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Chris Matthews Beaned

A Hardballer gone soft. Also: French and Indian warriors. Da Vinci decodified. Self-service. Lost over Toomey. Plus more.

4.29.04

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A CHRIS ON KERRY
Re: David Hogberg's Let's Play Softball!:

It was so pleasant to read a re-affirmation of a so-called "Hardball" program that so shocked me that I was narrating the Chris Matthew's show to my husband as it was happening before my lying eyes.

Lately Chris Matthews has gone so far off the liberal deep end that I was moved to actually write him an email asking him what the heck he was doing.

Now I know Matthews is a liberal, his former Peace Corps self. But his show used to have some hard-hitting commentary and most times there were punditspresenting both sides of the issues. In the last month he gave Richard Clarke an entire hour and he paraded those 9/11 widows in front of us until I wanted to scream.

Tomorrow night his special guest is.....Bill Maher! I can't wait.

I think one of two things is going on with Matthews, take your pick. First, Matthews' show is in trouble and he's trying to become the Rush Limbaugh of the liberals. Why else, as Hogberg said in his column, all the hoopla over seven years on the air, complete with liberal politicians sending in their congrats. Seven years is such an odd number, but when you're in trouble you pull out the big guns.

OR....Chris is auditioning each and every night for a slot on the new Air America liberal talk radio network.

Matthews thinks he could be another Tim Russert but ain't never gonna happen.

The man is self-destructing in front of my eyes.
-- Pat Fish

Softball?? More like Puffball. My wife and I watched the cough "Hardball" cough interview with our mouths open. I have never been a fan of Matthews anyway, but this was way beyond the pale. Was this scripted by Kerry's campaign? If it wasn't, they need to put Matthews on the payroll, if he isn't already. That was without question the most appallingly partisan "interview" I have ever seen. Matthews has no business calling himself a journalist after that.
-- Bill Deady
Manchester, New Hampshire

I just read "Let's Play Softball" by David Hogberg. I don't know when I've ever read anything by any journalist that was so very akin to what I contemplated as I watched -- with angst and repulsion -- the orgy between Matthews and Kerry last night. But then I've been saying for some days now that Matthews should rename his show. He has been, of late, disgustingly soft and simple-minded. His bias has been damned obvious.

Thanks for letting me blow steam.
-- B. R. Townley
De Leon, Texas

All this love fest will do for John F. Kerry is boost his ego. I doubt this T-Ball game played to one one-hundredth the audience of the GMA mugging or the number of political junkies that have heard about it.
-- Steve Cushman

When is someone going to have the courage to say that many other people served longer than whatever time John Kerry served in Vietnam and that does not qualify them to be President and Commander in Chief? Since when does a wound qualify you for the highest office in the land? I had a great deal of respect for Max Cleland until he allowed his great sacrifice to be used this way. It would be interesting to run the comments being made about the President's and Vice President's service or lack of against the comments made by Democrats defending candidate Clinton.
-- Denise Turek

Kerry is dreaming if he thinks his current line regarding medals and ribbons being interchangeable is going to hold with vets. I have never heard anyone call it "The Congressional Ribbon of Honor" Matthews is a windbag and so obviously partisan democrat that at times it makes you squirm.

Unfortunately for Kerry, the audience for the program isn't large enough to get up a good softball game.
-- Mike Webster
Dallas, Texas

David Hogberg is on to something? Charles Gibson a tougher interviewer. ABC and Peter Jennings accused of being right wing tools? I need to read up on Revelations tonight. Could this be one of the signs?
-- Aftan Romanczak
Norcross, Georgia

One nice thing about Chris Matthews lobbing softballs on Hardball: Neither of the two people who were watching would probably vote for President Bush anyway.
-- Warren Mowry

David Hogberg poses this question "...who celebrates 7th anniversaries anyway?" I suggest those who don't expect to see an eighth.
-- Tim Reed
Highlands Ranch, Colorado

My father never talked to his children about his service in WWII--only with his army buddies in the Rainbow Division of the Pacific. They kept in touch over the rest of their lives, by phone and often long-distance visits. I learned about my father's purple heart only after his death. Every time I visit his grave, the Veterans Administration has either planted a new American flag, a red poppie, or tended to his plaque.

