Accuracy in Media

MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews could hardly contain his glee Thursday night at the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the individual mandate provision, as a tax, of the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. He compared it to the seventh game of an NBA series in which a team wins 98-97, but nonetheless it’s the whole ballgame.

Matthews, who started off his show by calling it “one of the great days in this country’s history,” blasted conservatives, the Koch Brothers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for their efforts to defeat Obamacare. He was so giddy with enthusiasm that he even praised Chief Justice John Roberts for siding with the liberals on this issue by casting the deciding vote. That will probably be the first and last time that will happen.

Matthews and MSNBC contributor Howard Fineman said they felt that the decision may have saved Obama’s campaign, while New York Magazine’s John Heilemann rained on Matthews’ parade a bit by saying that the law is still unpopular despite today’s decision.

That didn’t sit well with Matthews who told Heilemann not to be “Debbie Downer.”

A couple of minutes later, Fineman lost his train of thought and exclaimed, “I forgot what I was going to say because I am so damn excited,” to which Matthews commented “I am too!” He said the only person who isn’t excited is Heilemann, since the normally reliable liberal had the audacity to point out the danger ahead if the Democrats trumpet an unpopular law.

There is no doubt that today’s Supreme Court decision was a major victory for the President and the Democrats who helped him pass the law two years ago. On the other hand, this over-the-top euphoria by liberals in the media, like Matthews and Fineman, may come back to bite them in November. The decision is sure to galvanize conservatives and Republicans, much like it did in 2010, and could give them the momentum and the votes they need to win both the presidency and the Senate. If that happens, it would deal a death blow to the law in the end.

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