MSNBC host Chris Matthews shocked a liberal New York studio audience Wednesday night with a joke about killing Fox News analyst Bill O'Reilly.
Matthews made his comment on "The Colbert Report," a Comedy Central show which takes political pot shots, oftem aimed at right-wing TV pundits.
But the audience acted with shock at his comment.
Matthews was on the show to plug his new book, "Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked," about the relationship between Democrat House Speaker Tip O'Neill and Republican President Ronald Reagan. Matthews worked as a top aide for O'Neil for six years.
Host Stephen Colbert asked him why he hadn't called the book "Killing Tip and the Gipper" a reference to O'Reilly's three bestsellers, "Killing Lincoln," "Killing Kennedy" and "Killing Jesus."
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"When are we going to have the book we've really been waiting for, 'Killing O'Reilly?'" Matthews responded. "When's that coming out?"
Some in the audience applauded the line, but many responded with catcalls.
Prior to the question, Matthews had been talking about the research he had done for his book, which, he said, was based on notes he took, "unlike Bill O'Reilly, who gets it from up there," in reference to a comment O'Reilly made in an interview on CBS's "60 Minutes."
In that interview, O'Reilly said that he got the idea for the book "Killing Jesus" from the Holy Spirit.
Matthews said Reagan had one great strength that Obama does not. "He could scare the heck out of the other guy."
"It's better to be feared than loved," he added. "These guys from right-wing districts are not afraid of [Obama], and they're going to stick it out against him and that's why I think this government shutdown is going to go on for weeks."
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