On MSNBC, the disrespect one is allowed to show to a conservative and/or his family knows no bounds.
On Wednesday's Hardball, host Chris Matthews and his guests Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post and John Harwood of the New York Times actually laughed at Mitt Romney's sons (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Mitt Romney trounced his opponents last night and he got to give the big speech in primetime. I think he gave a speech more appropriate to a convention as if he had already won and picked up all the marbles, which is probably an arrogant thing to do. But, his focus was clearly on President Obama and not the guys he beat yesterday. Let’s watch.
After playing some snippets of Romney’s speech, Matthews continued:
MATTHEWS: G-d, Chris Cillizza, you can’t see it, John and I can see it, his sons were lined up there like one of those Motown groups from the sixties.
CHRIS CILLIZZA, WASHINGTON POST: I see them.
MATTHEWS: You know, four of them lined up, you know, all in unison. They were doing everything but clap and show their rhythm. [Laughter]
JOHN HARWOOD, NEW YORK TIMES: Four Tops. [Laughter]
MATTHEWS: Yeah, Four Tops, exactly right. [Laughter]
Apparently families are no longer off-limits to MSNBC, the New York Times, or the Washington Post - the families of Republicans, that is.
Can you imagine the backlash if someone on Fox News or a conservative talk radio host laughed at Malia and Sasha Obama this way?
There'd be calls for apologies and suspensions.
But at MSNBC?
Not so much.