Friday, August 21, 2009

If Chris Matthews only had a brain

Chris Matthews is paid around $5 million a year by the kind folks at General Electric/MSNBC to pontificate on politics and to essentially act as a guardian of the establishment. So it makes sense that he would be not only stunningly, offensively ignorant of American history, but that his ignorance would be displayed in such a way as to flatter the ruling elite. In that respect, Matthews is typical of the DC commentariat -- he makes up in blind worship of power what he lacks in actual knowledge -- as he displayed during his most recent appearance on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, where he claimed that not only had the Kennedy clan saved us from nuclear war (after bringing the world to the brink of it due in part to the ill-conceived Bay of Pigs invasion), but that they actually "created the civil rights movement." Sorry Rosa Parks!

Though the stupidity starts at the beginning of the clip, the mind-numbing, make-your-brain-hurt ignorant adulation of the political class begins about three minutes in:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Chris Matthews
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorHealth Care Protests

The problem with folks like Matthews, and the very thing that makes him so attractive to politicians and his corporate paymasters, is that they envision all social progress as something bequeathed to us mere peons by the state and our betters in the halls of Congress and the White House. Our benevolent political leaders -- presidents and senators, kings and queens -- in the view of the these courtiers are the drivers of history, with we serfs merely along for the ride.

That it was the people, through protests, boycotts and open defiance of state-backed discrimination that forced the government to grant concessions to basic human decency if only to head off the prospect of an actual revolution (and to counter anti-American Soviet propaganda) is apparently lost to this class of professional flatterers. To claim the civil rights movement was “started” by a bunch of white aristocrats from New England reveals an incredible historical ignorance and bias in favor of the powerful, and ignores the fact that watershed events like the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Greensboro sit-ins, all aimed at protesting government-backed segregation, occurred while John F. Kennedy was busy hanging out at country clubs enjoying the favored pastime of the idle rich and years before he became president.

That history is comprised of little more than the actions of elites is a view held not merely by U.S. officials and media sycophants, mind you. For instance, a few months ago I attended a luncheon here in DC where an aide to a Canadian premier remarked to those around him that Lyndon Baines Johnson had gotten a bad rap from ungrateful Americans given all he had done for minorities in this country, evidenced by the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Since it is rude to eavesdrop -- and ruder still to call someone a f_cking idiot from across the table at these sorts of functions -- I held my tongue, but couldn’t help but wonder if this official had ever considered the civil rights of those tens of thousands of African-Americans and other minorities drafted and sent off to kill and be killed in the jungles of Vietnam, much less the millions of Vietnamese who suffered the liberatory aftermath of the U.S. munitions dropped on their homes and schools.

Pondering these sorts of questions is probably why I’m just some small-time reporter with a blog, though, rather than a highly paid celebrity commentator. That said, here’s what a I propose: that from here on out, the term “Chris Matthews” become synonymous with “pompous, historically ignorant windbag” -- if it isn't already. Come on folks, through the power of the people we can make this happen.


  1. Anonymous7:13 AM

    never liked the guy

  2. Young people (and Matthews) might benefit from this book:

  3. What a bunch of horsehit. One boring "leftist" anti-Kennedy cliche after another. JFK hanging out at country clubs. . LOL (He hated golf, btw. But don't worry, Chuck. Maybe in your next incarnation you'll be the one getting all the beautiful girls.)

    Since the Kennedys have had zero political power(establishment or otherwise) since RFK bled all over that pantry floor, what exactly does Chris Matthews(who is a blowhard) gain from what he said? Sure, his recounting of the the civil rights movement is idiotic. But no less idiotic than your know-nothing account of what Jack Kennedy was really about.

    For all those whose leftism is not a mere cover for blind life-hatred(especially in Chuck's case for all those who get the beautiful babes), Jim Douglass paints a portrait of the real JFK:

    Or stay as dumb and envious as Chuck.

  4. Oh, the Internet. EJK, I’ll credit you this: you have certainly discerned a lot of information about my personal life from a post about an MSNBC pundit. I'll just say that your comments about "beautiful girls" suggest an unhealthy effort to live vicariously through a man who has been dead for nearly 50 years. And there's plenty of ways to get "beautiful babes" that don't involve dry humping the legacy of the Kennedy clan.

    As for the substance of your post, so far as there is any, I would merely point out that the “boring ‘leftist’ anti-Kennedy” cliches I stand accused of trotting account consist of the indisputable facts that: JFK authorized the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba; he did not create the civil rights movement; and he liked to golf.

    Of these, you choose to challenge the last one, claiming JFK “hated golf”. At this point I would remind you that the underlined words in my post are not for mere effect, but in fact -- if clicked -- lead to information I believe backs up my claims. “Links” the kids call them. In this case, if you had clicked on the link for the golf claim you would have been brought to this Time magazine article -- “The Swingiest President Ever” , which I’m hoping is a pun -- detailing JFK’s “lifelong passion for the game of golf."

    And the book you link to, peddling the theory that Kennedy was killed because he wanted to end the Cold War? Yeah, I saw the Oliver Stone version. I’m more interested in the fact that JFK campaigned as Cold War liberal and governed as one, authorizing an invasion of Cuba and an escalation of U.S. military involvement in Vietnam. He even okayed the overthrow of South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh, an American-backed stooge who had fallen out of favor and as a result was tortured and murdered, along with his brother, just 20 days before JFK was assassinated. Kennedy certainly showed no sign of a major shift in thinking after that, and he surely didn't tell his brothers or any of his advisers of his secret desire to end the Vietnam war as they all went on to support the war for years more. I'd also say he's responsible for picking LBJ as a running mate, but that might be getting a bit too historical for

  5. As it happens, I just this week watched a wonderful documentary on the Freedom Riders, one of the PBS "American Experience" films, and it makes indisputably clear that anything the Kennedy brothers did for civil rights was something they were dragged into by the protest movement.

    Information on the movie (including the ability to stream it on your computer) is at

    If you don't want to take the time to watch the movie, check out the transcript, where close to the end Robert Kennedy refers to the "so called Freedom Riders" and says they need to knock off their annoying demonstrations.