Chris Matthews lies about polling; creates false equivalence between number of Birthers & 9/11 Truthers

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

Chris Matthews on Hardball today:

Remember the poll last week where a majority of Republicans said either 'No' or 'Not sure' when asked if President Obama was born in the US?

Well, here's a blast from the past, courtesy of Real Clear Politics. Back in 2007, two years ago, Rasmussen polled voters with a similar out-of-left-field question, asking whether they believed that then-President Bush, George W. Bush, had gotten the inside word that the World Trade towers and the Pentagon were about to be hit on September 11, 2001. We're talking hard intel as to what was coming that day -- how the hijackers were going to grab those planes and fly them into buildings.

Well, how many Democrats said either 'Yes, Bush knew' or that they weren't sure whether he knew about that? Not sure whether the president deliberately sat back while America's cities were attacked and thousands were killed? Well, think about it. Sixty-one percent, a majority. Evidence that both parties hold the darkest of suspicions about the other party and it's leaders.

No. This is not true. Chris Matthews is lying to you.

The Rasmussen poll Matthews refers to didn't ask anything like what Matthews described. Nothing. Like. It.

The poll asked "Did Bush know about the 9/11 attacks in advance?" That's it. Many of those who answered either "yes" or "don't know" were likely doing so in reference to the presidential daily briefing Bush received warning him that al Qaeda was "determined" to attack the US. Even conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg acknowledged at the time that "Many Democrats are probably merely saying that Bush is incompetent or that he failed to connect the dots."

In any case, Matthews description of the poll is flat-out wrong. It is entirely made-up. The poll question said nothing -- nothing -- about Bush getting "inside word." It said nothing about "hard intel," and it said nothing about "how the hijackers were going to grab those plans and fly them into buildings."

Chris Matthews made all of that up. That is lying.

And it isn't a tangential lie: it's his whole point. Matthews lied about what the Rasmussen poll found so he could accuse Democrats of holding beliefs comparable to the Birthers. His entire point was a lie.

Remember this dishonest smear of Democrats the next time some right-winger -- or Howard Kurtz -- insists that Chris Matthews is evidence of MSNBC's "liberal bias."

Chris Matthews
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