Hardball host and former U.S. Capitol Police officer Chris Matthews* told viewers of his April 16 program what he considers the perfect punishment for Doug Hughes, the Tampa, Florida postal carrier who landed a gyrocopter on the West Lawn of the Capitol yesterday: Make him do "community service" wherein he addresses a joint session of Congress about the need for campaign finance reform. Oh, and Matthews thinks that every single member of Congress should be required to attend Hughes's speech, by the way. -
Matthews made the suggestion -- which, by the way, he made in all seriousness -- at the end of a segment featuring Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) and reporter Ken Vogel, whose Politico profile describes him as specializing in "track[ing] the confluence of money, politics and influence" for the paper. It's worth noting for the record that neither Israel nor Vogel seemed incredibly concerned about the peril and inconvenience that Hughes unnecessarily put thousands of Washingtonians in, judging him a harmless and earnest man of sincere political conviction, if misguided tactics in communicating that vision. Here's the relevant transcript of Matthews's remarks (emphasis mine):
April 16, 2015CHRIS MATTHEWS, anchor: I've got a good idea for Congress and the Capitol Police. Instead of charging this guy on the helicopter, the gyrocopter, why don't you give him community service? And his community service could be one hour. And his one hour should be spent addressing a joint session, a joint meeting of the Congress.He should walk in there and tell them why he did that. And they must all be there to watch. And that could be his community service, and we can all watch. If they put this guy in jail, what a bunch of clowns that would be to do that.