If there's one liberal pundit in absolutely no position to criticize others about stoking a climate of violence, it's Chris Matthews. Just a few months ago, the Hardball host indulged this hyper-violent fantasy: "at some point somebody's going to jam a CO2 pellet into [Rush Limbaugh's] head and he's going to explode like a giant blimp." [H/t reader Matt W.]
But, predictably, that didn't stop Matthews, as NewsBuster Geoffrey Dickens has documented, from making the condemnation of Republicans in connection with recent untoward incidents the focus of his show this evening.
Here was Matthews on October 13:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: You guys see Live and Let Die, the great Bond film with Yaphet Kotto as the bad guy, Mr. Big? In the end they jam a big CO2 pellet in his face and he blew up. I have to tell you, Rush Limbaugh is looking more and more like Mr. Big, and at some point somebody's going to jam a CO2 pellet into his head and he's going to explode like a giant blimp. That day may come. Not yet. But we'll be there to watch. I think he's Mr. Big, I think Yaphet Kotto. Are you watching, Rush?
So not only did Matthews day-dream about Rush's murder, he issued a threat: "are you watching, Rush?"
Subsequently, Matthews did offer this weak explanation/retraction: "it was a movie reference with which I am very proud to relentlessly give you. But in this political atmosphere I shouldn't have gone into such detail about Mr. Big's demise at the end of that movie, about that CO2 capsule, especially in reference to Rush. And certainly I shouldn't have speculated, even metaphorically or cinematically, about that happening to Rushbo in the real world."
But the damage was already done. So please, Chris, spare us the moral indignation. You don't come with clean hands.