NewsBusters reported Monday that MSNBC's Chris Matthews got into a heated exchange with former Republican Party chairman Michael Steele when he called the GOP the "Grand Wizard crowd" and Mitt Romney a "flat-earther."
Fox News's Bill O'Reilly started his program Tuesday by saying the Hardball host's comments were "simply madness" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS: More madness in the presidential campaign: That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points" memo.
Now we knew the campaign was going to be bitter. With muck-raking all over the place, we knew that. But we didn't know it was going to be downright hysterical this early.
Last night, former Republican Party Chair Michael Steele was interviewed by Chris Matthews. Governor Romney, the topic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS, : He ran as a (inaudible) -- you know you're saying there is no such thing as science but I'm teaching biology.
MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER CHAIRMAN, RNC: But that's not what he said. Why are you putting those words in his mouth? He's never said he is a flat earth and he doesn't believe in evolution. Those are your words, Chris. That's how you would like to paint him to be.
MATTHEWS: Because that's who he is.
STEELE: That's not who he is.
MATTHEWS: You are the Grand Wizard crowd over there. Anyway look --
STEELE: Wait, wait. I resent that. Now come on what is this Grand Wizard nonsense.
MATTHEWS: I'm just saying the far-right party. All right.
STEELE: Are you saying that the Ku Klux Klan -- give me a break. We didn't -- don't go there with me on that.
MATTHEWS: Ok, ok. Great.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O'REILLY: Now later in that broadcast Matthews has apologized for using the description Grand Wizard. I have no beef against Chris Matthews he doesn't usually attack people personally; he's simply a committed Democrat. Nothing wrong with that.
But to call Romney a flat earther and to say the Governor doesn't believe in science is simply madness. In a 2007 "New York Times" article Romney said quote, "I believe that God designed the universe and created the universe. And I believe evolution is most likely the process he used to create the human body", unquote. So there it is; for honest folks, end of discussion.
The problem for American voters is that anything goes these days. The Internet is full of unbelievable nonsense as well as gross defamation. And now on some national news programs we are getting the same craziness. So if you're uninformed, how can you possibly know what's true and what's not true?
Unfortunately, most people can't, and this is really the problem with media bias today.
The vast majority of Americans take what folks like Matthews say as the literal truth without doing the slightest research to verify accuracy.
This allows people like him to say whatever they want with total impunity adding to the propagandizing of the population.
It's especially problematic on networks like ABC, CBS, MSNBC, NBC, NPR, and PBS where a conservative is rarely included in the discussion to add any balance or challenge falsehoods being broadcast.
If Steele hadn't been present Monday, Matthews would have gotten away with calling Republicans the "Grand Wizard crowd" and Romney a "flat-earther."
Just imagine how many times someone like Steele isn't present in any given 24 hours to stop an anchor or guest from lying to the public without rebuttal.
Makes it easy to understand why so many folks think cutting taxes hurts the economy and carbon dioxide is destroying the planet.
Pretty darned scary when you think about it.