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Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Chris Matthews Update

Try not to laugh too hard as you read Peter Daou's report on that nefarious conservative, Chris Matthews.

Open Letter to Chris Matthews has since received an astonishing 313,000 visits. The blog has chronicled a long string of repugnant remarks by a 'journalist' who maintains a veneer of credibility and impartiality. And today, the notion that Matthews is a neutral reporter has just received a fatal blow. On the heels of Matthews' defense of Joe McCarthy, and a day before a damaging new blog-generated report is due to be released on Matthews' Republican-tilted speaking engagements, Media Matters has just released a report entitled "Hardball for the left, softball for the right: Conservatives dominate on Hardball."

Okay, in all probability, you haven't heard Matthews' defense of Joe McCarthy. Apparently he was on the radio with Michael Smerconish, and talking about the movie Good Night and Good Luck, said:

You know, one-sided, to some extent liberal propaganda. Because you know there Communists – I’m sorry…there were Communists in the government…I could go through the whole list – Elizabeth Bentley, Harry Dexter White, and of course Alger Hiss – there’s a whole gaggle of them.

And the biggest nonsense of this sort of revisionist history is that there wasn’t a Communist threat and that McCarthy was just a drunken fool. Well, he may have been a drunk – he certainly was – and he may have been unable to shoot straight, but there were lots of targets there. He just didn’t hit any.

Having a tough time seeing the defense of McCarthy? Daou, and many other liberal bloggers had no problem spotting it; it's the implication that McCarthy wasn't just a drunken fool. Apostasy!

As for that Media Matters study, the synopsis is here.

Employing the same methodology, Media Matters tallied all guests who appeared on Hardball during the first two months of 2006 and coded them based on party affiliation and ideology. (A list of the guests is here.) The data reflected in these charts show that the number of Republican/conservative guests has been significantly higher than the number of Democratic/progressive guests. In January, Republicans/conservatives led Democrats/progressives 55 to 38 -- a difference of 59 percent to 41 percent. By February, that advantage had increased: Republican/conservatives outnumbered Democrats/progressives 55 to 34, or 62 percent to 38 percent.

Now, if you're smart enough to be reading my blog, you can probably guess where the problem lies in this study. It's whom Media Matters considers to be a Democrat/progressive. Here's the data (PDF file).

Howard Fineman is neutral. Dana Milbank is neutral. Tim Russert is neutral. David Gregory is drunk--err, neutral. Jonathan Turley is neutral. David Ignatius is neutral. Douglas Brinkley is neutral.

Update: The Political Pitbull has some excellent commentary on the Media Matters study as well.
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