Chris Matthews has been covering "Palinpallooza" all week, alternating between gushing over her personal popularity and condescending jabs at her intellect. Mostly, however, he's been saying not to underestimate her, and exclaiming "I've never seen anything like this."
So, Wednesday, on the opening day of Palin's huge book signing tour, it was time for Chris to get back in the MSNBC fold, and call her a racist and a "mean girl." (I couldn't find a na-na-na-na-NAH-nah in the transcript, but I could've sworn I heard one…)
NBC's Norah O'Donnell was covering the Palin tour on location, while Chris brought in Salon.com's resident hater, Joan Walsh, San Francisco's female version of Keith Olbermann.
The first thing this group of faces so pale that color TV is irrelevant noticed was that the crowd did not look like they were in line for the next Tyler Perry movie.
O'DONNELL: … This is a largely white—almost no minorities in this crowd….
MATTHEWS: Well, they look like a white crowd to me. Let's go back to Joan Walsh. Not that there's anything wrong with it, but it is pretty monochromatic up there. Joan, no surprise in terms of the ethnic nature of the people showing up. Nothing wrong with that. But it is a fact
Yeah, well I'd like to get a look at the racial demographics of Hardball with Chris Matthews sometime… oh, wait, I buy TV commercials for a living. I have seen them. They're as "monochromatic" as the line for Sarah Palin's book signing.
Oh, and Chris's lineup for the night, was 8 white people out of 9. "Nothing wrong with that. But it's a fact." Indeed.
The fact that Norah O'Donnell went to Grand Rapids– which is so Dutch that the most common use of "van" is not to describe something you drive the soccer team in, but is the first part of the family name– and found white people(!) is quite a scoop.
But believe it or not, the conversation went downhill from there.
And of course we couldn't have a Palin conversation with this group without a Tina Fey reference, no matter how oblique…
MATTHEWS: Let me go to this intramural—the nastiness—and I want to get back to Norah on this, Norah covered the campaign and—the nastiness of this, the attacks on you might call them the "little people," Steve Schmidt, Nicolle Wallace, in the campaign. Here's somebody who was governor of a state taking whacks in a published book, her only book, trashing little people, and at the same time, she's looking out for little…
JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: I—there are questions about who's right, but they strenuously deny it, and other reporters who were around also deny her version of things. So, I think that there are a couple of whopping lies, as well as just a mean-spiritedness that doesn't serve her well.
It's why she will never be president. She is a very divisive, mean-spirited person. She is fighting down with her 19-year-old ex-future-son-in-law, who should really be ignored, if anything.
So, you know, I think you see a side of Sarah Palin—Norah is right. People who love her love her. But the general public doesn't trust her and sees this kind of mean girl persona that she's never grown out of…
Why is Chris Matthews in the junior high girls locker room with Joan Walsh talking catty? This just beggars description, but let me try.
To act as though the year of leaks, anonymous sniping and backstabbing over just who was responsible for everything from Sarah Palin's wardrobe to her media scheduling– to selecting her in the first place– was initiated by PALIN is just plain nuts. To characterize 12 pages out of 400 as a dominant mean streak is just goofy. Frankly, after the way McCain's staff has spent the last year acting, I'm a little disappointed it's not 12 chapters.
Part of what Palin is now being criticized for is not getting on board with the worst campaign tactic in recent Presidential history– the official announcement that McCain was abandoning the swing state of Michigan. Yeah, they were the political pros…
But who cares about that, it turns out that Sarah Palin is a… racist! (Of course, Chris Matthews and Joan Walsh have blown this "dog whistle" before.)
MATTHEWS: … on "Sean Hannity" last night. I think there is a tribal aspect to this thing, in other words, white vs. other people. I think she is very smart about this. Here she is on the issue of—of what happened down at Fort Hood, obviously, an ethnic issue, as many people see it.
MATTHEWS: She sees it that way. Here she is going at him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "HANNITY") SEAN HANNITY, HOST, "HANNITY": Do you think Fort Hood was an act of terrorism?
SARAH PALIN ®, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: I certainly do. And I think that there were massive warning flags that were missed all over the place. And it was quite unfortunate that, to me, it was a fear of being politically incorrect, to not—I'm going to use the word—profile this guy, profiling in the sense of finding out what his radical beliefs were.
Now, because I used the word profile, I'm going to get clobbered tomorrow morning. The liberals, their heads are just going to be spinning. They are going to say, she is radical. She is extreme.
But I say profiling in the context of doing whatever we can to save innocent American lives, I'm all for it then. (END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: No. Profiling has a particular meaning. Joan, you go at it. Everybody knows what profiling is.
MATTHEWS: It's driving while black.
Or, it's shooting while Muslim. Or calling al Qaeda while Army. Or lecturing about killing infidels while teaching at Walter Reed. Or trying to prosecute your own patients for war crimes while a psychiatrist….
MATTHEWS: We know what it means. If you come from a Middle Eastern country, keep your eye on this guy. Check him out.
MATTHEWS: That's profiling.
O'DONNELL: Listen, the same day she is complaining about the "Newsweek" cover, which, actually, I also did find sexist, but she is making herself a victim around the "Newsweek" cover while endorsing profiling?
Yes, I remember that NBC TV show called "Profiler." I'd forgotten it was about a woman FBI agent who tried to stop black people from driving. Oh, and that CBS show "Criminal Minds," isn't it about a whole klan of FBI agents who try to suppress voting rights?
The only thing more pallid about this ditzy crew than their skin tone is their opinions.
(for video of the segment, click the NewsReal link above)