Yes he leans left. But MSNBC host Chris Matthews was manifestly offended by the Mexican audience at the Miss Universe pageant that booed Miss USA. The Mexicans were adding insult to injury, since the lovely and gracious Rachel Smith of Tennessee had earlier slipped onto her derrière during the evening gown segment of the competititon.
Discussing the matter on this afternoon's Hardball with his panel of NBC political director Chuck Todd, Howard Fineman of Newsweek, and Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Tribune, Matthews unleashed on the Mexicans:
- That's about the worst PR I can think of for this Mexican immigration bill which is mainly helping Mexicans become legal Americans. . . This young woman smiled right through it. That's class, but [the booing] wasn't very classy.
- What is it about immigration though that bothers Mexicans? I mean there are 12 million here illegally. That's fairly benign, even if it is passive, policy. It's hardly predatory. What other country in the world let's 12 million come in there, live there illegally? How can you be mad at that?
- I'll tell you one thing. If an American audience in New York or Washington or L.A. had booed a Mexican woman after she had made a mistake like that by tripping, and mocked her the whole week, we'd be talking, the PC-dispensers of the major newspapers and the media would be going all over it, saying how terrible a country we are. I'm serious, I don't know why they do it. They want to have good relations with us. This is not Vicente Fox, this is not the PAN politics that gets people elected down there. It must be a minority of elite or angry people. But this is the kind of thing that people do remember. . . They didn't feel much for her, did they? They saw it as a chance to dump on us.
When the producers showed, yet again, the footage of Rachel Smith tripping, a miffed Matthews interjected:
I think MSNBC ran this 4,000 times today. Let's not us do it again. Can we stop this joke? Let's stop now. Let's stop doing that picture. Somebody seems to get a kick out of that, somebody who doesn't like women or something.
ASIDE: During a subsequent panel, Patrick Buchanan described the Mexicans who booed as "a bunch of bums."
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