Watching news programs often is an exercise in futility but it is important to realize why 34% of this country still stands with the most corrupt administration in modern history. The corporate media is so firmly in the pocket of this administration that it should not be surprising when the evening news shows become an infomercial for the GOP and the Bush White House.
Today should have been a day to discuss the admittance of bribery by Randy Duke Cunningham, Republican Congressman from California. A tearful Cunningham resigned today after being busted for accepting 2.4 million dollars in bribes to secure defense contracts for MZM, Inc. The tears were not for some sense of grand wrong-doing, but rather simply because he got caught. Amongst the 2.4 million in bribes were cash, antiques, a yacht, vacation expenses and money for his daughter's graduation party, so save your tears Congressman, this clearly was not a lapse. I want to believe in the inherent goodness in everyone but let us not lose sight of the fact that when these revelations first came to light, Congressman Cunningham flat out denied the allegations and only saw the light and confessed when the prosecutors case was overwhelming and a deal was offered.
Instead of this story, Chris Matthews started Hardball tonight by talking about the new revelations that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is close to either indicting or cutting a deal with Karl Rove. At least that was the premise of the segment. Instead, Matthews played softball with Bush apologist John Fund and in the middle of the discussion Chris Matthews showed exactly where he stands by saying:
Excuse me Chris? The current approval rating for this president stands at 34% so unless 66% of this country are whack jobs on the left, I am afraid that you have been exposed for the whore that you are. This is the kind of garbage that passes for news every night in America. The notion that in order to dislike this president you have to be a whack job or even on the left is moronic on its face. It is not only these inane comments but Matthews refusal to call the Bush apologists on their lies that cements him as an operative for this administration. During this very segment John Fund again reiterated the silly notion that the economy is doing really well. This is the same lie Fund tells every time he appears on Matthews show. If Matthews was a journalist he would have asked Fund to explain how the economy is doing so well in light of the fact that in JUST THE PAST WEEK, we have seen the following stories:
GM set to raise India workforce by 30%
GM slashing 30,000 jobs, closing plants
Ford to cut 4,000 white-collar jobs
How about that our trade deficit is at an all time high? How about the increase in people living in poverty? Increases in the jobless? How about the defeat of the minimum wage hike and the proposed cuts to food stamps and services to the poor? How in the world can Chris Matthews sit there and pretend he is anything else but a shill for this administration when his guests can lie for Bush without fear of being called on it while he personally disparages 66% of this country as whack jobs?
Eventually Matthews got around to one segment on the Cunningham story. He had on Nora ODonnell and tried his best to minimize what Duke Cunningham had done by saying to ODonnell, this was just old school fundraising, right? Old school fundraising Chris? This guy took a Rolls Royce and a yacht, in return for millions of dollars in defense contracts. The company in question, MZM, Inc. was also handed a contract for $140,000 to purchase office furniture for the White House. A defense and intelligence firm was handed a contract to purchase office furniture for the White House??? ODonnell was having none of it and correctly slapped Matthews back in place by saying, this was bribery Chris, he has admitted that he is a criminal, he is going to jail. Too bad this was not a big deal to the king of Softball, playing the part of a journalist without doing any actual journalism.
With no apologies to Chris Matthews, this is not old school fundraising, it is new school corruption. Randy Cunningham abused the public trust and only broke down in tears because he got caught. He is only todays poster child though. The top republican in the Senate is under investigation for securities fraud. The top republican in the House of Representatives, already admonished three times by his own party for ethical violations, is under indictment. The top man for the Vice President is under indictment for five felonies. The top man for the president appears to be on the verge of cutting a deal or facing indictment. The Vice President himself lobbies for CIA exemption for torture on the same day the President says, we dont do torture. This is all from a man and a party who promised to usher in an era of personal responsibility?