I later confirmed by speaking with other veterans that they not only do not like to talk about their experiences, but if so, only with each other.

When Karen Hughes, Bush's spokesman, recently attacked John Kerry's protests after his highly decorated service in Vietnam, it brought new meaning to win-at-all-costs. No matter what Kerry did with his medals, the fact is that he earned them on two tours of duty and showed astonishing leadership. That George Bush, through his surrogate, could even question Kerry on any aspect of personal military service is beyond the pale. We can't even get full access to the details of Bush's service in the National Guard. And as we come upon the one-year anniversary of his "Mission Accomplished" promotional stunt, we can see that Bush trying to claim leadership as commander-in-chief of a reckless, deadly war should make Ms. Hughes retract her words.
-- David Balog
Schenectady, New York

Talk about an horrifying thought: What if Clark's and Kerry's pursuit of the Presidency has been an hoax along? Clinton put up Clark because he knew Clark would go along with the plan. Then when Clark imploded, they decided to put up Kerry as the sacrificial lamb. The purpose of this charade is to get President Bush to spend his huge war chest on someone other than the real candidate. After using his money to beat Kerry, Bush would be left with little money to go against the real candidate -- HILLARY. If this thought isn't scary enough, then think about press conferences by President Hillary. Just food for thought. Good God, I hope I'm insane.
-- Bobby Cackler

FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR
Re: Jed Babbin's Once More Into the Screech:

I accidentally came to read the article by the guy called Jed Babb(l)in' and boy, do I wish I had avoided this accident. Responding any further would mean that I give a damn about his feelings. But I guess that for him, the entire world is irrelevant, and not just the UN or France. To us lesser mortals living in countries which still do not pick and choose countries to bomb, institutions still matter. Especially so the democratic institutions, which his country is so loudly proclaiming to create in Iraq. The UN is the Parliament for the World's Democracy which has been utterly disregarded by America.

I can only say to your writer Jed, Many More Happy Wars to You. May you pick and choose more countries to enslave. And by the way, since hatred for France is running so high, why don't you have at go at France next?
-- Gaurav Goyal
(India)

I just read your message in Spectator published today April 27. I am appalled that a respectful person such as Jed Babbin can write this kind of garbage. Isn't it dissemination of hatred among people? What is the basis for his article beside "gut feel" that he hates French people? Is it freedom of expression? How come if you have communist ideas you cannot publish them in USA but have to go to Europe or somewhere else where broader freedom of expression exist?

It seems to me that the message is spreading hatred among people in the world and if this is the attitude of all Americans, no wonder the world is producing terrorists by the thousand these days turning against Americans.

After reading this article, a sad day for trying to live in a better world.
-- Jean-Jo Bellamy

IN FROM THE CODE
Re: Patrick O'Hannigan's Dan Brown Debunked:

Hey, it is a novel. It was entertaining (authors get points for that, and for hyping the "mysteries" only the "insiders" don't want you to know. That's marketing.)

Brown does, however, highlight a real controversy biblical scholars have been arguing for years -- how much "feminism" (for lack of a better word) did the Council of Nicea remove from the early Founders ideas, including Paul's. For instance, Jerome's translation of the Bible into Latin seems to contain several 'misreadings' of Greek and Aramaic terms such as "fallen" regarding Mary Magdalen from the Greek word for "scarred" or "damaged," hinting perhaps at smallpox scars. Thus, she becomes interpreted as a prostitute, instead of the upper-middle class woman she probably was.

There are many more textual problems such as these (e.g., the Holy Trinity) that are a legitimate field for discussion -- even in a novel. For a better novelistic approach to these subjects, go to Gospel, by William Barnhardt.
-- Bill Marshall
Merrillville, Indiana

