The first segment on Hardball last night had to do with a march in Washington, and I really think Chris Matthews needs to rename his show Goofball if he’s going to keep up with this sort of thing. The promo at MSNBC says that “A Hardball panel talks about the effect of pro-gun rallies on anti-government sentiment around the country.” If that’s what they were talking about, you could not have proved it by me.
The “panel” was, in addition the ineffable Chris Matthews himself, Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America and Skip Coryell, founder of the 2nd Amendment March. A.K.A. Larry, Curly and Moe.
Chris asked Skip what rights were being denied to him at the moment, and Skip said that normally he would be carrying a sidearm but that he was presently on the Washington Mall and was not being allowed to carry. I thought that was actually a pretty decent answer, and he delivered it in a very civil tone, but things went sharply downhill from there. Chris immediately started yelling at him about how big of a firearm did he think he should be allowed to carry in this country; did he think he should be allowed to carry a bazooka for self defense? Skip asked him what he was talking about and said that he wanted to carry a pistol, and Chris seemed highly offended by that for some reason which he never made clear.
Needless to say, I clarified that conversation considerably here by condensing it. There were no complete sentences in it, and every time Skip tried to answer Chris shouted him down, repeating and amplifying his question about bazookas.
Meanwhile in the background Larry was running on about how everyone, throughout history and in present time, was and is a socialist, including Chris Matthews himself. He did admit to uncertainty as to the politics of
J. Edgar Hoover, who entered the conversation by means of confusion between him and a president of the same last name, which might give you an idea of how clear that part of the segment was.
The segment was rather fun, but certainly lacking in clarity.