Matthews on Palin Seeking God's Okay: 'A Lot of Our Enemies Talk Like That'

MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews got upset whenever people mentioned President-elect Barack Obama's connections to confessed domestic terrorist William Ayers.  He was disturbed when a New Yorker magazine cover depicted Barack Obama in a turban and Michelle Obama toting an AK-47, which might have given the impression they were Islamic terrorists. But last night, Matthews had no problem making the same kind of associations when criticizing former GOP vice-presidential nominee Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

During a panel discussion with so-called “conservative” radio talk show host Michael Smerconish (who supported Barack Obama for president) and Republican strategist Ron Christie, Matthews voiced his concern that Palin said, in an interview with Fox News Greta van Susteren aired on On the Record on Nov. 10, that she would seek out God to guide her on any future political decisions she would make

“Sarah Palin tonight, in her interview with Greta Van Susteren last night, we were actually watching it tonight on Hardball before you came on,” Matthews said. “She said she was waiting to get the ok from God. Now I have nothing wrong with prayer. I pray all the time. But to talk about that in a secular environment, to talk about that in a country which is so broad in its different views of Jesus, in fact – is that a good political move, to talk about God and whether you should run getting the ok from him. Didn't we have enough of that in the last eight years – God leading our politics? Selected views of God?”

The part that troubled Matthews – that by invoking God in the conversation it would set a dangerous precedent that's similar to the way “our enemies talk.”

“I'm not talking about faith,” Matthews said. “I'm talking about using it politically and talking about it this way, as if that's a determinant. You know, 'God's on our side talk' is very dangerous in the world, because a lot of our enemies talk like that and I just think it's a dangerous way to talk. Just a thought.”

Palin has been a frequent target of the media. A recent CMI study reveals that broadcast networks aired 18 negative stories for every positive story on Sarah Palin during a two-week period before and after the vice presidential debate. Subsequently, Palin's “unfavorable” ratings shot up 17 percent in one month.

Jeff Poor is staff writer for the Business and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.  Special to the Culture and Media Institute.