Speaking of Media Coverage: The Matthews Factor

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: May 30, 2006 5:42 PM

I watched the "Hardball" show on Haditha tonight and pulled some classic, Matthews quotes (my favorites are bold):

"Is it a cover-up and if it is, did it go straight up to the senior command?"

"Is this a cover-up?"

"Is this the act of someone who's done too many tours?"

In response, Gen. John Batiste (who has often called for Rumsfeld's resignation) said, "This is the act, again if it's true, because the investigation is ongoing..."

"These guys have been there for a long time, seen their buddies shot up and killed, and so they went on this rampage to get even basically? Is this something that happens a lot? Do you just get so pissed off at someone for hitting your people that you hit their people even if they're not fighting?"

Batiste: "I don't think we should second-guess the investigation that's going on?"

"Do they pick a target with that kind of intelligence or do they just pick a target?"

Batiste: "I think they're very exact in their intelligence."

"So, from your experience in these kind of assymetrical battles, these kind of incidents just occur? And you can also expect this kind of anger from our troops in this kind of assymetric battle?"

"Do you blame him (Rumsfeld) with regard to what's happened in this case-- the murder of 24 Iraqis in an apparent revenge situation?"

"What percentage, would you estimate, of a Marine unit or a military unit are bad apples?"

"If out of 150 guys, there's gonna be a mad dog who just likes the action... the question is who's calling the shots? What causes a whole unit to go like this?"

"I think what most of the viewers of this show are looking for is a littler perspective. Should we jump on it (these allegations) and say the war is no good? Should we jump on it and say the military is no good or should we take a more nuanced view?"

"Knowing the war and knowing Vietnam...is this gonna kill the case for, is this gonna hurt the morale of our country?"

Check out the transcript later, here.