WaPo: 'Sorry, Chris Matthews: Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan Were Terrible at Averting Shutdowns'

September 30th, 2013 4:32 PM

As NewsBusters previously reported, Tea Party Congressman Raul Labrador (R-Id.) on Sunday's Meet the Press made a fool of MSNBC's Chris Matthews over his lack of knowledge regarding how many times the government shut down when his former boss Tip O'Neill was Speaker of the House.

As it turns out, the Washington Post also mocked Matthews for his ignorance last Thursday in a piece deliciously titled "Sorry, Chris Matthews: Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan Were Terrible at Averting Shutdowns."

Our story begins with Thursday's Politico Playbook excerpting a segment from Matthews' new book "Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked":

"The outsider and the insider: these two moved in a remarkable, if sometimes rough, tandem. They argued mightily, each man belting out his separate, deeply cherished political philosophy - but then they would, both together, bow to this country's judgment. Decisions were made, action taken, outcomes achieved. They honored the voters, respected the other's role. Each liked to beat the other guy, not sabotage him. During this period, government met its deadlines. Members of Congress listened and acted. Debates led to solutions. Shutdowns were averted."

"Shutdowns were averted?"


Aaron Flint, the editor of The Flint Report, wisely observed Thursday - as did NewsBusters Sunday - that the Washington Post just the previous day had chronicled all the nation's government shutdowns including seven when Reagan was President and O'Neill Speaker.

Flint told me by email that he contacted the Post Thursday to apprise them of how its piece contradicted Matthews' book. This apparently led to the Post's article hours later.

As such, we have a truly astounding alignment of the planets here: the Washington Post and a Tea Party Congressman making a fool of MSNBC's Chris Matthews.

Readers are advised to take a picture for this doesn't happen often.