Disrespectful Matthews Compares Parkland Students to American Troops Winning World War I

A day after suggesting that defying the NRA could leave politicians assassinated like Anwar Sadat or Yitzhak Rabin, MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews argued on Wednesday night that Parkland gun control student activists were just like American troops turning the tide in World War I. 

This insult to the memory of the “Doughboys” came during the Hardball Roundtable segment when Matthews turned to the Boston Globe’s Astead Herndon to “talk about guns” hours following a bipartisan congressional meeting at the White House with President Trump and Vice President Pence.

 

 

“You know, it seems to me that he knows that this — I keep thinking of like when the Doughboys arrived in World War I. All of a sudden, the situation changed and Germany was going to lose and the Brits and French were going to win,” Matthews began, using the informal name for Army soldiers or Marines from both that era and the Mexican-American War.

To complete this asinine circle, Matthews claimed that, in the same way, “[t]his new force of these students and these teachers are so credible that they make — when they go on television, everybody stops and listen — and listens and Trump knows that.”

Herndon replied that these students and teachers “give a sense of credibility — to the — to the gun control issue and a sense of raw emotion” that set the tone for the White House meeting in which “Trump at least believes that he can rhetorically take on the NRA.”

The pair wrapped up by going to commercial praising Trump for asserting that Republicans were scared of the NRA, but their tone seemed to miss the reality that it’s the millions of NRA members that vote at the ballot box and some lawmakers genuinely support the Second Amendment.

Earlier in the show, Princeton University’s Eddie Glaude took issue with the racial makeup of the bipartisan White House gun meeting, insinuating that racism was behind the absence of African-American members of Congress. 

“What's interesting about the room, he's talking about gun violence in America, Chris, did you see any black congress members in there? And you think about gun violence affecting black communities in this country? And there was literally no one in the room to give you a sense of who really matters in Trump’s mind,” Glaude complained.

Like a good liberal, Matthews agreed by noting that the meeting “could” have been “a suburban show” for “the areas for this 2018 election’s going to be decided, but you're smart about that” as that didn’t occur to him when analyzing and watching the gun meeting.

“That's — that’s the thing that has to be brought up all the time in any meeting in any political setting in this country the need for diversity. Thank you very much,” Matthews concluded.

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on February 28, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Hardball
February 28, 2018
7:40 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: I'm not sure if he doesn't think this is one issue that's going to hurt him in the ‘burbs and he better be careful if he looks like the obstacle. Your thought on that, Eddie.

EDDIE GLAUDE: You know, Chris, I think if we were dealing with a traditional political actor, that would make sense. I just don't know what Trump’s political calculus — how he thinks politically. I just don't know what they are and so it just seems to me that it would make sense on the one hand that that choreography that you just described would suggest that he's up to something. But again, I don't know what's going to happen once he gets back to the White House and what's interesting about the room, he's talking about gun violence in America, Chris, did you see any black congress members in there? And you think about gun violence affecting black communities in this country? And there was literally no one in the room to give you a sense of who really matters in Trump’s mind.

MATTHEWS: It could be a suburban show, too. It could be about the areas for this 2018 election’s going to be decided, but you're smart about that. Absolute — I didn't notice. Now, that's the kind of thing I should have noticed, the absolute lack of diversity in that room. It was — it was — thank you for bringing that up. That's — that’s the thing that has to be brought up all the time in any meeting in any political setting in this country the need for diversity. Thank you very much.

(....)

7:49 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: Let me talk about guns with Astead. You know, it seems to me that he knows that this — I keep thinking of like when the Doughboys arrived in World War I. All of a sudden, the situation changed and Germany was going to lose and the Brits and French were going to win. This new force of these students and these teachers are so credible that they make — when they go on television, everybody stops and listen — and listens.

ASTEAD HERNDON: And they give a sense of credibility — 

MATTHEWS: And Trump knows that.

HERNDON: — to the — to the gun control issue and a sense of raw emotion. We know these are kids who just went through that and you can see in this meeting today that there — Trump at least believes that he can believes rhetorically take on the NRA.

MATTHEWS: Yeah.

HERNDON: We’ll see about the actions, but he's at least saying at least to Republican senators you know, you’re in — you’re in — you are too scared of the NRA. 

MATTHEWS: Well they are.

HERNDON: It's time to take them on. 

MATTHEWS: That's a truth statement. 

HERNDON:  And so, you know, who knows what is actually going to come of it.

MATTHEWS: By the way, that's not a white lie to say they're afraid of the NRA.

HERNDON: Yeah. That’s a — 

MATTHEWS: That’s the truth.

HERNDON: — that’s a truth.

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