Matthews Is Still Bemoaning 2000 Recount; Guest Rules Voter Fraud Concerns in PA Are Racist

Before MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews compared President Barack Obama to Martin Luther King Jr. with a biblical delivery, Matthews expressed on Tuesday some bitterness that “the Supreme Court intervened in our electoral process” back in 2000 to which conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt promptly swatted him down. 

In a later segment, Time magazine writer Jay Newton-Small made quite the slip and suggested that Republican concerns about voter fraud in Philadelphia from the 2012 election were simply racist since much of the city precincts that were taken issue with consisted of predominantly African-Americans.

Going first to Newton-Small, she was discussing Trump’s repeated insistence that the election will be rigged with Matthews and New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters when she seemed to made a verbal slip as she complained of it being a “racial sort of dog whisper” instead of dog whistle:

I mean, 52 percent of Republicans already believe that the election will be rigged, right? He doesn't need to say it over and over again. It's already there and that is, again, a racial sort of dog whisper in this case. I mean, like, people said that somehow African-Americans stole the election from Mitt Romney, because there were precincts in Pennsylvania that voted 100 percent for Barack Obama and they like, that's impossible, it's just not possible, and so, therefore the election was stolen. 

Of course, Peters agreed, adding that it “fits exactly with what we were just talking about with Trump's undermining of the legal” and “American electoral system[s].”

Earlier in the show, the brief sparring contest between Hewitt and Matthews reached the topic of the 2000 election also due to the discussion of Trump repeatedly hinting that the election will be rigged and Hewitt attempted to explain that, while Trump’s literal premise has been off base, he has a point about “the rigged nature of the media throwing at him 100 percent.”

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Matthews seemed befuddled and thus Hewitt added that “[t]hey rig the election because of the way that the media works” and with that, it set Matthews off: 

How does the media works? I'm only thinking of one close election since Nixon's where Nixon's — well, I'll talk about it at the end soft show, when Nixon gave it up in '60. In 2000, when the Supreme Court intervened in our electoral process and gave it to W.

Hewitt immediately shot back, telling Matthews to “[s]trike that” because “Dan Rather made a call in Florida that kept the panhandle voters from coming out and delivering Florida to Gore.” 

Matthews continued fighting back and downplaying the role media plays in any election (let alone 2000) and the Hardball host gushed before moving on that “Al Gore gave a dramatic concession speech, gave it to him” and “was the best since the second Lincoln inaugural.”

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

MSNBC’s Hardball
October 11, 2016
7:13 p.m. Eastern

HUGH HEWITT: My point is he’s angry about the rigged nature of the media throwing at him 100%.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Is it rigged? 

HEWITT: The rig is that 95% of American media will vote for Hillary Clinton. They want her and they’re working for her.

MATTHEWS: They rig the election because of their political point of view? 

HEWITT: They rig the election because of the way that the media works. The way that the media focuses on it.

MATTHEWS: How does the media works? I'm only thinking of one close election since Nixon's where Nixon's — well, I'll talk about it at the end soft show, when Nixon gave it up in '60. In 2000, when the Supreme Court intervened in our electoral process and gave it to W.  

HEWITT: Strike that. No. When Dan Rather made a call in Florida that kept the panhandle voters from coming out and delivering Florida to Gore. 

MATTHEWS: So you're telling me that the media roared at that and stopped that process. That they somehow influenced that election for Al Gore? 

HEWITT: Yes, absolutely! Dan Rather called it. They closed —

MATTHEWS: How? He lost —

HEWITT: Who lost? Oh, in the end, but it led to an illegitimacy to a Bush presidency and to analyst’s rancor when it did not have to happen.

MATTHEWS: Okay fine, I don't think so. Al Gore gave a dramatic concession speech, gave it to him. It was the best since the second Lincoln inaugural.

HEWITT: Should have gave it to him on the night of the November election, as Nixon did to Kennedy in 1960. 

MATTHEWS: Because it wasn't decided yet. They didn’t have the count in.

HEWITT: It was decided and it was decided when the recount was run by eight different ways to Sunday. 

MATTHEWS: It's not true and I'm not an Al Gore fan, either. Thank you Michael Steele. Thank you, Hugh Hewitt, but I don't think you're right. By the way, I’ll tell you. This idea that the media gave it to W., the media gave it to Reagan, the media gave it to George Bush Sr., you're talking about a pretty weak media if it's got this power. 

(....)

7:26 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: They bought the need for this — they believe — and they all believe the election was rigged and they’ll believe Hillary should have gone to jail and that's a lot of people. 

JAY NEWTON-SMALL: I mean, 52 percent of Republicans already believe that the election will be rigged, right? He doesn't need to say it over and over again. It's already there and that is, again, a racial sort of dog whisper in this case. I mean, like, people said that somehow African-Americans stole the election from Mitt Romney, because there were precincts in Pennsylvania that voted 100 percent for Barack Obama and they like, that's impossible, it's just not possible, and so, therefore the election was stolen. 

JEREMY PETERS: And that fits exactly with what we were just talking about with Trump's undermining of the legal system, right? He's undermining the American electoral system.

Tell the Truth 2016 NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Race Issues Racism MSNBC Hardball Video Government & Press Voter ID U.S. Supreme Court Chris Matthews Jeremy Peters Jay Newton-Small Hugh Hewitt Donald Trump Al Gore
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