Chris Matthews is a Shill for the Insider Machine

Mahatma Gandhi supposedly once said about all successful political revolutionaries that “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Gandhi was, of course, talking about his own struggle against British colonialism, but his famous line is as relevant today as it was in the 1920s or 1930s. Case in point: how the powers-that-be and their allies in the mainstream media are responding to Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.

First, they ignored him. Then, when Bernie started surging in the polls and they couldn’t get away with ignoring him, they laughed at him and said he was just another long-shot protest candidate.

When that didn’t work, they went on the attack. They dug up dirt from Bernie’s past that wasn’t really dirt and distorted his record to accuse him of being bad on race, guns, and immigration.

Well, those attacks apparently didn’t work either, because now the mainstream media has started going after Bernie for, you guessed, it being a “socialist.”

The man leading this line of attack is MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, who first brought it up on an episode of Hardball Thursday night when he asked DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz the difference between a “Democrat like Hillary Clinton and a socialist like Bernie Sanders.”

Schultz couldn’t give a straight answer and flubbed the question once again when Chuck Todd asked her it on Meet the Press Sunday. That’s when Chris Matthews, who was also a guest on Meet the Press, stepped in and gave the answer he’d been looking for all along.

The difference between socialist and Democrats, Matthews said, was that socialists want the government to control the entire economy while Democrats just want to make small reforms to the economy help out the poor.

Matthews went on to say that the reason Debbie Wasserman Schultz wasn’t making the distinction between socialists and Democrats was that she didn’t “want to offend the Bernie people.”

First things first, Chris Matthews is totally wrong about Bernie Sanders and socialism. I know Bernie, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned from years of talking to him it’s that he’s not a socialist, or at least not the kind of socialist Chris Matthews says he is.

He’s a democratic socialist, which as he explained to George Stephanopoulos earlier this year, just means that he wants to make America more like Scandinavia, a region, by the way, that has a flourishing market economy and is home to 4 of Forbes’ top 10 countries to do business in.

Got that? All Bernie Sanders wants to do is make American more like Scandinavia. He doesn’t want the government to take over the economy. I repeat, he doesn’t want the government to take over the economy. And that’s because state control over the economy isn’t a democratic socialist idea.

Sure, it’s a communist idea, but democratic socialists like Bernie have zero interest in Soviet-style communism. They’re all about regulated capitalism; they just don’t want it having anything to do with the commons.

Sounds pretty harmless, right? Not if you’re Chris Matthews.

You won’t hear this on Fox So-Called News, CNN, MSNBC, or any of the traditional letter networks, but the real divide in Washington isn’t between Democrats and Republicans, it’s between insiders and outsiders.

Insiders are like the mafia. If you’ve proven your insider bonafides by not straying too far outside what DC elites think is “acceptable,” then you’re a made man who can do no wrong.

But if you do stray outside the acceptable limits of Beltway opinion, and start actually calling for real change, then prepare to catch the wrath of the insider elite. This is what’s going on right now with Chris Matthews’ Bernie Sanders socialism obsession.

Bernie is one of the few true outsiders in DC politics, and his success terrifies career insiders like Chris Matthews because it threatens all the power and influence they’ve gobbled up over the years.

Insiders vs. outsiders - it really is as simple as that.

And that’s something everyone needs to remember as the 2016 presidential campaign moves forward, because the attacks aren’t just going to come from the right - they’re going to come from all over the place from insiders who want to keep the status quo in place and their multi-million dollar paychecks coming.


chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 45 weeks ago

if only every person that sees "Hunger Games" or watches "American Idol" could read this edition of Thom's blog, then the world would be good.

domnogin's picture
domnogin 8 years 45 weeks ago

At least The Hunger Games and the similar Japanese movie shows the dystopia of pitting 24 teens against each other in a fight to the death, with a veneer of glamour for sponsors mentioned but unseen in the first movie.

Gator Girl 8 years 45 weeks ago

This has been my opnion of Chris Matthews for years. He irritates me and I do not like tha manner in which he first asks a question and then keeps interrupting and using up the time alloted to his guests so they cannot give a decent answer without his input.

When I hear about the line-up shake-up onMSNBC I was hoping that Chris was one of them who would be going but, alas, not true.

Willie W's picture
Willie W 8 years 45 weeks ago

Let there be attacks on Bernie!! The more, the better. It means he's building momentum. You don't hear anyone ask. Who's Trump? And, if this keeps up, no one will be asking. Who's Bernie? They are building name recognition. I think that increased reporting on him, both good and bad, will move him forward.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 45 weeks ago

It's really quite amazing to listen to the desperation in the voices of the mainstream media - if you have the stomach to watch that media at all. Bernie certainly has lit a fire under their pots. Personally, I hope the attacks continue. Finally, some quality free publicity. Oh, how the tactics of the wicked against the just tend to backfire right before their very eyes. Indeed, money cannot buy everything... Such as, the truth!

