Bold Truth-Teller

by dday

There's video now of George Bush's "farewell song" at last weekend's Gridiron Club dinner. He hits all the high notes, treating tragedy, destruction and the end of any pretense of justice in America as misty water-colored memories, like he was some disinterested observer, like Billy Joel just recounting the history in "We Didn't Start the Fire."

And I can't believe what I'm saying, and it may get me banned from Hullabaloo for life, but... what Chris Matthews said a few minutes ago:

Well, that was quite a hoot. All that joking from the President about Brownie, that guy in charge of the New Orleans disaster, and of course Scooter Libby, the guy involved in the CIA coverup. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's reporters, the best of them, laughing at events and political acts that warrant anything, I mean, anything but laughter. There is nothing, nothing funny about Bush's reference to Brownie, that disastrous appointment followed by that catastrophic handling of the Katrina horror in New Orleans. Nothing funny about a war fought for bad intelligence, and a top aide, Scooter Libby, who committed perjury and obstruction of justice to cover it up. Nothing funny about a President, who commuted that sentence to keep the coverup protected. Otherwise, I'm sure it was an enjoyable get-together between journalists and the people they're charged with covering.

This is of course true. I don't know if Chris Matthews, who met his wife at the White House Correspondent's Dinner 20 years ago and who has attended pretty much every one since, is really the guy to deliver the message. But it seems every so often he has to spout off like this to prove to himself that he has some sort of independence from the Village, that he's some anti-establishment rabble rouser.

What's more, it's fine for Matthews to make this statement, but then following up and asking his cadre of reporters who he has on his show every day whether or not they attended, laughed and cheered at the President's warblings, etc., would be nice.

UPDATE: From the comments:

Nah, he can be right from time to time, but the sackless part of this is that Bush is on his way out. The players can find that spine because the fucker isn't up for re-election.

If McCain give this speech, Chris becomes butter. Funny. Ironic. Only a real-man can do this.

Instead, look at Bush's WMD hilarity from the 2004 thing -- only David Corn was pissed that everyone found it uproarious. Or look at how Matthews reacted to the Colbert situation from 2006.

It's the measure of the man that he waited until just now to be sickened by the president's cavalier attitude toward death, destruction and lies.

Yes, I was looking for some example of this for a little while here, and Google has finally given up the gold.

MATTHEWS: The funniest line of the night last Saturday night at the press dinner, which was -- the president was excellent. We're going to show a piece of the president and his body double, which is really funny, and quite nice of the president to do it, because it was kind of humble.

WALLACE: Self-deprecating.

MATTHEWS: Self-deprecating, yeah, to say the least. He said something about how the vice president, [Dick] Cheney, said he is a good man with a big heart. And then he paused and he goes, "Well, he is a good man."

WALLACE: Yes. My favorite line was that he survived the shake-up.

MATTHEWS: Oh, that he did. Bush did. You're great, Nicolle. You're a great person. Thank you for coming over here to Hardball to our own home court. It's very courageous for a White House person.

WALLACE: Thank you for having me. It was very nice.

MATTHEWS: Are you going to bring Dick Cheney along with you next time?


MATTHEWS: I'm going to quote you.

The measure of a man, indeed.