Fake News So Bad Chris Matthews Is the Fact Checker? Host Debunks Reid

You know it’s bad when Chris Matthews is your fact checker. The MSNBC host on Tuesday inadvertently took on this role when his colleague Joy Reid claimed Donald Trump has been talking about the “brown scare at the border.” He hasn’t. Reid was awkwardly forced to admit she made up the quote, saying, “That’s not his exact text.”     

Reid began by telling Matthews that the real Donald Trump is someone who “makes up nicknames for people and demand they give him a border wall and talk about the brown scare at the border. That's the Trump he wants to be.” The Hardball host interrupted, excitedly wondering, “Has he actually used that awful phrase? Like the yellow scare? Did he say that?” 

 

 

Reid spun, “That's the essence of what he wants for a border wall.” Matthews mused, “Well, that’s the essence. I’ve never heard him say it.” Finally, Reid backed down: “That's not his exact text.” 

Reid tried a variant of the Dan Rather “fake but accurate” argument: 

That’s not his exact text. But what he is essentially saying to his base, which is who he is president of, this third of the country, that, you know, you know, the brown people at the border are coming to take your jobs or kill you. And that’s who he wants to be. And then there’s a clash, fundamentally between that and the President he keeps being told, including by us, including by the media, that this is who you are supposed to be, based on the other 44 guys who have done the job. 

On Monday night, CNN’s Chris Cuomo attempted a variation of the fake quote. At least Cuomo had the sense to attribute the phrase to himself: 

I know they say the President's address tomorrow night is going to be about unity and working together, but I suspect immigration will be discussed in ways that are inaccurate and divisive and intentionally so. Specifically the talk of the brown menace. That's my derisive description of the President's insistence on selling you a false image of those seeking entry.

Maybe CNN could use Matthews as a fact checker for the network? 

Partial transcripts are below. Click “expand” to read more. 

Hardball
2/5/19
7:03

CHRIS MATTHEWS: I see a President who says he won't even agree to a deal that's struck by the House and Senate conferences on the border wall, a President threatening to override anybody in front of him and declare a national emergency and ignore the Congress. At the same time he's saying, “Let's all get along.” 

JOY REID: Yeah, I think what happens frequently with Donald Trump is there’s this fundamental clash between the person he actually is, which is the guy who wants to attack Chuck Schumer and make up nicknames for people and demand they give him a border wall and talk about the brown scare at the border. That's the Trump he wants to be and the President that he is being told —

MATTHEWS: Has he actually used that awful phrase? Like the yellow scare? Did he say that? 

REID: That's the essence of what he wants for a border wall.

MATTHEWS: Well, that’s the essence. I’ve never heard him say it. 

REID: That’s not his exact text. But what he is essentially saying to his base, which is who he is president of, this third of the country, that, you know, you know, the brown people at the border are coming to take your jobs or kill you. And that’s who he wants to be. And then there’s a clash, fundamentally between that and the president he keeps being told, including by us, including by the media, that this is who you are supposed to be, based on the other 44 guys who have done the job. 

 

Cuomo Prime Time
2/4/19
9:56pm ET 

CHRIS CUOMO: I know they say the President's address tomorrow night is going to be about unity and working together, but I suspect immigration will be discussed in ways that are inaccurate and divisive and intentionally so. Specifically the talk of the brown menace. That's my derisive description of the President's insistence on selling you a false image of those seeking entry. His arguments about drugs and trafficking and gang bangers, we're not a wall away from stopping any of that. And those who keep us safe know it. And so does the President. Overwhelming majority of people who come illegally are looking for work, and they find it. 

 

NB Daily State of the Union MSNBC Hardball Video Chris Matthews Joy Reid
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