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Matthews’ Meltdown: Execute BP Execs Like the Chinese Would?

Posted on May 23 2010 8:00 am
David Forsmark is the owner and president of Winning Strategies, a full service political consulting firm in Michigan. David has been a regular columnist for Frontpage Magazine since 2006. For 20 years before that, he wrote book, movie and concert reviews as a stringer for the Flint Journal, a midsize daily newspaper.
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Apparently former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn isn’t the only Obama admirer with an affinity for Maoist methodology.

On Hardball Monday night, Chris Matthews began a week long rant about the BP oil spill that had him calling for the imprisonment of the whole BP board, possibly their execution, and for the President to nationalize the oil industry.

MATTHEWS:  Yes.  In China, it‘s a more brutal society—a more brutal society, Kate, but they execute people for this, major industrial leaders that commit crimes like this, failure like this… Why doesn‘t the president go in there and nationalize that industry and get the job done for the people?

Environmental activist writers Abrahm Lustgarten of Propublica and Kate Sheppard of Mother Jones were left gasping for air as Matthews vociferously displayed an appalling ignorance of anything having to do with reality.

MATTHEWS:  Yes.  In China, it‘s a more brutal society—a more brutal society, Kate, but they execute people for this, major industrial leaders that commit crimes like this, failure like this …


MATTHEWS:  This is a serious, serious problem.


MATTHEWS:  It is not over.  It continues to destroy a part of our planet, basically, part of our habitat, our American habitat!  And everybody just sits and watches television every night, and say, oh, well, that‘s interesting.

Later, Matthews spun a wild, completely illogical conspiracy theory as to why the leak has not been fixed yet.  Matthews’ complete lack of a grip on reality continued to befuddle his guests, who patiently tried to explain to Chris that a mile deep in the ocean is an impossible environment.  (more on this in a future post)

MATTHEWS: I have a hunch that the reason they don‘t want to fix this mess down there is because they would admit who did it if they fix it. Nobody is down—if this was a nuclear bomb ready to go off, we would be down there.  I‘m so—I don‘t even want to talk about it.  I get so mad at this oil company!  Why aren‘t they fixing it, first of all?

ABRAHM LUSTGARTEN, PROPUBLICA:  Well, I think they‘re doing the best they can, honestly.  I mean, drilling at the bottom and operating at the bottom of the ocean or 5,000 feet down maximizes the—the technological capabilities of the oil industry.  It‘s been likened to space exploration.  And I  think it‘s quite similar.  So, at this point, they—they may want to hide blame, but at this point I don‘t think there‘s much motivation not to fix the problem, if they know how to do that.

MATTHEWS:  Really?  You know, I have a suspicion—I will go back to it again—I don‘t think they‘re doing their best.  I don‘t think there‘s—the government is doing its best.  Why doesn‘t the president go in there and nationalize that industry and get the job done for the people?


MATTHEWS:  There‘s a national interest in this, not just a BP interest.  We‘re letting BP fix a national problem.

In fact, after Lustgarten and Sheppard, who are incidentally both completely AGAINST offshore drilling, tried to talk reality to Chris, he burst out:

MATTHEWS: You‘re very compliant here for environmental watch dogs, Kate.  I don‘t understand you guys!  You seem to understand their predicament.  It‘s a mile down.  Well, they went down a mile to get the oil.

A few nights later, Chris was still frothing, going even farther in condemning the company than Salon’s Joan Walsh was willing to go, as she conceded she thought that everyone, including the company, was doing their best to contain the oil leak.

MATTHEWS:  What do you think we should do?  The CEO—who else should go to jail?  The board of directors?  The management?  Who? Somebody decided not to follow the regular procedure.  It‘s management. I‘m tired of hearing technology being blamed.  Management presides over the use of technology.  Everything that‘s ever gone wrong in this industry has gone wrong before, and they have set up protocols to deal with it.  They didn‘t follow the protocols.  They didn‘t follow the management procedures.  That‘s what happens when things go wrong.  This idea this is the first time this has ever happened is crazy. This happens around the world.  Joan, this is a political problem for the president.  I don‘t like his laissez-faire attitude for this.  I don‘t like him stepping back and letting the heat go on the oil company when the damage is done on us, not the oil company.

Later, Matthews went on another tirade to Walsh, which could be construed as another recommendation for a death sentence to BP execs– except it is blatantly obvious that Matthews is too stupid to know that humans have never operated at more than 2,000 feet down, much less 5,000.

MATTHEWS:  I‘d like to take those CEOs and put them down there a mile and make them stay down there until the problem‘s fixed. I know that sounds a bit extreme.  But nothing seems to be getting done here.  They‘re sitting at home chomping on their steaks and  their profits.  And this is still getting worse.  And it‘s getting worse and worse.

Matthews has been thoroughly radicalized since the election of Obama, first with the Wall Street meltdown, and now his apocalyptic vision of an oil well that is about to ruin the East Coast forever.  Here is his real point:

MATTHEWS:  It is maddening that our government is—everybody says, capitalism is great. Unbridled free enterprise is great.  Look at it.

Sure, Chris, socialist countries never have environmental disasters…

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