Jay12345's picture
Jay12345 8 years 45 weeks ago

Want to see a Canary Census Budget alternative of all caucuses forcing demos to review majority minority report to read at the plank of convention speeches respondents to numbers backing up overlays on prepared positions to Canary data horserace assessment in impact on recognition of base priorities and how leadership plans to draw off supports into leadership.

stopgap's picture
stopgap 8 years 45 weeks ago

Regarding mainstream news reporters like Chris Matthews, the Gandhi thing works in reverse. First-he won a show on network TV, second-they fought to get rid of him and shipped him down to cable, third-they laughed at him "tingle up and down my leg", fourth-now it's time to ignore him.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 45 weeks ago

I never took "Motor Mouth" very seriously.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 45 weeks ago

Jay12345 -- What?

Arrgy's picture
Arrgy 8 years 45 weeks ago

Chris Mathews has greatly disapointed me with a few things he's said. I've seen him anti war one day and pro war in the same week. When i saw him trash Bernie, he bacame dead to me. Shame on him and his influences.

mathboy's picture
mathboy 8 years 45 weeks ago

What a coincidence, Jay. I have the same combination on my luggage.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 8 years 45 weeks ago

The unregulated capitalist is a person who knowingly destroys our planet because 52 billion in net worth isn't enough. The Democratic Socialist fights for things like green energy, and cradle to grave health care for all. Rich people demonized the word's time we the 99% demonize the word capitalism.

Socialist is a positive word that stands for social and economic justice...I'm a very proud Socialist!...and always will be.

I've seen Wasserman Schultz debate right wingers....there's absolutely zero fight in her....she's a career politician. I'm being polite.

lisalisa2555 8 years 45 weeks ago

Bernie is my hero! I stopped watching Matthews months ago. I used to get a kick out of him, but his rudeness to his guests began to grate on my nerves. Back during the Clinton years, he was a big Clinton basher. Why the sudden love for Hillary? Is this who MSNBC has chosen as our next president? Is he just the water-carrier for MSNBC? Its all a big corporate media distraction! And, by the way, is (or was) Joe Biden running before all of the oxygen got sucked out of the room by the likes of Matthews?

RLTOWNSLEY's picture
RLTOWNSLEY 8 years 45 weeks ago

Further verification that the privately owned Main Stream Media in this country has become the Government's unofficial ministry of propaganda that are given unlimited free access to Tax Payer owned bandwidth, or has that also been privitized without our knowledge ?

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 8 years 45 weeks ago

One guy called a local program on our progressive radio station last week. He said he ran for a U.S. House seat before in a downstate Illinois district.
He was a progressive reform candidate and refused money from corporations and I don't know who else. He then didn't have a lot of money and didn't buy many - if any - ads.
He said that, at events and debates and such, as soon as he got up to speak all the cameras and news microphones would be turned off and nothing he said or did would ever appear in print or on broadcast media.
He said that later on in the campaign some executives from local newspapers and radio and TV stations told him that if he wanted them to give him any coverage he had to buy ads on their broadcast stations and in their newspapers. There's also a privatized bribery, palm greasing and quid pro quo that is an accepted, endemic part of the system.
In Europe, in the '70s, when I was there, all TV and radio was publicly - government - owned and democratically controlled by the people. In West Germany a couple of hours a day were set aside for advertising and commercials didn't interrupt programing.
It was all public broadcasting. The programing was of an immensely higher quality - a PBS kind of level, they weren't of nearly such a consumer society as we and, together with their public funded election campaigns, there were worlds more integrity in their politics.
Socialism indeed, we know who doesn't want it and why.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 45 weeks ago

Thanks for your input. I think anecdotes are the strongest weapon we have to inform the people who are overloaded with the responsibilities of life. It takes bribery to be covered - Wow!

D.Waldman's picture
D.Waldman 8 years 45 weeks ago

This is going to be 1972 all over again. Bernie is going to be shunned by the mainstream, and even if he does manage to get the Democratic nomination, the Democrat power structure will sabotage his campaign... Just like they did to George McGovern. You see, the money people don't really care if Hillary or Jeb win, They know that with either, they will be safe. Bernie is a threat to them, and they will not let him happen. It is going to take an absolute grass roots show of support and campaigning to get Bernie elected, because the machine is going to do everything to prevent it.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 8 years 45 weeks ago

What I'd like to say here would be little too long winded so I'd like to refer people to my blog post which will, I think, give everything anyone needs to know about socialism and democracy - if I may tout my own article/post.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 8 years 45 weeks ago

I don't know why anybody thinks "Hillary is moving to the left." her rhetoric iss moving to the left. She and her husband have always said anything to get elected (and don't say she's different from her husband because they always touted and promoted themselves as a husband and wife team) and not at all shy about campaigning as lefties but, once elected, ignored the people and served the moneyed interests.

Hillary was for the Iraq war - now is against it; was against same-sex marriage, now is for it; has flipped on NAFTA, immigration, Cuba, criminal sentencing, etc.. She probably has more flip flops in her career than any other politician in U.S. history. Why does anybody think we should believe anything she says, now or ever?

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