Friday, January 20, 2006

In *GASP!* Defense of Chris Matthews

The left is having a conniption fit over a statement made by Chris Matthews in which he “compared” Osama Bin Laden to Michael Moore on Hardball yesterday:

On Hardball today, Chris Matthews compared Michael Moore to Osama Bin Laden while discussing the newly released tape with Joe Biden.

Matthews: I mean he sounds like an over the top Michael Moore here, if not a Michael Moore. You think that sells...

Talk about pandering to the right wing let alone an out-right smear in the worst way. Not only is he making a comparison, but he's calling Michael Moore-"Osama." If he compared a conservative figure to Osama what do you think would happen? Chris Matthews owes Michael Moore an apology and fast.

Apology for what? Pointing out the obvious!

First, lets get the facts straight. Matthews, who I would argue could never be accused of pandering to the right wing, made the comparison that Bin Laden sounded like Michael Moore, not that Michael Moore was his equivalent.

Not that I would normally go out of my way to defend Chris Matthews, and its not likely to happen again in my lifetime, but a quick google search for “Michael Moore quotes” proves that Matthews has a point. If you read the Bin Laden text and compare it to some of Michael Moore’s most famous quotes, you can actually see where Matthews is coming from.

Below are some comparisons of portions of the translated audiotape of Bin Laden, to actual quotes made by Michael Moore at various times. It didn’t take long to spot some very interesting similarities:

Bin Laden:

However, what prompted me to speak are the repeated fallacies of your President Bush in his comment on the outcome of the US opinion polls, which indicated that the overwhelming majority of you want the withdrawal of the forces from Iraq, but he objected to this desire and said that the withdrawal of troops would send a wrong message to the enemy.


A majority of this country opposes this war ... a majority of this country never voted for this administration.” –Michael Moore

Bin Laden:

The Pentagon figures indicate the rise in the number of your dead and wounded, let alone the huge material losses, and let alone the collapse of the morale of the soldiers there and the increase in the suicide cases among them.


“This film is full of American troops over in Iraq, telling you, the audience, how demoralized they are because the Bush administration has sent them over there on a lie,”
-Michael Moore

Bin Laden:

I say that despite all the barbaric methods, they have failed to ease resistance, and the number of mujahideen, praise be to God, is increasing.


“The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not 'insurgents' or 'terrorists' or 'The Enemy.' They are the revolution, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow - and they will win.”-Michael Moore

Bin Laden:

There is no defect in this solution other than preventing the flow of hundreds of billions to the influential people and war merchants in America, who supported Bush's election campaign with billions of dollars.


“The motivation for war is simple. The U.S. government started the war with Iraq in order to make it easy for U.S. corporations to do business in other countries. They intend to use cheap labor in those countries, which will make Americans rich.”-Michael Moore

(Emphasis mine)

Now you can say that Matthews shouldn’t have compared the two in any way, but to claim there is no similarity in the talking points of Osama Bin Laden and Michael Moore is completely absurd.

Sure, they aren’t identical word for word, but they don’t have to be for Matthews to be right. Osama Bin Laden only has to sound as if he has been reading Moore’s talking points for Matthews’s statement to be true. It just isn’t terribly difficult in this instance to meet that standard.

Of course, Matthews is still an obnoxious, self-serving jackass, but this is one of those extremely rare occurrences where he owes an apology to no one.

(He does, however, still owe one to Michelle Malkin and a host of others whose list is too long to publish here.)

UPDATE 10:33pm: Along the same lines, Tom Maquire notes this is not the first time Bin Laden has used Moore's talking points:

Well - if Osama has chosen to adopt Michael Moore's rhetoric, it would not be the first time. Bin Laden also made a reference to "The Pet Goat" after Moore popularized that Florida classroom incident in his film.

And why the fuss, anyway? Moore bashes Bush, Osama bashes Bush - surely the rhetoric might overlap at times, and if Osama is aping Moore, why should that be an outrage to Moore?

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