Establishment press journalists are getting hot under the collar over the growing use of the term "Deep State." They imagine that only nutty conservatives and Republicans believe that the Deep State even exists. Thanks to poor show prep, MSNBC's Chris Matthews found out otherwise in embarrassing fashion on Tuesday evening's Hardball, while one of his show's presentation graphics effectively told 74 percent of Americans that they are "Deranged."
Early Tuesday, MSNBC's Morning Joe decried the use of the term. Co-host Mika Brzezinski dolefully introduced the result of a Monmouth University poll by saying that it was about the "so-called Deep State." The poll shows that 74 percent of Americans, when told what the Deep State is, say it definitely or probably exists.
Monmouth's press release noted that "Belief in the probable existence of a Deep State comes from more than 7-in-10 Americans in each partisan group."
Matthews and his MSNBC crew must have missed the significance of that sentence, because the host frequently displayed a "HOME ON DERANGE" graphic designed to discredit Republicans and President Donald Trump:
After spending time before a commercial break showing clips of center-right critics of the Department of Justice and the FBI describing a conspiracy to elect Hillary Clinton and to discredit Trump if she lost, Matthews opened the next segment by discussing the Monmouth polling results as if they showed that belief in a Deep State was the exclusive province of Republicans.
Only in the final moments before he went to a panel discussion did Matthews belatedly recognize that an equal percentage of Democrats also believe:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: President Trump's defenders argue that there are officials within the Justice Department and the FBI engaged in a mass conspiracy to bring down this president.
They contend that it's part of a so-called "Deep State," a group of unelected government officials manipulating policy.
A new Monmouth University poll found that 72 percent, almost three-quarters of Republicans, believe a Deep State definitely or probably exists. Compare that to a Washington Post poll out just last year in April of 2017. It found that only 45 percent of Republicans believed in a Deep State.
Well the percentage of Democrats who believe in a Deep State has also skyrocketed within the past year, with 72 percent now believing — well, this is Democrats (who) believe this.
Let's bring in the Hardball roundtable. This is confounding.
Matthews then hammered Republican guest John Brabender: "Is there a deep state, John? Are you with Joseph diGenova on this?" He wanted this to just be a GOP thing, this "deep state" suspicion.
The detailed Monmouth poll results show that Independents, at 79 percent, are even stronger believers in the existence of the Deep State than Republicans or Democrats, while 70 percent or more are definite or probable believers regardless of their political ideology:
This polling news comes as the Washington Post's Aaron Blake derided accomplished litigator Joseph diGenova, who is joining the Trump administration's legal team, as "a deep-state conspiracy theorist."
Actually, Aaron, he's just another member of an overwhelming bipartisan national majority — which then begs the following question: is most of the country deranged?
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.