For some reason, MSNBC employs a raving lunatic named Chris Matthews to host a daily program. It’s beyond funny to even speak of “MSNBC editorial standards” at this point, but you’ve got to wonder just how much slander and idiocy they’re willing to tolerate from their employees.
Matthews’ street-corner sandwich board antics reached their nadir on Monday night. In the middle of some incoherent babble about the Earth being flat, the deranged host exclaimed that, contrary to all evidence, certain issues in the Republican primary were very important to “the Grand Wizard crowd over there.”
That’s a Ku Klux Klan reference, for those wondering if the GOP is running a World of Warcraft raid group, and might be in need of a good druid. The Klan was actually an outgrowth of the Democrat party, but it would be a lot to expect Matthews to know that, because the voices in his head don’t talk about Democrats very often.
The “Grand Wizard” eruption caused one of Matthews’ guests to exclaim, “Wait, I resent that! No, come on. What is this Grand Wizard nonsense? Are you saying we’re the Ku Klux Klan? Give me a break!”
His astonishment was understandable, because the guest in question was the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele – who does not, upon first impression, seem a likely candidate for Klan membership:
In Matthews’ defense, it’s possible he suffers from visual as well as auditory hallucinations, and sees a giant purple teddy bear when he looks at Steele.
As to the greater question of MSNBC’s editorial standards, apparently somebody with access to Matthews’ earpiece frequency got nervous, because he came back with this moderately-less-crazy kinda-sorta apology, in which he offers to absolve the presumptive Republican presidential nominee of his presumptive murderous racism, provided he listens to the voices in Matthews’ head and humors them:
I have to go back to an earlier point. I didn’t mean to say Grand Wizard. I want to make it very clear. I believe this: If Romney will come out there and denounce all the birtherism, all this attempt to make Barack Obama some kind of foreigner, who’s not really one of us, not really an American, I’ll be with him on that point.
What, exactly, are you “making very clear,” Chris? You did say “Grand Wizard crowd.” It’s right there on the tape. Are you making it “very clear” that you’re not entirely in control of your vocal cords? If so, shouldn’t you have a different job? And isn’t it long past time for MSNBC to take responsibility for its content, and help you find one?
(Video courtesy of NewsBusters.)
Update: I was far too generous in suggesting that Matthews was unaware of the Klan’s links to the Democrat Party. Thanks to Twitter pal JiangxiDad for reminding me that when an actual member of the Klan, Democrat Senator Robert C. Byrd, passed away in June 2010, Matthews offered an emotional tribute to the great man: