I Wasn’t There…
Just so you know… Chris Matthews has apparently no Opinion about the Chappaquiddick incident from Ted Kennedy’s early years… because he wasn’t there. In a discussion of why Obama is not getting taken to task for supporting off shore oil drilling (which Maher states people would be laughing at Bush if it had happened under him) Matthews brought up Ted Kennedy.
Maher and Matthews made the following exchange:
Maher: Teddy was, well…
Matthews: He was defending the home turf. The fact is that we got wind farms done…
Maher There are certain things that are unforgiveable. One is what Roman Polanski did. And one is what Teddy Kennedy did. That’s my view.
Matthews: I just don’t know what happened. So you know more than what I know.
Maher: Well, you know what happened at Chappaquiddick. And you know what Roman Polanski did.
With the clarification of Chappaquiddick? Matthews actually played this card:
Matthews: Do you? Do you know what happened? I don’t know.
Maher: You don’t know what happened at Chappaquiddick?
Matthews: No, I don’t know what happened. What happened?
Maher: The car went into the river and ten hours later, he reported it.
Matthews: That’s right. He was too late. You’re right. You got a point there. But I think this wind farm thing…
Yes, Chris Matthews tried to defend Kennedy with the “I wasn’t there” defense. Matthews has guts, I’ll give him that, trying to play dumb. Listen, I have defended Kennedy before… but the truth is, if George Bush had gotten drunk and hit a person with his car and delayed telling anyone we would hang that around his neck for life. Kennedy did good things later in life, but it doesn’t mean Chappaquiddick is negated.
But really, this episode highlighted a whole host of Matthew’s problems. He was constantly talking over everyone and bullying his way through the conversation. Even when people tried to agree, he would push them over as if they were disagreeing with him. He had no respect for any opinion that he did not say. Seriously, not “anything he did not agree with”, but simply if someone else said it, he seemed dismissive.
That said, it was a good episode of Real Time. The other guests did well and were interesting (Democratic Representative Anthony Weiner, economist Laura Tyson, Ross Douthat, who definitely acquitted himself better than prior appearances). In fact, the highlight was the interview with John Bolton.
I’ve never watched Chris Matthews much, but the whole “I wasn’t there and neither do you so we don’t know what happened” is just plain horrid troll logic.
I’m at the very least bending Godwins law here but it seriously reminds me of what you can often hear from Holocaust deniers “You weren’t there, how do you know those Jews died?”
Sure there are some points in history we don’t know what happened, but you can’t make ALL of history be those points, no matter how much it helps your case.
What’s really funny about that argument? It’s never considered an acceptable answer by people who use it if someone uses against them. Matthews would never accept such a cheap defense on his own show.