Matthews appeared on Andrea Mitchell Reports and described how he perceived the conservative response to Egypt: "And conservatives are very fearful of this. They look at crowds like this, they don't like the looks of them. They don't like protests. They don't like people in the streets."
Trying to create an ideological divide in how Americans are responding, the Hardball host attacked, "...More often than not, the thoughtful progressive sounds very much like the thoughtful conservative. And the thoughtful conservative, like a George Will, not a tea-bag person, sort of person like that, a tea-bag, a tea party person, but a thoughtful conservative knows that you have to make changes to accommodate the people or you'll lose all legitimacy."
The MSNBC anchor then offered an incoherent historical comparison for Egypt. Highlighting China's turn to communism, Matthews spun, "We saw the Chinese change their form of government in the late '40s and thought, 'oh, it was the mistake or the collaboration or the treason, even, of a number of China hands.' The John Stewart Services, the Fairbanks and all that."
Matthews added, "They were all humiliated by our establishment, buy our right wing-led establishment." John Stewart Service was An American diplomat. According to the book China Misperceived by Steven W. Mosher:
[Service] returned from a visit to that country to declare that "life is obviously better for the grea majority. There is no longer starvation and bitter poverty...Perhaps the single word that best describes [the prevailing attitude] is egalitarian.
Mosher said of John Fairbank, a Chinese historian who was one of the so-called "China hands" in the 1940s:
By 1972, Fairbank was sounding like the most infatuated of political pilgrims: "The people seem healthy, well fed and articulate about their role as citizens in Mao's new China."Mao Zedong's regime killed an estimated 40 to 70 million people. So, perhaps these aren't the best examples Matthews could come up with.
A transcript of the exchange, which aired at 1:48pm EST on February 10, follows: