Accuracy in Media

Chris Matthews acted like he was panning for gold in Alaska last Friday on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” but he found nothing but sand.

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Matthews: So here we go.  It’s Christmas morning you’re opening up Santa’s mailbox here or Santa’s pack. Mike Isikoff what do you have in the bag so far?

Isikoff: A lot of wrappings to go through to get to find the nuggets. Look, there are some interesting emails from political aficionado’s showing how closely she was interested in the talk about her being a possible vice presidential running mate. She was getting inundated with emails from around the country when talk about John McCain might pick her as his running mate. Even well before he actually did Palin was closely watching them, closely reading them, forwarding them to a website. And clearly watching very closely what the reactions were both in the media and in the political world. There’s also references to a lot of the controversies that she was facing as governor. The firing of the public safety commissioner who had resisted her husband’s efforts to get rid of that state trooper who was in the messy divorce with Sarah Palin’s sister. But I gotta say so far I don’t think anybody’s found any bombshells here.  Some interesting political emails, one in which she’s praising candidate Barack Obama’s energy speech. I think that’s going to be of interest to people.

Matthews: Well let’s look at that. Here we have that Michael. Let’s show that. Palin praised, like you just said, Obama’s energy policy three weeks before she joined McCain’s ticket.  Quote “He gave a great speech this morn in Michigan-mentioned Alaska. Stole ou(r) energy rebate $1000 check idea, stole our TC-Alaska gasline talking point, etc. So… we need to take advantage of this and write a statement saying he’s right on. (Glad he’s flipflopping on OCS, too.) Joe- Could you help crank this quick statement out as our ‘reaction” to some of Obama’s good point this morning”

And in a follow-up email the governor said:

‘He did say ‘Yea’ to our gasline. Pretty cool. Wrong candidate.”

“Well,” said Matthews, “that’s such, sort of, a tweeter language there.

“But just a minute, let’s go to David. It seems like you may have caught her there cheering  the enemy, her enemy.

Corn responded, “There’s to that” and then moved on to another email that he thought was more damaging, relating to a religious event with Pastor John Hagee, whom Corn pointed out was later denounced by McCain.

But just like the email in which Palin commented on Obama, which was much ado about nothing, Matthews and Corn couldn’t show that Palin knew that much about Hagee’s views and therefore hit another dead end in trying to find anything damning on Palin.

Matthews then asked Isikoff if he found anything more in the emails. Isikoff added that Palin was known as a pragmatic reformer and that it was clear that she underwent a transformation after she was selected to be McCain’s running mate.

That was it? The best Matthews and his guests could do was come up with an email where Palin praised candidate Obama before she became a candidate herself in which she also said that he flip-flopped and was the wrong candidate? Not exactly a ringing endorsement. And a potential tie to a controversial pastor, once again long before she became a national figure?

As Isikoff said at the beginning of the segment, there were no bombshells in the emails that had been reviewed to date, but Matthews certainly did bomb in his attempt to paint Palin as a moron.

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