On Ratings-Challenged MSNBC, Matthews Slams Bachmann and Palin

Thursday, 27 Jan 2011 09:29 PM

By Hiram Reisner

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As MSNBC continues to face an overall ratings challenge, “Hardball” host Chris Matthews on Thursday maintained his obsession with Rep. Michele Bachmann, ridiculing her word pronunciation and history knowledge, and wondering whether those in the GOP, who chris,matthews,michele,bachmann,sarah,palinmight be considering her for a 2012 presidential run, are “insane.”

Matthews then focused on former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Calling the two GOP women “dueling banjos,” he asked whether the Republican Party is trading “smart for spark” in looking for a GOP candidate, in light of recent polls showing President Barack Obama’s popularity surging.

Bachmann "mispronounces words like 'scourge' and 'Iwo Jima.' It's like she never said these words before,” Matthews said. “Somebody is writing words that she never pronounced before. It's scourge not 'scoorge.' It's Iwo Jima not Iwo 'Jamma.' But, if you've never pronounced it before or said it before, you say Iwo 'Jamma.'

“It’s insane that a political party would consider a person like this for president,” he said. “It’s insane.”

Although MSNBC has seen its ratings rise since Keith Olbermann’s departure, particularly in his old 8 p.m. time slot, many websites and bloggers have speculated this might be a temporary spike fueled by curiosity and publicity surrounding the “Countdown” host’s removal. The ratings, however, continue to pale compared with the competition.

For several consecutive nights, Matthews obsessively has taken Bachmann to task for her limited knowledge of history. Some websites and bloggers even have labeled Matthews’ relentless attacks as misogynistic.

Matthews on Thursday added Palin to the mix, focusing on Palin’s response to Fox News host Greta Van Susteren’s question about a “Sputnik moment." Palin said that Obama, who used "Sputnik moment" to illustrate the need for the United States to be innovative in the face of challenge, needs to remember what happened to the Soviet Union.

“Yes, they won [the space race], but they also incurred so much debt at the time that it resulted in the inevitable collapse of the Soviet Union,” Palin told Van Susteren on Wednesday.

Matthews said the United States won the space race and the collapse of the USSR occurred decades after the Sputnik satellite launch in 1957.

“Why would Sarah Palin say we lost the space race when everybody on Planet Earth knows we got to the moon first?” he asked. “Forty-some years later, they went bottom up. Economically what is she talking about? Who is putting this garbage in her head?”

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