Last week Rep. Michele Bachmann from Minnesota was on Hardball with Chris Matthews last week. She made allegations that Barack Obama held un-American views and pretty much went on and implicated a large swath of Congress. She called for a major media investigation into all of this. It really was amazing. It was really over the top. I mean, really over the top.
The result was that her opponent received over $1,000,000.00 in donations as a result of her apperance. The RNC pulled out all of their funding for her. It is looking like her political career has gone down the tubes.
Two things have been said in response by her. First off, she has backed away from her comments. She misspoke, she was misunderstood, etc.
The second thing, of course, was that she blamed Chris Matthews. Actually, in watching the interview, Matthews pretty much let her do the talking only asking points of clarification, often with, 'are you sure...?' She had never watched Hardball (right) and didn't know much about Chris Matthews (right) and he trapped her.
A couple of responses.
First, I suspect that she said what she really thought and really felt. Actually, she spoke with such passion and conviction it was painfully obvious that she said what she really thought and really felt.
Secondly, about Chris Matthews. I watch Chris Matthews a great deal. Matthews is actually usually very gracious and even self-depricating. He is willing to allow people, actually wants people to say what they really think about things. He is painfully fair to people from any perspective and despite is loudness and bluster, is a good interviewer. He does have one streak, however, that people like Michele Bachmann find painfuly. He does not suffer fools gladly. If you show up on Hardball and can answer questions with a sense of coherence and knowledge, he's great. If you are a fool, however, when he's done with you people will know that you are a fool. If you are not knowledgeable and show up on his show saying things that you don't know much about, the world will know of your ignorance.
Some time back a radio talk show host was comparing Barack Obama with Neville Chamberlain with appeasement. Matthews asked his guest what exactly Chamberlain had done in appease Hitler. He asked the question probably two dozen times and the guest only kept repeating that he 'appeased.' Matthews was looking to hear the name Czeckoslovokia.
He never heard it. It was obvious the man did not know what Chamberlain had actually done. He, of course, like Bachmann, blamed Matthews for trapping him. If we get trapped in our own ignorance it is not the person who exposes our ignorance to the world who is at fault, it is us.