MSNBC: Chris Matthews’ Fantasy about Bush/Cheney Wrongdoing

On his Monday program, Chris Matthews would have produced gales of laughter if only he had had a live audience – and if only leftists had a sense of humor. Indeed, his guests’ vapid, conspiracy-mongering exchanges would have been serial moments of unintended hilarity. As it stands, Matthews, David Corn, and Ron Suskind merely demonstrated again the way the Left builds its sure pronouncements of Bush administration wrongdoing on assumptions about shadows of penumbras.

Matthews was, again, in a fit over the alleged role Dick Cheney played in not telling Congress about a non-operational non-program the CIA allegedly considered launching but never did, according to anonymous sources.

Assuming this story is true, Matthews asked his guests to analyze its implications. One of his fair-and-balanced analysts was the author (and serial liar) Ron Suskind. The other analyst was David Corn – the Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones, a longtime blogger at The Nation, and co-author of the book Hubris with Michael Isikoff. Corn was last seen trying desperately to link Richard Armitage’s leak of Valerie Plame’s name to the Bush White House.

On Matthews’ show last night, Ron Suskind claimed that President Bush told his CIA to “just make sure it gets done, and Dick [Cheney] will take it from here,” in order to preserve his own plausible deniability about evil counterterrorism programs “the United States never should essentially take responsibility for.”

David Corn then swore to Suskind’s lie, at least until pressed:

David Corn: The CIA serves the president. The president says, “Hey, this is my guy. Go see him.”

Matthews: Do you know if he ever told them that?

Corn: No, I don’t know if he said that.

Matthew himself broke through his other guest’s nonsense:

Matthews: You say this president said to his vice president, “You do this dirty work”  — what he called it, “the dark side” or whatever Cheney called it — “and no, don’t tell me about it.”  Do we know that happened, there was actually a conversation like that?

Ron Suskind: I have no doubt there was that conversation. The fact is –

Matthews: But we don’t know if there was. You just assume.

Nonetheless, Matthews chose to fume against “Chee-nee” (what else is new?) and allowed Suskind to spin the admittedly hypothetical situation into “a violation of the basic issues of accountability in a democracy.”

It may never have happened, but it gave Matthews and his leftist viewers a reason to hate, which seems to be MSNBC’s raison d’etre.

This story originally appeared on Tuesday, July 14, 2009, on NewsRealblog. It has been edited to remove certain clunky insertions made by another blogger.