I suppose I return to be chastised by the clerisy that reads the Spectator. Many can come down range to debunk The Da Vinci Code, but so can Deists and Gnostics debunk the fables, known as the Bible or the New Testament. The circumstances attending the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ differ in all accounts related by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. For one thing, none of those fellows by name wrote those books. As it is doubtful that Moses wrote the Book of Moses, or Joshua, the Book of Joshua! One gospel talks of the earth quaking, the rocks rent and the graves were opened, and many saints came out of the graves and appeared to many. That was Matthew. The apostle Mark makes no mention of the earthquake, and other events. Mr. Mencken pondered on the human tendency to regard faith as a virtue! He turned that maxim around this way, "Faith in itself is certainly not a virtue; it is the very reverse of a virtue. It is a catch all for every conspiracy against the plain facts. Worse it leads inevitably to violations of everything rationally describable as sound morality."
-- Edward Del Colle

SERVICE WITH A FROWN
Re: Gene Healy's You Gotta Serve Somebody:

I would hazard that mandatory national service might run afoul of itself. For example, there is this pesky tidbit:

Amendment XIII (December 6, 1865)

Section 1
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

So the question arises, does Congress intend to criminalize someone automatically at the age of 19 or 20? So the first thing you do to "serve" is to appear before a judge for sentencing? Or how about a tweak on the PC crowd -- that a black individual might consider this a slavery issue. And so what would be the Supreme Court's stand in light of such a lawsuit? Nor, as I read it, does Section 2 give Congress the right to nullify Section 1.

I do not oppose a voluntary effort freely entered into that one trade his/her time for some civil good in exchange for some other good. If someone wants to do VISTA or Peace Corps and receive funding credits for college I tip my hat to them. But to be mandated to perform such service for the benefit of someone else against their will is just as the amendment above specifically prohibits.

Then there is the generational disparity in this proposal. There will be a flood of Boomers as recipients but a much smaller number of GenXers to serve. So they get stuck twice -- a stint of mandatory service and payouts to Social Security that they will never see a dime from. I really don't wish to see my son or daughter saddled with such debts from me or my peers. Gentle reader, would you do this to your son or daughter personally? Then how does using the government as the middle man make it any more acceptable?
-- John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

THE AGONY OF DEFEAT
Re: Shawn Macomber's Six More Years:

Allow me, please, to follow up my recent comments about Sen. Specter, based on Shawn Macomber's, "Six More Years."

There is an innocence to Shawn Macomber's "Six More Years;" indeed, it borders on the naïve. To have seen and heard Sen. Specter on the campaign trail and then ask, rhetorically to be sure, if "this old dog (Specter) had learned any new conservative tricks..." allows the possibility that he ever wanted to. To consider even for an instant that this man who has repeatedly poked his finger in the Republican Party's eye is willing to alter the course of his life's work is -- how to put it -- rather gullible. Shawn and Spectator readers: Don't hold your breath!

Pat Toomey, a conservative Republican's dream candidate, lost because the Republican Party establishment would not allow him to win. Another of your writers posited that Bush needed Specter to carry Pennsylvania in November, but consider this: will a sizable portion of Toomey's (49%) supporters vote for Specter on Election Day? I suspect that their contempt for Specter is so visceral that Democratic candidate Hoeffel may have a far better chance than he, or the Democratic Party, believes.

I cannot end without mentioning that I detect among Republican conservatives a growing disillusionment with President Bush: a Republican fund-raiser in Atlanta, and a GOP operative in Orange County, California, have described their observations of the unrest within the party. To be sure, on issues of national security we rally around his leadership, but much of Bush's domestic record is not what was anticipated. I know of scores of registered Republicans who will insert the name of Tom Tancredo (a Republican House member) if allowed to write in a name for president because of his leadership in the fight against Bush's amnesty proposal. George Bush, and only he, bears the responsibility for Toomey's defeat. For all the innate conservatism he supposedly professes, he did not, for whatever reason, support someone who also would advance the conservative cause. I worked and voted for President Bush in 2000, but I once again have come to recognize: Nolite confidere principbus -- place not your trust in princes.
-- Vincent Chiarello
Reston, Virginia

Shawn Macomber says "The way the Toomey revolt captured the imaginations of conservative pundits nationwide will haunt the election year dreams of more than one RINO for some time to come."

The election results have shown that it is Conservatives who are the RINOs now adhering to a philosophy and plan of action opposed by their own party.

The list of reasons to defeat Bush in November grows: Was it John Kerry or George Bush who enabled Arlen Specter to survive to block the Conservative agenda for another 6 years?
-- Mike Rizzo

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