August 19, 2004

Michelle, You Ignorant…

Goofy right-wing pundit Michelle Malkin, who you may recall accusing yours truly of “ad hominem attacks” a few weeks ago after I criticized her book, came up with a hell of an ad hominem of her own tonight- during a debate over the swift-boat book/ad, Malkin threw out the nugget that John Kerry had actually faked his Vietnam combat wounds.

This unleashed a torrent of righteous indignation from Chris Matthews, who had earlier grilled one of the involved veterans who did not mention the “self-inflicted wounds” charge, as apparently it originated in Malkin’s ass. Matthews accused Malkin of libel and gave her five chances to take the comment back, but she dug an even bigger hole, wondering why the “mainstream media” hadn’t ever asked Kerry whether or not his war wounds were legit. Yes, she really did say that.

I’ll post the transcript as soon as it’s available, but in the meantime Matthews had this to say on Hardblogger:

“Tonight on 'Hardball,' one of our guests pushed the idea that John Kerry had won his Purple Heart by deliberately shooting himself. The charge was without merit and baseless, as our guest under close questioning herself admitted.

We'll keep covering the political issues and will stand up against any attempt to broadcast misinformation.”

I generally try to stay above the fray of typical day-to-day campaign bullshit, and not get “outraged” by the prescribed DNC and RNC talking points, in which outrage is always the ultimate goal. But this “Swift Boat Veterans” thing is way beyond the pale: Kerry is a war hero who has saved people’s lives, and Bush is not. If the Bush campaign wishes to fight this election on the criteria of what the two men were doing in 1969/1970 –an absurd premise in any case- Bush will never win the argument. John McCain is right; the Republican-backed “Swift Boat” campaign is an embarrassment that should be pulled immediately.

The “Hardball” argument lasted so long that Malkin didn’t get a chance to blurb her book- you know, the one where she advocates racial profiling, Holocaust denial, and internment. At any rate, don’t expect to see Michelle Malkin on “Hardball” ever again.

UPDATE: Keith Olbermann:

"Michelle Malkin, the unfortunate and overmatched author of a self-loathing book that attempts to justify our World War II internment and robbery of Americans of Japanese heritage, became the harbinger of the next mucky smell of low tide. She raised the story— heretofore consigned largely to Robert Novak and everybody to his right— in that delightful, Teflon way of modern politics: ‘I’m not saying that John Kerry shot himself. But in the Swift Boat Veterans’ book, they ask whether or not his wounds were self-inflicted.’

If Ms. Malkin isn’t seen on television, or moving on her own power, in the next few days, it’s understandable. My colleague Mr. Matthews forced her to hang herself out to dry ten or eleven times (never prouder of you, Chris). He may have directed the momentum, but her wounds were ultimately, uh, self-inflicted."

UPDATE: Here's the transcript:

MALKIN: Well, yes. Why don‘t people ask him more specific questions about the shrapnel in his leg. They are legitimate questions about whether or not it was a self-inflicted wound.


MATTHEWS: What do you mean by self-inflicted? Are you saying he shot himself on purpose? Is that what you‘re saying?

MALKIN: Did you read the book...

MATTHEWS: I‘m asking a simple question. Are you saying that he shot himself on purpose.

MALKIN: I‘m saying some of these soldiers...

MATTHEWS: And I‘m asking [a] question.

MALKIN: And I‘m answering it.

MATTHEWS: Did he shoot himself on purpose.

MALKIN: Some of the soldiers have made allegations that these were self-inflicted wounds.

MATTHEWS: No one has ever accused him of shooting himself on purpose.

MALKIN: That these were self-inflicted wounds.

MATTHEWS: Your saying there are—he shot himself on purpose, that‘s a criminal act?

MALKIN: I‘m saying that I‘ve read the book and some of the...


MATTHEWS: I want an answer yes or no, Michelle.

MALKIN: Some of the veterans say...

MATTHEWS: No. No one has [ever] accused him of shooting himself on purpose.

MALKIN: Yes. Some of them say that.

MATTHEWS: Tell me where that...

MALKIN: Self-inflicted wounds—in February, 1969.

MATTHEWS: This is not a show for this kind of talk. Are you accusing him of shooting himself on purpose to avoid combat or to get credit?

MALKIN: I‘m saying that‘s what some of these...

MATTHEWS: Give me a name.

MALKIN: Patrick Runyan (ph) and William Zeldonaz (ph).

MATTHEWS: They said—Patrick Runyan...

MALKIN: These people have...

MATTHEWS: And they said he shot himself on purpose to avoid combat or take credit for a wound?

MALKIN: These people have cast a lot of doubt on whether or not...

MATTHEWS: That‘s cast a lot of doubt. That‘s complete nonsense.

MALKIN: Did you read the section in the book...

MATTHEWS: I want a statement from you on this program, say to me right, that you believe he shot himself to get credit for a [Purple] heart.

MALKIN: I‘m not sure. I‘m saying...

MATTHEWS: Why did you say?

MALKIN: I‘m talking about what‘s in the book.

MATTHEWS: What is in the book. Is there—is there a direct accusation in any book you‘ve ever read in your life that says John Kerry ever shot himself on purpose to get credit for a purple heart? On purpose?


MATTHEWS: On purpose? Yes or no, Michelle.

MALKIN: In the February 1969 -- in the February 1969 event.

MATTHEWS: Did he say on it purpose.

MALKIN: There are doubts about whether or not it was intense rifle fire or not. And I wish you would ask these questions of John Kerry instead of me.

MATTHEWS: I have never heard anyone say he shot himself on purpose. I haven‘t heard you say it.

MALKIN: Have you tried to ask—have you tried ask John Kerry these questions?

MATTHEWS: If he shot himself on purpose. No. I have not asked him that.

MALKIN: Don‘t you wonder?

MATTHEWS: No, I don‘t. It‘s never occurred to me.

UPDATE: Malkin tells her side of the story on her blog. First she calls Matthews a "caveman" because he dared to comment on her youthful appearance (in my universe, telling a woman that she looks younger than she is is a compliment, but apparently not on Planet Malkin).

Then she accuses Matthews of twisting her words, making it clear that "I DID NOT SAY HE SHOT HIMSELF ON PURPOSE." Yet, as you can see above, Matthews gave her about ten chances to say that she doesn't believe that libelous statement, and she could've made the whole thing go away if only she'd simply said "no, I don't believe he shot himself on purpose."

But she never did, because clearly she went on the show that night specifically to inject that particular "talking point." And besides, people in the Coulter/Malkin "controversy" school didn't get to where they are by ever backing off anything.

Later in the post, Malkin accuses Chris of being part of the liberal mainstream media- even though he often goes after lefties with the same ferociousness, and Matthews has even said that he voted for Bush in 2000. Good for Matthews for kicking Malkin off the set before she had a chance to flog her worthless book.

Malkin then closes the post by listing Matthews' phone number. How classy of her.

Posted by Stephen Silver at August 19, 2004 11:17 PM

I think smart, pretty women are intimidating too!

Posted by: Kevin at October 23, 2004 12:13 PM
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