hunter.)

Carrying this to its logical conclusion, a member of the far-Left website Democratic Underground used the alleged sexist anti-Semitism to launch a write-in campaign to have Hunter banned from the show.

Finally, the Left returns to form: falsely smear your opponent, then petition for his forcible silencing or removal, because his arguments remind you how untenable your position is. It is a totalitarian impulse nurtured by leftists and the personally pathetic.

Incidentally, neither blog seemed terribly interested when Chris Matthews used an anti-gay slur on the air late last month. (Cue the tumbleweeds.) The Left sees prejudicial behavior everywhere…except where it actually exists.

The push is a reminder, not only of the Left’s politics of personal destruction, but an incentive to remain vigilant against likely attempts to revive the Fairness Doctrine.

(It bears noting it was Hunter who first exposed the real humanitarian conditions at Gitmo. He took pains to help a number of our FrontPage Magazine Man of the Year honorees: Col. Allan B. West and former Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. He also understands the long-term threat of Chinese military expansionism. The country was much better off for his service.)

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