While hyping his new book on John F. Kennedy on Friday, Chris Matthews seemed to connect "vicious" "right-wing" "hate" to the assassination of the nation's 35th president. At no time in his Hardball editorial did Matthews admit that the President's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was a pro-Communist leftist, who, at one point in his life, defected to the Soviet Union.
Speaking of Kennedy's trip to Dallas in November of 1963, Matthews connected, "[Kennedy] was living the life of an American politician, trying to figure things out politically, trying to figure out what was in the water down there in Dallas that made some people so viciously right-wing. An hour later, he was gone." [MP3 audio here. See video below.]
The cable host wondered, "What made Dallas so right-wing, he kept asking the two men in the car with him that drizzly Friday morning in November. Why were they attacking him as a traitor?"
In fact, Matthews left out any mention of Oswald at all. In addition to defecting to the Soviet Union, the President's killer also passed out leaflets for the communist Fair Play for Cuba Committee.
His two sentences that JFK was trying to figure out why people, who are so "viciously right-wing," "hate him" and that, "an hour later, he was gone," seem to link the assassination with conservatives.
A transcript of the October 28 segment can be found below:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let Me Finish tonight with this- on a Friday morning in the fall of 1963, an American president traveled through Texas, trying to figure the state out. What made Dallas so right-wing, he kept asking the two men in the car with him that drizzly Friday morning in November. Why were they attacking him as a traitor? Why were they spitting on his people?
One of his hosts, Congressman Jim Wright of Fort Worth laid it out on the right-wing press in Dallas. Governor John Connelly, the other politician in the car with him, the visiting president, chalked it up to the economy. Unlike the city like Fort Worth, the city of stockyards and factory floors, where the visiting president had just gotten warmly cheered, the city of Dallas was filled with white collar office buildings, people there all wanted to make it to the higher floor, wanted to move to their insurance and financial companies. They were voting the way their bosses voted, voting their aspirations to get to the next floor.
Who knows what make one city so different from another politically? Jack Kennedy was just trying to sort it all that morning. He was living the life of an American politician, trying to figure things out politically, trying to figure out what was in the water down there in Dallas that made some people so viciously right wing. An hour later, he was gone.
Next week, my book comes out, "Jack Kennedy, Elusive Hero." It answers the question that we all want answered when we read a biography. What was he like? To answer it, I've gone to the oral histories and accounts of people who went to school with him, fought in World War II with him, hung out with him as a close friend, lived the rough political life with Jack, watched him grow from rich kid to the leader who saved us from a nuclear war in the Cuban missile crisis.
I received a call the other day from an old political pal of Jack's. He just finished my book. He said I brought Jack Kennedy back alive. That's what I wanted to do, what I`m asking you to do, help me do it.
You can order a copy now of "Jack Kennedy, Elusive Hero." There's going to be a lot of excitement about the book next week. I'm asking you to order one now and discover what I've discovered, how we once had a hero for a president, with much to teach our current one.