MSNBC’s Matthews Invokes Halloween in Bombs Coverage, Compares Trump to 1930's Hitler

Reacting Wednesday night to the bombs sent to CNN and other Democrats, MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews offered a bizarre take that invoked how next Wednesday is Halloween, blamed the President without evidence for being responsible for the bombs, and insinuated that he was akin to Adolf Hitler in the 1930s.

Everything seemed fine at the start of the show as Matthews started on a riff about how people presume “that I love politics” due to “[t]he contest of it, the personal drama, the real test of character, of courage that politics often demands.”

 

 

And while he seemed to concede he does, he stated a dislike for the parts of politics that are “corrupting, corrosively, humanly destructive conceit that the ends justify the means, which brings me to Donald Trump and what happened today.” 

Matthews then unfurled his Halloween analogy while blaming Trump for the bombs (click “expand”):

To say there is no connection between what Trump has said about Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Eric Holder, John Brennan, and CNN and the thinking of the person who sent those bombs is fool hearty. We're about to mark Halloween and one of our great traditions — it is because it's all about saying boo of giving someone a little fright so they can enjoy the moment of relief that follows, the realization that it wasn’t real. Sending pipe bombs isn't saying boo. It's political terrorism. Saying that people are evil isn't saying that you disagree with them, it's saying we would better off without them. The means don't justify the ends if the means are stirring up attempted pipe bombings of the people you’re demeaning.

As for the Nazi analogy, The New York Times’s Jeremy Peters teed up Matthews by lamenting that “Trump whips these crowds up into a frenzy and then he acts like that should be completely divorced from the reality of bombs being sent to news organizations and his political enemies” that’s part of an “alarming trend” where political opponents perceive each other as worthy of punishment.

Matthews then replied: “One parallel with the '30s of the last century is that the words precede the action.”

Ah, yes, so amateur bombs that, while meant to cause mass murder, didn’t go off was worth comparing to the movement built on anti-Semitism that led to the murder of six million Jewish people.

In between those hot takes, there was further evidence that, for many in the liberal media, an entire half of traditional, American political ideology is so contemptible that they’re the source of current political and societal ills.

For example, Matthews mocked the suggestion that conservatives go “to bed at night worrying about” George Soros despite his repeated rhetoric attacks on money in politics as something perpetrated on the right.

But most egregiously, Matthews slipped up and suggested that Trump supporters and, by extension, those on the right “always dream of hurting” people like Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, and George Soros before he quickly caught himself and said, “at least politically.”

After liberal Republican Susan Del Percio offered her usual venom toward Trump, Matthews and Bloomberg’s Shannon Pettypiece lashed out at the GOP and Trump (click “expand”):

MATTHEWS: Shannon, your thoughts about the way this is breaking today. These stories in the front page tomorrow — the major papers will have the pictures of all the targets. Everyone will recognize the pattern. These people are the Democrats, basically, including John Brennan who’s been critical of the president. People like George Soros are only really known to people on the Progressive side or the people that don't like the Progressive side and he’s not well known as a figure, but the neatness of this package, including Eric Holder’s is going to grab people and say, too much fire on the right has caused this with some character out there. We don't now how demented or not demented they are, but they did this and those bombs might have gone off. 

PETTYPIECE: And this idea of calling for unity 12 days before the midterm election, it might sound good but that was not in the President's playbook. The President's playbook in these final two weeks was to divide as much as possible, was to stoke up his base to come back to these cornerstone issues of immigration, of fear to drive out Republicans. That was what they were seeking in these final two weeks. They had tried a positive message. That wasn't working, so they had gone to fear and painting this picture of Democrats were elected, you're going  have terrorists streaming into your community, you’re going to have gangsters, you are going to have physical safety put into jeopardy and that's the type of thing that makes people on both sides feel like we're in some sort of life or death situation. 

MATTHEWS: Not to play Dick Tracy here, Malcolm, but as your line of country again, but the person who put this list together and figured out the addresses, most have known the President has been claiming that George Soros, one of the targets here, has been paying for the caravan. Oh, haven't you heard that? That's a late breaking thing. And also that Eric Holder is becoming a political partisan lately. This guy had a fresh list of the President's enemies. 

Later, Wall Street Journal’s Vivian Salama played the “but” game the liberal media have played throughout the day, which insisted the perpetrator’s motives are unknown yet the President was to blame.

Matthews interjected to declare that he doesn’t “find it a mystery” who caused this because regardless of the perpetrator’s mental state, they “clearly had a political agenda here” inspired by the President.

Like a true Times hack, Peters replied:

Yes as were the attacks on Eric Holder. Holder who, just a couple of weeks ago, said you know, kick them. Hillary Clinton’s line about civility, this all happened very recently, George Soros especially. I mean, the interesting thing here, Chris, is the people who were on that enemies list kind of exist at this dark intersection of the right-wing conspiracy theory-mongering and Donald Trump's hit list. 

