Real or Fake: Exposing MRC’s April Fools Day Notable Quotables

Hopefully, everyone has by now figured out that yesterday’s Notable Quotables posting was an April Fools spoof, an annual tradition here at the Media Research Center, where our staff makes up quotes in an effort to parody the everyday outrageousness of liberal journalists.

This year’s twist: While all of the quotes were attributed to MSNBC host Chris Matthews, his over-the-top rhetoric is nearly impossible to parody, so eight of the 21 published quotes in the full edition were real (as were five of the 14 in the truncated version posted here at NB). The challenge for readers was to separate the real ones from the fake ones.

After the jump, you’ll find the same text as in yesterday’s post, this time with correct attributions and links to the corresponding MRC-TV video clip for each of the genuine quotes:

Gushing Over the "Perfect" Barack Obama

"I look at Obama as a perfect American....The guy went to school, he never broke a law. He did everything right. He raised a wonderful family. He's a good husband, a good father. My God, I don't think he's ever gotten a speeding ticket. The guy does everything right and these right-wingers....I don't know what they're so afraid of, except that he happens to be black."
— REAL! Matthews said this on MSNBC’s Hardball, March 6. (Video)

"Barack Obama continues to be a perfect hero for America's school children. Who can forget that cute picture of the President pretending to be caught in a little Spiderman's web? That seemed a little backward, since Obama often seems as slick and heroic as Spiderman, while his opponents like Rush Limbaugh resemble Kingpin, the fat supervillain with a walking stick and a cigar, who thinks he can win the day by manipulating the haters."
— FAKE! April Fools!

"The thing people don't understand about Barack Obama is that while he's a great speaker, his understanding of politics is just unprecedented in the whole history of this American experience. He's like Albert Einstein with a 500-watt smile that can melt the hardest heart."
— FAKE! April Fools!

Obama Gets Credit for Today's "Amazing Economy"

"Coming up, when is President Obama going to get some credit — and this is like Rodney Dangerfield — when's he going to get some credit for this amazing economy that's coming back?...It really is amazing. And the stock market for the rich is going through the roof. When's this guy going to get some respect?"
— REAL! Matthews said this on MSNBC’s Hardball, March 8. (Video)

Yearning for a "Hope and Change" Pope

"Pope Francis — as appealing as he is, he really should rip a page out of the playbook of another world leader, President Obama. Our President evolved on gay marriage. Francis can be the ‘hope and change' pontiff if he throws his support behind contraception."
— FAKE! April Fools!

Obama vs. The GOP's Racist Haters

"[Republicans] hate Obama. They want him out of the White House more than they want to destroy al Qaeda. Their number one enemy in the world right now, on the right, is their hatred — hatred for Obama."
— REAL! Matthews said this during post-debate coverage, October 22, 2012. (Video)

"What does your study tell you about the nature of the racial piece here of the Tea Party?...Is it sort of a resumption of the Old South, of the way things were before the Civil War for example. Is it like that old dreamy nostalgia you get in the old movies, Gone With the Wind? Is it that kind of America they want to bring back or what? When there were no gays, where blacks were slaves, Mexicans were in Mexico. I mean, is this what they want?"
— REAL! Matthews said this on MSNBC’s Hardball, March 20. (Video)

Preparing the Anti-GOP Smears in Case Hillary Runs

Host Chris Matthews: "We've seen Republicans — since this President was elected in 2008, we've seen Republicans come out, one after another, almost like robots, machine-like, coming out against health care, against the EPA, against clean air, against reasonable gun control, tax simplification — all based purely on ethnic prejudice — racism — against this President, this African American President. Are we going to see a similar pivot to gender prejudice — sexism — among Republicans if Hillary Clinton emerges as the Democratic nominee? Will they be just as opposed to anything sensible she proposes, just to prevent the image of a successful woman President?"
The Huffington Post's Howard Fineman: "I think there's no question, Chris...."
— FAKE! April Fools!

Crazy Republicans Acting Like Cambodian Butchers

"What's going on out there in the Republican Party is kind of a frightening, almost Cambodia re-education camp going on in that party, where they're going around to people, sort of switching their minds around saying, if you're not far right, you're not right enough."
— REAL! Matthews said this during an MSNBC primetime special about President Obama’s Q&A with House Republicans, January 29, 2010. (Video)

Matthews to Ryan: Don't Pull My Plug!

"These crazies on the right keep talking about defunding ObamaCare to balance the budget. Where is the compassion for the elderly? What is wrong with them Joan? I'm 67 years old! Am I going to have to hire extra security some day, maybe, to keep Paul Ryan from sneaking into my hospital room and pinching the air hose of my oxygen tank?!"
— FAKE! April Fools!

Even the Tea Party's TV Habits Are Racist

"Professor Rob Thompson of Syracuse University has cataloged the TV habits of the extreme conservatives, the haters. He found that they don't like Modern Family. Too many gays and other examples of reality, I guess....What are they longing for? The return of Archie Bunker?...Get this: They love the AMC zombie show The Walking Dead. Ha! I'm telling you, this is a racial thing. They see the black vote and the rising influence of Hispanics as some sort of foreign, unnatural threat. Shooting zombies in the face, suppressing the black vote at the polls. It's all the same to these people."
— FAKE! April Fools!

Sneering at Witchy Michele Bachmann

"With me now is Caroline Kennedy to discuss her new book of poems she loves. You know, Caroline, we all remember the poet Robert Frost reciting one of his best works at your father's inauguration of 1961. It was a signal to the country that we had arrived at a new frontier of intellect. Tell me, when you think of Frost's poem ‘The Witch of Coos,' do you often think of Michele Bachmann?"
— FAKE! April Fools!

Getting Thrills Over Prospect of Senator Judd

"Back to Hardball now, the Sideshow: Actress Ashley Judd has pulled herself out of that Kentucky Senate race. What a loss for the nation. She's every bit as qualified as Ronald Reagan ever was — an actor the far right still salivates over. I'll never get that idolization. Really. Anyway, if a glorified eyeglasses hawker like Rand Paul with hair as bad as Donald Trump's can win in Kentucky, why can't that state give us a Senator it would be nice to look at? She gives me more tingles than even Barack Obama, and that's saying something. Ha!"
— FAKE! April Fools!

Perhaps the Craziest Thing He's Ever Said

"Hardball is absolutely non-partisan."
— REAL! Matthews said this in a December 2010 interview with local Washington, D.C. host Carol Joynt. (Details)


(Thanks to MRC’s Brent Baker, Tim Graham, Rich Noyes, Geoffrey Dickens, Scott Whitlock, Brad Wilmouth, Kyle Drennen, Matthew Balan, Matt Hadro and NewsBusters’ Matthew Sheffield who wrote the imaginative fake quotes used in this issue.)

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MSNBC Hardball Humor Chris Matthews