Real Thing That Happened: Matthews Spends Entire Segment on Hillary’s Interest in UFO’s

MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews has offered NewsBusters readers perhaps the largest library of ridiculous statements over the years but his segment topics took a bizarre turn on Wednesday when he devoted an entire block to Hillary Clinton’s interest in releasing documents pertaining to Area 51 and the chances that aliens exist inside the U.S. 

Speaking to a Scientific American editor, Matthews aired his thoughts on conspiracy theories, how many who believe in aliens also believe there was more to the Kennedy assassinations to even creepily complimenting to his guest that he “love[s] your clear thinking and logic and scientific, well, method.”

Matthews hit the ground running with senior editor Clara Moskowitz by asking if there’s “any physical evidence on this planet — has anyone ever found of UFOs” and when she stated “there’s absolutely no reason to think aliens have been there,” he followed up immediately: “No evidence of spaceships, of flying saucers or ETs of that kind? None. It's never been discovered or detected or claimed?”

Moskowitz responded that since Area 51 also “tests experimental aircraft” so anyone voicing concerns about “weird looking aircraft flying around” they shouldn’t conclude it’s aliens.

After a movie reference to Jodie Foster’s Contact, Matthews provided viewers with his unsolicited thoughts on conspiracy theorists:

You can come across people who have strong believes about conspiracies. They have — usually, unfortunately, I meet a lot of them. They come up and have a unitary theory. Of course, if they believe John Kennedy was shot by the mob or somebody else on the right, they will say that then they’ll also say Bobby Kennedy was shot in the same mysterious way. Some people just have an inclination for conspiracies. 

Matthews wasted most of the five-minute-plus segment before he actually asked Moskowitz about Clinton’s references to UFOs in a March appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live and when Moskowitz wasn’t sure why, Matthews answered it himself. 

To go one step further, he asserted that like a certain presidential candidate about Americans celebrating 9/11 that “there's probably a couple hundred thousand people” that vote in presidential elections based on what candidates believe about UFOs:

It could be pandering. Politics. I know politics. I don’t know this foreign stuff — alien culture potential, I can tell you that's what politics is. If nobody is going for a group of a million people out there and nobody’s going for them yet and they’re UFO afficionados, Hillary would go for them like any other politician. She's just the first one to grab for them. I know how politics works. There must be some people who want to hear this, want to hear the files will be opened. They will vote on that one issue. I'm sure there's probably a couple hundred thousand people like that.

In thanking Moskowitz, Matthews paused and smiled as he creepily stated: “I think they’ll say it’s a cover-up no matter what comes out. That’s the way the mind works. Thank you, Clara Moskowitz. I love your clear thinking and logic and scientific, well, method.”

The relevant portion of the transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on May 11 can be found below.

MSNBC’s Hardball
May 11, 2016
7:32 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Clara Moskowitz is the senior editor of Scientific American. She covers space and physics. There’s a couple questions. Thank you for coming on. Ms. Moskowitz, is there any physical evidence on this planet — has anyone ever found of ufos? 

CLARA MOSKOWITZ: Look, I'd be the first to admit it if there was but no, there’s absolutely no reason to think aliens have been there. 

MATTHEWS: No evidence of spaceships, of flying saucers or ETs of that kind? None. It's never been discovered or detected or claimed? 

MOSKOWITZ: Absolutely not. I mean, take Area 51. Okay, we know that's where the government tests experimental aircraft, so if people have seen weird looking aircraft flying around, it seems perfectly reasonably. All of the claimed evidence can be explained in perfectly logical, normal ways like that.

MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about the other question I have which has to do with communication. We’ve all seen the Jodie Foster — not everybody, I’ve seen everything I guess, the Jodie Foster movie First Contact. Have we, in our efforts, to try to offer up the chance to have some foreign intelligence respond to us, ever gotten a response to those broadcasts, those transmissions? 

MOSKOWITZ: We have not gotten any response. You know, occasionally, we’ve seen a signal that got everybody excited. So far everything has a perfectly logical, astrophysical explanation. It doesn't mean we have stopped searching. I mean, people are actively looking because pure statistics says, sure, maybe life is out there. It seems reasonable. We see planets everywhere we look out in the universe, but so far, there's not a shred of anything resembling scientific evidence that aliens exist anywhere. 

MATTHEWS: You know, anybody in public life — people like me in journalism and have been in politics. You can come across people who have strong believes about conspiracies. They have — usually, unfortunately, I meet a lot of them. They come up and have a unitary theory. Of course, if they believe John Kennedy was shot by the mob or somebody else on the right, they will say that then they’ll also say Bobby Kennedy was shot in the same mysterious way. Some people just have an inclination for conspiracies. What would you say about people who believe there is a situation where the government of the United States knows about ET’s, it knows about space creatures coming here and it's for whatever reason — and this is the hard one, why do they think they have covered it up? 

MOSKOWITZ: Right, they think that we can't handle the truth except people love that stuff. It would be one of the most inspiring discoveries in the history of mankind. I think people would be eager to share that evidence and so ,the whole government conspiracy doesn't fly because first of all, it's not plausible that they could keep something a secret this well, for this long. Something that huge and the motivation is just not there at all. You would definitely have a whistle blower, right? 

MATTHEWS: Why do you think Hillary Clinton wants to open the files? 

MOSKOWITZ: You know, I have to say, I really don't know. 

MATTHEWS: It could be pandering. Politics. I know politics. I don’t know this foreign stuff — alien culture potential, I can tell you that's what politics is. If nobody is going for a group of a million people out there and nobody’s going for them yet and they’re UFO afficionados, Hillary would go for them like any other politician. She's just the first one to grab for them. I know how politics works. There must be some people who want to hear this, want to hear the files will be opened. They will vote on that one issue. I'm sure there's probably a couple hundred thousand people like that. What do you think?

MOSKOWITZ: You know, maybe it’s about government transparency. I'm all for releasing the records. I think, let's put this mystery to bed, right? Those few people who are still holding out because they think there's a conspiracy will see the records and realize there isn't, so I'm all for releasing that data, but I can't imagine there's going to be a huge political gain in that. 

MATTHEWS: I think they’ll say it’s a cover-up no matter what comes out. That’s the way the mind works. Thank you, Clara Moskowitz. I love your clear thinking and logic and scientific, well, method. 

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