Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hard Ball's Mathews to take on Tea Perty; Rise of the New Right

Matthews is leading a history lesson in the form of a new documentary on the Tea Party brigade and its allies, Rise of the New Right. Perhaps the biggest surprise of Matthews’ special program, which airs Wednesday at 7 p.m., is the sight of Rand Paul in front of an MSNBC camera. Matthews’ mission is two-fold. He wants to suggest that there’s little daylight between people who figure in Washington polite company, like fellow commentator Pat Buchanan or Dick Armey, the leader of the activist outfit FreedomWorks, and those who are positioned closer to the fringe, like Beck or online radio host Alex Jones. Placing Buchanan and Armey, as well as Palin and Paul, in the same space as Jones, who warns of a forthcoming “police state” designed “to carry out an orderly extermination of at least 80 percent” of Americans, is a neat trick. Matthews’ second aim is to show that the hate and fear on the right is nothing new. It existed before the stock analyst’s rant and before Beck’s chalkboard displays of paranoia. Matthews gathers the whole gang of conservative prophets, who bemoaned the coming totalitarianism of the American state during the last century, for a brief reunion...more

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