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Matthews says Bush Admin. has “finally been caught in their criminality”

Matthews says Bush administration has “finally been caught in their criminality”

Examiner
October 4, 2007

Chris Matthews had barely finished praising his colleagues at the 10th anniversary party for his “Hardball” show Thursday night in Washington, D.C. when his remarks turned political and pointed, even suggesting that the Bush administration had “finally been caught in their criminality.”

In front of an audience that included such notables as Alan Greenspan, Rep. Patrick Kennedy and Sen. Ted Kennedy, Matthews began his remarks by declaring that he wanted to “make some news” and he certainly didn’t disappoint. After praising the drafters of the First Amendment for allowing him to make a living, he outlined what he said was the fundamental difference between the Bush and Clinton administrations.

The Clinton camp, he said, never put pressure on his bosses to silence him.

“Not so this crowd,” he added, explaining that Bush White House officials — especially those from Vice President Cheney‘s office — called MSNBC brass to complain about the content of his show and attempted to influence its editorial content. “They will not silence me!” Matthews declared.

“They’ve finally been caught in their criminality,” Matthews continued, although he did not specify the exact criminal behavior to which he referred. He then drew an obvious Bush-Nixon parallel by saying, “Spiro Agnew was not an American hero.”

Matthews left the throng of Washington A-listers with a parting shot at Cheney: “God help us if we had Cheney during the Cuban missile crisis. We’d all be under a parking lot.”

Following his remarks, a few network insiders and party goers wondered what kind of effect Matthews’ sharp criticism of the White House would have on Tuesday’s Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan, which Matthews co-moderates alongside CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo.

“I find it hard to believe that Republican candidates will feel as if they’re being given a fair shot at Tuesday’s debate given the partisan pot-shots lobbed by Matthews this evening,” said one attendee.

When reached, the White House declined to comment and NBC refused requests to release video of the event. The event included such NBC/MSNBC brass as NBC Senior Vice President Phil Griffin (the former “Hardball” executive producer called “Hardball” the “best show on cable television”), “Meet the Press” host Tim Russert, “Today” show executive producer Jim Bell, NBC News Specials Executive Producer Phil Alongi, “Meet the Press” Executive Producer Betsy Fischer, NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell, MSNBC Vice President Tammy Haddad, “Hardball” correspondent David Shuster and Vice President for MSNBC Prime-Time Programming Bill Wolff.

On a side note: Matthews was overheard discussing his Tuesday appearance on “The Daily Show,” which featured a heated exchange with host Jon Stewart. According to one source, Matthews was steadfast in his belief that the debate left Stewart crestfallen, and Matthews victorious.

 






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