Crowley and Matthews: Bad and Awful

By Dave Andrusko

Candy Crowley

In our three NRL News Today stories examining last night’s second presidential debate, we chose not to belabor the obvious. While CNN’s Candy Crowley admittedly had a difficult job moderating the debate, she’d failed on a number of counts.

Let me compare her situation as moderator to what then Supreme Court nominee John Roberts said was the role of a justice.  Roberts analogized justices to an umpire. They “don’t make the rules, they apply them,” he told the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2005. They make sure “everybody plays by the rules.” After all, Roberts said, “Nobody ever went to a ball game to see the umpire.”

Crowley clearly believed that obscurity was not her role even if to be as invisible as possible was in her job description as moderator. And she made up some rules as she went along, including improperly jumping into “clarify” something which she did not clarify but muddled to the benefit of President Obama. (Unlike an umpire, Crowley’s role was not to call balls and strikes, let alone determine what the strike zone was.) Not her finest hour.

Chris Matthews

But Crowley was a statesman compared to the increasingly unhinged Chris Matthews.  Here’s Newbusters’ Matt Vespa’s on-the-money summary of Matthews incredible display.

“A little over a half-hour before the debate, Matthews went on a tirade against the pro-life movement. His fury mostly centered on Rep. Paul Ryan, whose pro-life views, according to Matthews are akin to Sharia law that is practiced and advocated by radical Islamists.  He also sounded the alarms that the Republican ticket may want to ‘operate [the United States] under a religious theory.’  After exposing the theocratic conspiracy of the Republicans and the Sharia enemies within – Matthews came off as utterly unhinged.”

What followed is pure stream-of-consciousness blather from Matthews including his ultimate jaw-dropping conclusion: “You’re saying to the country, we’re going to operate under a religious theory, under a religious belief. We’re going to run our country this way, to the point of making a woman’s decision to have an abortion, her reproductive rights, as criminal, perhaps murderous…”

You might conclude this is just Chris being loony-tuner Chris. The larger problem is, however, that I’m afraid he speaks for a large portion of those who appear on MSNBC.

You can watch Matthews rant at