Chris Matthews went bonkers over “freedom and democracy in Egypt” yesterday, devoting his entire hour to the topic, notwithstanding that Egypt’s government is a military junta at the moment. He was swooning over the “people’s demands for democracy” despite the fact that one protestor said that he wanted a job so that he could get married while another said she wanted her son out of prison. Those interviews were typical, with not one person interviewed saying anything about elections or electing leaders or mentioning the concept of democracy.
Lawrence O’Donnell was somewhat more balanced, thrilled by Mubarek’s ouster but exploring the nature of the Military Council and discussing with a couple of “experts” what will be the “next step” for Egypt. A liberal democracy is only one possible outcome for Egypt, and it's not really the most likely one.
Chris Matthews seems to think, and got some “expert” to say, that the people will not settle for anything less, but I am by no means certain of that. The people did not throw Mubarek out because he was a dictator; he had been a dictator for thirty years without them taking that plunge. They threw him out because he had become an incompetent leader and had dragged their nation down into economic ruin.
O’Donnell also recognized that there are things happening in the world other than the events in Egypt, and decided that his entire hour did not need to be devoted to one subject. Of course the things he decided were important…
He did a lengthy comedy routine with Dana Milbank regarding CPAC, only I don’t think he intended for the entirety of it to be comedy, and none of it was actually funny. He also spent time with the “reporter” (omigod, the “reporter” forsooth) who “broke the story” regarding Christopher Lee and the shirtless reply on Craigslist. I don’t know how long that segment lasted because it was his “Final Word” segment and I know where the “off” button is on my television remote.