Chris Matthews Stumps Right-Wing Radio Host: ‘Tell Me What Chamberlain Did?’ ‘I Don’t Know’

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"Chris Matthews Stumps Right-Wing Radio Host: ‘Tell Me What Chamberlain Did?’ ‘I Don’t Know’"

On MSNBC’s Hardball tonight, right-wing radio host Kevin James attempted to defend President Bush’s comments comparing Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) to Nazi appeasers because he favors talking with our enemies. James compared Obama to Neville Chamberlain, about whom James could only cry: “He’s an appeaser!”

Matthews pressed James at least 19 times over five minutes to simply explain what Chamberlain had done in 1938 and 1939 to make him an “appeaser.” James could only shout his talking point over and over, prompting Matthews to threaten to end the interview:

MATTHEWS: You don’t know what you’re talking about, Kevin. You don’t know what you’re talking about. Tell me what Chamberlain did wrong.

JAMES: Neville Chamberlain was an appeaser, Chris. Neville Chamberlain was an appeaser, all right? […]

MATTHEWS: I’ve been sitting here five minutes asking you to say what the president was referring to in 1938 at Munich.

JAMES: I don’t know.

MATTHEWS: You don’t know, thank you.

Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2008/05/kevinjames.320.240.flv]

Matthews was trying to prompt James to explain that Chamberlain signed the Munich agreement with Hitler in 1938, which allowed Hitler to occupy part of Czechoslovakia in exchange for peace with Britain.

Matthews rebuked his clueless guest — and the entire Bush administration — for being “blank slates in terms of history”:

You don’t understand there’s a difference between talking to the enemy and appeasing. What Chamberlain did wrong, most people would say, is not talking to Hitler, but giving him half of Czechoslovakia in 1938. That’s what he did wrong. Not talking to somebody. Appeasement is giving away things to the enemy.

Matthews’s other guest, Mark Green, advised James: “When you’re in a hole, stop digging.”

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The right-wing site Newsbusters says, “After lambasting a guest for not knowing his Neville Chamberlain history, Matthews surmised that the attack on the USS Cole in October, 2000 happened under…President Bush.”

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