Posts Tagged ‘Chris Matthews’

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) admits all, apologizes to everybody, including Andrew Breitbart

June 6, 2011

At a circus of a press conference, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) admitted tweeting a photo of his brief-covered crotch to a 21-year old college student, then panicking and lying to cover it up. What ethics rule did Weiner break?

The Golden Rule, for one. He hurt a lot of people, starting with his wife, his loyal Congressional staff, the people who believed in him, and apparently, even Andrew Breitbart, the scurrilous right wing defamer and doctorer of videos.

The nearly universal rule against lying, for another. If we lie to each other society crumbles.

The rule that says do what’s expected of you. The voters who sent Weiner to Congress expected –reasonably—different of him.

In addition to the ethics violations Weiner violated the First Law of Washington Scandal: the cover-up is worse than the crime.  In this respect he is forcing his admirers (including me, as of last week) to question his sanity: What in the world was he thinking when he made up those pathetically lame, unbelievable lies. Nobody, no matter their politics, not even Chris Mathews, believed he was telling the truth.

To Weiner’s credit, and there’s not much in this to his credit, he set the standard for apologizing. No “I’m sorry if you thought…” or “I was under the influence of a new allergy prescription,” or (more…)

Chris Matthews and Chris Wallace earn Reinhold Niebuhr award for eviscerating Senate candidates of their own persuasion

October 18, 2010

Chris Matthews and Chris Wallace each earned a (mythical) Reinhold Niebuhr award* for bringing good temper and integrity into the political fight. The highest level of political ethics is to call out members of one’s own party, or people whose politics you’re in general sympathy with. We expect to see MSNBC commentators like Matthews ripping Republicans, just as we expect to see Fox News commentators like Wallace ripping Dems. Ho hum, no surprise there, and no contribution to the integrity of the political fight.

But when California Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina came on Fox News Sunday Wallace grilled her about her plan to close California’s huge budget gap, finally exposing her as an empty suit. And when Kentucky Democratic Senate Candidate Jack Conway came on Chris Matthews’ Hardball show, Matthews grilled him about his campaign ad questioning his opponent’s Christianity, exposing Conway’s ad as baseless and scurrilous.

Our civic society is being ripped by the bitter antagonism between left and right, the worst since the bad old days of Senator Joe McCarthy, red hunts, and leftish defenses of Soviet spies. It’s made worse by the ease of getting all one’s news from a kind of “Daily Me,” an assortment of media that reflect only one’s own bias. Fox News Sunday and MSNBC’s Hardball took a step away from the cartoonish view of them as mouthpieces for liberalism and conservatism. The two Chris’s interviews are in the highest traditions of Niebuhr’s goal of a healthy society.

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*Christian theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote, ‘The temper of and integrity with which the political fight is waged is more important for the health of our society than the outcome of any issue or campaign.”

 

Ann Coulter strikes a blow for civility. (Of all people!)

August 25, 2010

Ethics Bob doesn’t often get a chance to speak up for Ann Coulter and Mitch McConnell, but here goes.

On Meet the Press Sunday, host David Gregory was exploring the implications of the Pew poll that showed that thirty-one percent of Republicans polled think that President Obama is a Muslim. Here’s his exchange with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the Senate minority leader:

MR. GREGORY: As a leader of the country, sir, as one of the most powerful Republicans in the country, do you think you have an obligation to say to 34 percent of Republicans in the country–rather, 31 percent who believe the president of the United States is a Muslim? That’s misinformation.

SEN. McCONNELL: The president says he’s a–the president says he’s a Christian, I take him at his word. I don’t think that’s in dispute.

MR. GREGORY: And do you think–how, how do you think it comes to be that this kind of misinformation gets spread around and prevails?

SEN. McCONNELL: I have no idea, but I take the president at his word.

The liberal media went bananas. Chris Matthews dedicated his entire Hardball show to McConnell’s words, saying. “I take him at his word,” was a “pitch-perfect dog whistle to the haters.” Matthew’s guest, Howard Fineman of Newsweek, pitched in, helpfully explaining that in McConnell’s Kentucky “the nativist appeal outside of Louisville really works (more…)