On Tuesday’s broadcast of Washington, D.C. radio station WMAL’s “Morning Majority,” MSNBC “Hardball” host Chris Matthews denied applying a double standard to his treatment of the tea party and “Occupy” movements. He also claimed he never saw hate-speech protest signs directed at former President George W. Bush — only at President Obama.
“There is a real level of national hatred of the president [Obama] that I hadn’t seen before, certainly not under Clinton, or under Dubya,” Matthews said. “The hatred, the Hitler mustaches — I hadn’t seen that before.”
The Daily Caller’s Mary Katharine Ham, who co-hosts the show, challenged Matthews about his repeated claim that the tea party has great potential for violence, comparing it with the Occupy movement’s substantial record of violence.
But Matthews insisted that tea partiers were a powder keg waiting to explode.
“If you don’t think there’s ever an honest fear of violence around that very hot period of 2010, it was real,” he said. “I think you’re wrong. There’s a real fear on the part of security people that it might get out of hand. The hatred was real and palpable.”
The Occupy movement should get a free pass, Matthews insisted, because its venom wasn’t aimed at a particular person.
“Who were the Occupy people after personally?” he said. “Where was the personal hatred there?”
Still, Matthews claimed he wasn’t the occupiers’ cheerleader-in-chief.
“Did you ever watch me do a show positive about the Occupy?” he said. “You haven’t seen my show. You got me confused with someone else.”