Unlike the other major broadcast network Sunday talk shows (as reported by NewsBusters), NBC’s “The Chris Matthews Show” led with Thursday’s historic elections in Iraq, while mentioning the surveillance scandal raised in a New York Times article Friday as almost an afterthought. Then, after the break, Matthews began on another topic that is likely much more of a concern to Americans than the legality of wiretaps on terrorists, illegal immigration.
After introducing his guests – Joe Klein of TIME, Andrea Mitchell of NBC News, David Brooks of The New York Times, and syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker – Matthews went right into Thursday’s Iraqi elections. With the notable exception of Klein, the panel seemed in agreement that this was an historic event on Thursday, and that democracy in Iraq now seems possible. Mitchell stated, “I think there is a better chance than we have ever before seen of Iraq actually creating a government of these people working together, and of this country not blowing apart.” Matthews agreed, “I think it's the most amazing week in this whole war this week.”
After spending almost the first ten minutes on Iraq, Matthews moved the discussion towards the surveillance scandal: “‘The New York Times’ broke this story Friday that President Bush authorized his National Security Agency to eavesdrop on suspected terrorists inside this country without warrants.” During this two-minute discussion, Klein said: “It may not turn out to be as serious as all that, although it may. The problem is that anytime you open the door, even a little bit, as we saw with torture, fools rush in.”
After the break, Matthews began a new topic for discussion, namely, illegal immigration. As a result, by contrast to what was presented on the network news broadcasts Friday night as reported by NewsBusters, as well as what the other talk shows did this morning, Matthews seemed to best understand America’s priorities concerning the events that occurred this week.