Palin and Bachmann Nitpicker Chris Matthews Says Panama Canal Is In Egypt

As NewsBusters has been reporting almost ad nauseam, Chris Matthews spent much of last week mercilessly lambasting Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann with cherry-picked and distorted quotes far afield of their intended meaning.

On Friday, the “Hardball” host got a touch of instant karma when he said the Panama Canal is in Egypt (video follows with transcript and commentary):

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: You know, the great thing about Egypt is it’s its own country. It was always there before there was an America or Britain or anything, there has been an Egypt. It’s like China. It’s a real country. It wasn’t just carved off the map or out of the map by the Europeans, like so many African and third world countries have.

It’s got a real rooted history. It’s not just an Arab country. It was a country long before it was an Arab country -- long before Islam, there was an Egypt. Will it see itself in this moment of chaos as joining a greater Islamic world or is holding to its national identity?

AMB. MARC GINSBERG, FMR. U.S. AMBASSADOR TO MOROCCO (via telephone)GINSBERG: There’s no doubt that the Egyptians view themselves as the center of culture in the Arab and the Muslim world and the center of Islamic learning. I studied there. I used to take classes at the al-Azhar University, which is considered to be the pre-eminent Islamic institution in the Muslim world, Chris.


GINSBERG: And the fact is that there’s enormous pride going back to the history of the pharaohs. The Egyptians embrace their ancient culture. But they’re very dissatisfied with their current regime.

MATTHEWS: Well, let me ask you about the prospects we’re looking at as an American. We’re looking at the map of the world right now and where Egypt sits in the world. It’s so strategically located. It has, of course, the Nile River. It has, of course, the Panama Canal.

Someone must have spoken in Matthews’ earplug, for he corrected himself moments later:

MATTHEWS: It is the largest and only true partner even if it’s a cold peace with Israel. It is, in fact, the key to whatever Middle East peace we’re able to arrange in our lifetime. It always tends to support the moderate forces in - the Suez Canal. It has always supported the moderate forces in that region.

In fairness, I know full well that Matthews is aware of what countries these respective canals reside in.

This was a mistake. People make them.

The problem is that folks like Matthews, who so desperately hate Palin and Bachmann, are hanging on their every utterance looking to pounce on anything that can be twisted and misconstrued to embarrass and defame these conservative women.

As we demonstrated last week, this is even when the comments aren’t nearly as out of line as people like Matthews claim.

Contrary to the prevailing liberal meme, Bachmann did not state last Saturday that the Founding Fathers ended slavery before the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil War.

Unlike what Matthews reported Thursday, Palin did not say the Russians beat us in the Space Race. Even the perilously liberal Tommy Christopher admitted as much Saturday.

Compounding matters further is folks like Matthews give Democrats a pass when they commit faux pas. Consider all the gaffes and blunders made by candidates Barack Obama and Joe Biden that went completely uncovered during the 2008 campaign.

What Americans have painfully learned in recent years is that when people on the Left err, so-called journalists consider them only human. But when conservatives are caught even coming close to making a slip of the tongue, they’re unfit for office.

With this in mind, Matthews better be darned careful, for if he’s going to demand perfection from conservatives, we’re going to demand it of him.

What's good for conservative geese should be good for liberal gander.

(H/T NB reader Miles Taylor)

Hardball MSNBC Marc Ginsberg Sarah Palin Michele Bachmann
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