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Chris Matthews: Goebbels or Just Grayson?

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Posted on January 24 2011 3:03 pm
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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Since Democrat Congressman Steve Cohen used the month’s quota of Goebbels comparisons last week, I will instead point out that Chris Matthews used a deliberately deceptive editing trick to discredit an opponent, reminiscent of  Alan Grayson’s infamous “Taliban Dan” commercial.

Grayson, you will remember, took a phrase out of context to make it look like his opponent (now Congressman!) Daniel Webster was telling women to submit to their husbands, when he was in fact telling husbands not to say any such thing.

Even MSNBC’s hyper-partisan Contessa Brewer couldn’t stand for that one , and tore Grayson up in an interview.

Of course since Matthew’s stunt was aimed at destroying Sarah Palin, anything is acceptable at MSNBC.

Matthews played this clip on Hardball, designed to make Palin look like a megalomaniac.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP,)  SARAH PALIN:  I will continue to speak out.  They‘re not going to shut me up.  They‘re not going to shut you up or Rush or Mark Levin or Tea Party patriots or those who, as I say, respectfully and patriotically petition their government for change.  They can‘t make us sit down and shut up.  And if they ever were to succeed in doing that, then our republic will be destroyed.  (END VIDEO CLIP)

Here is  how the quote from Palin should have ended, with the deliberately excluded sentence in bold.

PALIN on HANNITY: … They can’t make us sit down and shut up. And if they ever were to succeed in doing that, then our republic will be destroyed. Not necessarily me being sat down and shut up, but having the voice of respectful dissent being shut up. That would destroy our republic.

Big, big difference.

Before the fateful edited clip, this was the juvenile nature of the “discussion” and “analysis.”

MATTHEWS: Joan, this is tough on Palin.  Has she become the scarecrow on the right that scares people away from that terrain?  (LAUGHTER)

JOAN WALSH, EDITOR IN CHIEF, SALON.COM:  You know, something like that.  I hadn‘t thought of it quite that way, Chris, but, clearly— (LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS:  Well, I‘m always looking for the metaphor.

WALSH:  No, it‘s good.  I like it.

MATTHEWS:  I wasn‘t going to say dodo bird.  I think dodo would be meaner.

WALSH:  That would be mean.

MATTHEWS:  Right.

WALSH:  No, scarecrow is fine. Yes, I hope she‘s scaring other people away from this terrain because she‘s been very divisive.  She‘s been kind of vicious.  It‘s been all about her.

Yeah, Palin’s the one who is vicious.  Just where the heck did Walsh come from, anyway?  Her claim to credibility is… What?

Here is the full exchange around the edited video.  Even Time’s Mark Halprin doesn’t bother to chime in and try to inject any level of objectivity here.

MATTHEWS: Here she is sticking to her guns. (oops!—DF) Here she is in that interview.  Well, I wouldn‘t call it an interview—that chat with Sean the other night.

WALSH:  Right.

MATTHEWS:  Let‘s listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP,)

SARAH PALIN ®, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR:  I will continue to speak out.  They‘re not going to shut me up.  They‘re not going to shut you up or Rush or Mark Levin or Tea Party patriots or those who, as I say, respectfully and patriotically petition their government for change.  They can‘t make us sit down and shut up.  And if they ever were to succeed in doing that, then our republic will be destroyed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS:  Our republic will be destroyed if we can‘t hear from Mark Levin anymore.

(LAUGHTER)

WALSH:  Right.

There is no way the producer of the segment did not know– and highly unlikely that Matthews did not know that the sentence :” “Not necessarily me being sat down and shut up, but having the voice of respectful dissent being shut up. That would destroy our republic,” should have been included.

Personally, I would rather Sarah Palin not run for President.  Every time she speaks, she drives all the right people crazy and makes them run out into the street screaming to expose their lunacy– and freed from the constraints of a campaign, this incredibly valuable service to the Republic is most likely to continue.

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