Over the last couple days, I've received four emails from one liberal reader of these columns, repeatedly asking me why conservatives are so 'angry and mean-spirited'. I tried explaining that while anger is common to the human condition, in no way do conservatives have a monopoly on the emotion.



The Seer of MSNBC hath spoken: no matter how good the news might be now for President Bush, he will be in worse shape come the November elections.



In the closing minutes of MSNBC's "Hardball" on Thursday night, guest host Norah O'Donnell was wrapping up with anti-war liberal Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson and anti-war paleoconservative Pat Buchanan. (That should not qualify in any studio as a balanced left-right panel on the war.) MRC's Geoff Dickens noted that O'Donnell couldn't maintain much objectivity as they discussed conservative Sen. Rick Santorum and the new declassified document showing American forces have found 500 WMDs, sarin and mustard gas, in Iraq.



Even before the evidence on Haditha is in, Jack Murtha was ready to accuse American Marines of 'cold-blooded' killings. But let terrorists plan to kill Americans, and - what do you know? - some are quick to ascribe their acts to everything from poverty to insanity.



Norah loves Larry. At least, she loves the way Larry Eagleburger phrased things about North Korea. At the same time, Eagleburger made clear there's no love lost between himself and Dick Cheney, taking some surprisingly acerbic shots at the Veep.



In America, people are innocent until proven guilty, unless of course they are Republican.

No finer example of such legal relativism has occurred in recent memory than the case of President Bush’s top advisor, Karl Rove. For months, virtually every mainstream media outlet proclaimed his guilt regarding the Valerie Plame Wilson affair, or what has been not so affectionately named the CIA-leak case.

Take for example the media’s excitement over pending indictments for Rove. This hit a fevered pitch last fall as Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, after almost two years of research, depositions, and grand jury testimonies, was about to announce his findings on October 28.

Sadly for the drive-by media, no indictments were handed down for Rove that day.

As a result, restaurateurs and bar owners around the country were likely forced to give back millions of dollars in deposits for all the “Rove is Going to Jail” parties that ended up being cancelled by disappointed Democrats coast to coast.

However, hope – which some ironically claim springs eternal – reemerged in late April when Rove appeared in front of a grand jury for the fifth time to answer more of Fitzgerald’s questions. This re-ignited a media firestorm of enthusiasm



On Monday, movie star/director Robert Redford appeared on "Hardball" to discuss environmentalism. Hardballs weren't really expected.



In the Clinton years, the Clintons fans loathed Chris Matthews, locating him firmly inside the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. In the Bush years, Matthews is whacked regularly by the left and by the right. On Monday, MRC's Geoff Dickens found him sounding just like another disgruntled member of MoveOn.org as he interviewed John Murtha: the Democrats are too conservative.



You can almost imagine Chris Matthews wracking his brain as the minutes counted down to Hardball hitting the air this evening. He couldn't permit Pres. Bush's surprise trip to Iraq to stand as an unalloyed triumph. Was Matthews bouncing possible lines off his producers and assistants?

In any case, Chris gave it his best Holy Cross try. Opening the show, he mused:



The host might be different, but the partisan bias is the same.

Norah O'Donnell sat in for Chris Matthews on this evening's Hardball. The first half hour was devoted to a discussion of Haditha, with Norah making frequent allusions to a "failure of leadership" and wondering why President Bush didn't know the facts and disclose them to the press sooner.



For the second day running, Chris Matthews has run a Hardball segment entitled "Does Hill Fit the Bill?" It's his way of asking whether Hillary Clinton would make a good presidential candidate, and, presumably, by play-on-words, whether she's up to the political standard set by Bill.

While Matthews hasn't squarely answered his own question, he clearly seems skeptical about Hillary's personal and political qualities.



The topic was the disconnect between Hillary Clinton's support for the Iraq war and the fact that her coterie is composed of hard-core, anti-war liberals. In discussing it with guest Dee Dee Myers on this evening's Hardball, Chris Matthews let slip that he equates liberalism with 'caring' for peace and human rights.

Here's how it went down. Discussing Hillary's inner circle, Matthews suddenly interjected: