Repeating Clinton Yankees myth, Matthews asked: "[D]oesn't she know she looks like a fraud?"

››› ››› MATT GERTZ

On Hardball, Chris Matthews stated of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's baseball loyalties: "She went to the Yankees so that she could run for senator from New York. It's so obvious. Why is she -- doesn't she know she looks like a fraud?" However, the idea that Clinton switched allegiance from the Chicago Cubs to the New York Yankees during her Senate campaign is a myth commonly repeated in the media and not supported by evidence. Clinton's 2003 autobiography contains a photograph of her wearing a Yankees cap in 1992, and The Washington Post reported in 1994 that "Mrs. Clinton ... as a kid was a 'big-time' fan of the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees and 'understudied' Ernie Banks and Mickey Mantle."

On the October 26 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, after airing a clip of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-NY) remarks during an October 25 presidential campaign fundraiser, "I have been a fan and I remain a fan of the New York Yankees. No changes. No looking to curry favor with anybody else," MSNBC correspondent David Shuster asserted: "Never mind that Hillary Clinton was a Chicago Cubs fan until she moved to New York to run for the U.S. Senate." While Shuster was making that statement, he aired a photo of Clinton wearing a Cubs cap, followed by one of Clinton wearing a Yankees cap. Shuster suggested that this was an example of what he called Clinton's "inconsistencies of style." Clinton's remarks were in response to former New York City mayor and Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani's recent statement that he will "root[] for the [Boston] Red Sox" -- rivals of the New York Yankees -- despite being a longtime Yankees fan. Following Shuster's report, host Chris Matthews referred to Clinton's statement as "malarkey" and added that "[s]he went to the Yankees so that she could run for senator from New York. It's so obvious. Why is she -- doesn't she know she looks like a fraud?" However, the idea that Clinton proclaimed herself a Yankees fan only after she decided to run for a New York Senate seat or that she switched allegiance from the Cubs to the Yankees during her Senate campaign is a myth commonly repeated in the media that is not supported by evidence. As Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted, Clinton's 2003 autobiography, Living History (Simon & Schuster), contains a photograph of her wearing a Yankees cap in 1992 -- eight years before she ran for the Senate. Further, The Washington Post reported on September 12, 1994, that "Mrs. Clinton ... as a kid was a 'big-time' fan of the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees and 'understudied' Ernie Banks and Mickey Mantle."

By contrast, Matthews excused Giuliani's decision to support the Red Sox in the World Series, which he referred to as "[a]ll this B.S. about the Yankees and rooting for the Red Sox, if you're Rudy Giuliani." Matthews continued: "Everybody in America doesn't have a team in the World Series. You end up losing sometimes in the division races, you don't get through the playoffs. You end up rooting for one of the two teams." But the New York Post reported in an October 24 article that "Giuliani's siding with the Sox surprised even his New York campaign team." The article went on to quote the statement of Guy Molinari, New York co-chair of the Giuliani campaign, who said, "I question his Yankee credentials. If you're a big Yankee fan, you have to hate the Red Sox."

From the 5 p.m. ET hour of the October 26 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:

SHUSTER: In the meantime, in front of the cameras, Clinton is ignoring Obama altogether and taking aim at Rudy Giuliani. The Republican front-runner recently declared he's putting aside his loyalty to the New York Yankees to root in the World Series for the Boston Red Sox.

CLINTON: I have been a fan and I remain a fan of the New York Yankees. No changes. No looking to curry favor with anybody else.

SHUSTER: Never mind that Hillary Clinton was a Chicago Cubs fan until she moved to New York to run for the U.S. Senate.

But the senator's own inconsistencies in style do not appear to be hurting her with most Democratic voters. Slowly but surely, Clinton is widening her national lead over Barack Obama, underscoring the sense among many Democrats that barring something unexpected and dramatic, Clinton's nomination may soon be unstoppable.

I'm David Shuster for Hardball in Washington.

[...]

MATTHEWS: OK, let's talk about a couple things. First of all, let's talk about the news tonight. All this B.S. about the Yankees and rooting for the Red Sox, if you're Rudy Giuliani. Everybody in America doesn't have a team in the World Series. You end up losing sometimes in the division races, you don't get through the playoffs. You end up rooting for one of the two teams. How can -- what does she mean when she makes fun of Rudy for rooting for the Sox? What is that about? Is it all just a joke?

SMITH: Well, she's taking advantage of an opportunity, and she's extremely good. She's very -- you know


she has an excellent political team working for her and --

MATTHEWS: But does she think up this malarkey about -- "I'm going to stick with the" -- doesn't she step back for three seconds and say she grew up in Chicago. You're always loyal to the team you grew up with as a kid. She went to the Yankees so that she could run for senator from New York. It's so obvious. Why is she -- doesn't she know she looks like a fraud?

Network/Outlet
MSNBC
Person
Chris Matthews
Show/Publication
Hardball
Stories/Interests
Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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