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on October 24, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Hardball
October 24, 2018
7:00 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Everyone assumes that I love politics. The contest of it, the personal drama, the real test of character, of courage that politics often demands, but there's one part of politics that I truly detest. It’s the corrupting, corrosively, humanly destructive conceit that the ends justify the means which brings me to Donald Trump and what happened today. To say there is no connection between what Trump has said about Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Eric Holder, John Brennan, and CNN and the thinking of the person who sent those bombs is fool hearty. We're about to mark Halloween and one of our great traditions — it is because it's all about saying boo of giving someone a little fright so they can enjoy the moment of relief that follows, the realization that it wasn’t real. Sending pipe bombs isn't saying boo. It's political terrorism. Saying that people are evil isn't saying that you disagree with them, it's saying we would better off without them. The means don't justify the ends if the means are stirring up attempted pipe bombings of the people you’re demeaning.

(....)

7:06 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: This is — what it is to me — is apparently the definition of what happened here is the list of those intended targets. I mean, George Soros, who goes to bed at night worrying about him except somebody on the right who knows he's on the left and don’t like him because of it or who goes to bed worrying about Eric Holder who’s not even AG anymore. He’s mad at him because he’s on the — he’s on a progressive left and he wants to do things about voter suppression and they don’t like that or it's Hillary — lock her up — Hillary. It’s — these are the people they always dream of hurting. Your thoughts — at least politically.

(....)

7:10 p.m. Eastern

SUSAN DEL PERCIO: One of the reasons we probably love politics is because we’ve seen what good government and service is all about. We've seen the good that it leads to and not once have I ever heard Donald Trump say I was elected to serve. He also says I won. He doesn't know respect to the Oval Office. He doesn't know respect to the presidency. It's case in point almost daily with the words he chooses and it isn't surprising that we see his crowd all riled up because that's what he wants. You know, he called for unity, not once has this president sought to unify our country or any basic level. 

MATTHEWS: Shannon, your thoughts about the way this is breaking today. These stories in the front page tomorrow — the major papers will have the pictures of all the targets. Everyone will recognize the pattern. These people are the Democrats, basically, including John Brennan who’s been critical of the president. People like George Soros are only really known to people on the Progressive side or the people that don't like the Progressive side and he’s not well known as a figure, but the neatness of this package, including Eric Holder’s is going to grab people and say, too much fire on the right has caused this with some character out there. We don't now how demented or not demented they are, but they did this and those bombs might have gone off. 

SHANNON PETTYPIECE: And this idea of calling for unity 12 days before the midterm election, it might sound good but that was not in the President's playbook. The President's playbook in these final two weeks was to divide as much as possible, was to stoke up his base to come back to these cornerstone issues of immigration, of fear to drive out Republicans. That was what they were seeking in these final two weeks. They had tried a positive message. That wasn't working, so they had gone to fear and painting this picture of Democrats were elected, you're going  have terrorists streaming into your community, you’re going to have gangsters, you are going to have physical safety put into jeopardy and that's the type of thing that makes people on both sides feel like we're in some sort of life or death situation. 

MATTHEWS: Not to play Dick Tracy here, Malcolm, but as your line of country again, but the person who put this list together and figured out the addresses, most have known the President has been claiming that George Soros, one of the targets here, has been paying for the caravan. Oh, haven't you heard that? That's a late breaking thing. And also that Eric Holder is becoming a political partisan lately. This guy had a fresh list of the President's enemies. 

(....)

7:43 p.m. Eastern

VIVIAN SALAMA: I was at his rally on Monday night and the crowd started chanting CNN sucks over and over again and the President sort of paused and waited for it and he said “don't worry, I don't like them either.”  And so all of these things, obviously, it's no coincidence that everybody is drawing a line back to the President's rhetoric or not. Are we going to say it's a coincidence or not? I don't know what the motivations or individuals were but, obviously, the president's rhetoric does not not help — does not help.

MATTHEWS: I don't find it a mystery that everybody else does. This person, man, woman, whatever, whoever his mental state, whatever clearly had a political agenda here. The fact they were up to date too. It was Soros. The guy who was supposedly putting together the caravan. This was up to date.

JEREMY PETERS: Yes as were the attacks on Eric Holder. Holder who, just a couple of weeks ago, said you know, kick them. Hillary Clinton’s line about civility, this all happened very recently, George Soros especially. I mean, the interesting thing here, Chris, is the people who were on that enemies list kind of exist at this dark intersection of the right-wing conspiracy theory-mongering and Donald Trump's hit list. 

(....)

7:54 p.m. Eastern

PETERS: Trump whips these crowds up into a frenzy and then he acts like that should be completely divorced from the reality of bombs being sent to news organizations and his political enemies. So I think what's happened here, what Trump has exacerbated is this really alarming trend in American society and politics where if I disagree with you politically, you are a bad person. You're not just on the other side of the issue. You're a horrible human being and you should be demonized and punished. 

MATTHEWS: One parallel with the '30s of the last century is that the words precede the action.

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