Chris Matthews on Tuesday called "Rules for Radicals" author Saul Alinsky one of his heroes.

This admission came only five days after the "Hardball" host proudly admitted on the air that he was a liberal.

"I always try to remind myself of Saul Alinsky when I get confused," Matthews told "Hardball" guest Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont).

Such was revealed as the pair discussed the fate of healthcare reform (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t Story Balloon):

It's an issue that libertarian Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a self-proclaimed socialist agree on: Congress should have the authority to call for the Federal Reserve to be audited.

But it is also something that some in the financial media are reluctant to support, especially judging from the tone of CNBC "The Call" co-host Trish Regan and comments CNBC senior economics reporter Steve Liesman. On the Nov. 20 broadcast of "The Call," CME Group reporter Rick Santelli made the case that Federal Reserve should be audited. He cited opposition to the Fed audit proposal from Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., which was based on Congress' inability to be fiscally responsible.

"He said, ‘You know, there independence is important to protect the soundness of the dollar,'" Santelli said. "Has he read any papers lately or looked at any charts? Come on. Amen, amen that this process is happening. They're not taking away their independence to make a decision on interest rates. We need to know where the money is going. I remember when Ben Bernanke faced committees of elected officials and said, ‘We can't audit the Fed because then you might look unfavorably on some of the counterparties we deal with. That's like finding paraphernalia under your kids bed and then not asking where he got it."

If Bernie Sanders is “left-leaning,” what does it take to be “liberal”?

New York Times writer Edmund L. Andrews referred to Sanders as a “left-leaning independent” in his article “Under Attack, Fed Chief Studies Politics.”

Jim DeMint was labeled as a “conservative Republican.”

Only in the mind of a liberal media journalist would Sen. Joseph Lieberman and Sen. Bernie Sanders be considered ideological "polar opposites," but that’s what NBC's Chuck Todd, during a piece aired on the health care debate on Tuesday's Today show, declared.

CHUCK TODD: Meanwhile, the Senate's two Democratic independents, polar opposites ideologically, are split over the bill's government-run public option and both are threatening to scuttle the process if they don't get their way.

SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN: If the public option plan is in there as a matter of conscience, I will not allow this bill to come to a final vote.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: It would be outrageous to me that when you have an overwhelming majority of Americans wanting a strong public option that we do not deliver that.

While the two may be split on a government-run option, that’s just one of the very rare times the two disagree as Lieberman's lifetime ACU rating is 15.96 and Sanders comes in at 6.44, hardly "polar opposites."

The following is the complete Todd piece, that featured mostly Democratic soundbites (only a brief excerpt of a GOP ad represented the Republican view) as it was aired on the November 10, Today show:

Rick Sanchez, CNN Anchor; & Senator Bernie Sanders | NewsBusters.orgCNN’s Rick Sanchez conducted a softball interview of Senator Bernie Sanders on Thursday’s Newsroom, during which the two railed against the influence of the wealthy in politics. Sanchez omitted the large donations Sanders has received from unions while taking other senators to task for receiving corporate money, and seemed to endorse the senator’s push for the public financing of elections.

The CNN anchor began the segment by lamenting how $375 million has apparently been spent “mostly by the health and insurance influence this important debate” on health care “reform,” barely mentioning the spending by “those who back the President.” He then introduced Senator Sanders as an “an independent from Vermont who is convinced that politics has become way too corporatized, if not controlled.” Sanchez did not mention how the Vermont Senator self-identifies as “democratic socialist” and has almost consistently supported left-wing causes throughout his political career.

It's not enough that much of the mainstream media cheered on Barack Obama to the presidency in 2008 or browbeat former President George W. Bush on Iraq and Afghanistan to force Republicans from control of Congress. No, it's time for a "progressive television network" and for left-wingers to support radio hosts that are sympathetic to liberal causes according to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. 

You may have thought there already was a "progressive" cable network in MSNBC and left-wingers sort of had an opportunity to support Air America, but that didn't quite pan out as anticipated - though it's still hanging on. Nonetheless, Sanders, a self-described socialist, appeared on MSNBC's Aug. 13 "Rachel Maddow Show" and blasted Fox News and conservative talk radio. He blamed both for creating obstacles to Democratic Party led efforts to fundamentally alter health care in the United States. But he also said it's time the left attempted to replicate the right and created their own left-wing networks.

On Friday’s "Good Morning America," reporter David Wright sought out a socialist, a liberal activist and a Democrat to bash President Bush for failing, thus far, to visit Vermont during his two terms in office. However, he didn’t discuss how President Clinton similarly neglected Nebraska for nearly eight years. Following up on a CNN report about Bush’s "snub," co-host Robin Roberts began the segment by asking why the Commander in Chief was giving the state a "cold shoulder." An ABC graphic continued the complaining, it read, "Vermont Feeling Left Out: Why Won’t The President Visit?

While Wright found time to note that the northern state is "eco-smart and gay-friendly," he managed to ignore the fact that Bill Clinton didn’t visit Nebraska until a little over a month before his term ended. (In its report, CNN did mention this point.) The ABC correspondent spent much of his segment discussing Bush’s absence with Vermont Senators Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy, one a Democrat, the other a self-described socialist, and also Ben Cohen, a liberal activist and founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.

CNN used an old tactic in the mainstream media’s play book - a person overcome by emotion - to drive home the point they wanted to make - that the only state that hasn’t been visited by President Bush is Vermont. In a segment during the 4 pm hour of "The Situation Room" detailing this apparent "snub," CNN chief national correspondent John King played a clip from an interview of Regina Gilbert, the mother of Kyle Gilbert, who was killed serving in Iraq four years ago. Gilbert fought back tears as she made her plea for a visit from the President.

Video (1:46): Real (1.54 MB) or Windows (1.74 MB), plus MP3 audio (309 kB).

Fox News is using its mighty power to bully the mainstream media into promoting yet another war, left-wing activist/filmmaker Robert Greenwald and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are warning. Claiming that "Fox wants war with Iran," Greenwald is urging other news networks -- ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and CNN -- "not to follow Fox down the road to war again."


Greenwald and Sen. Sanders (I-Vt.) are touting a new viral ad campaign for the filmmaker's anti-Fox video "exposing" what Fox News supposedly is doing. According to Greenwald, Fox News engaged in "daily fear-mongering" in the days leading up to the war with Iraq, serving as a media cheerleader for the U.S.-led war.