'Wag the Dog' Back In SpotlightLOS ANGELES (AllPolitics, Aug. 21) -- A president embroiled in a sex scandal in the Oval Office tries to save his presidency by distracting the nation with a made-for-TV war far from American soil in an obscure country.
It's not the latest news out of Washington, but the plot of the movie "Wag the Dog." In the 1997 movie, a shadowy spin doctor played by Robert De Niro recruits a Hollywood producer (Dustin Hoffman) to invent a war against Albania.
The film came out just before the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke -- and no doubt benefited at the box office and then at the video store from the publicity. Now, the film is all the buzz again because of President Clinton's announcement -- three days after admitting for the first time an inappropriate relationship with Ms. Lewinsky -- that he ordered military strikes in two countries.
Going into the Independence Day weekend, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews played the role of creeper on Friday’s Andrea Mitchell Reports as he excused former President Bill Clinton chatting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch amid Hillary’s FBI investigation because Bill is like the late Elvis Presley and “[h]is tail wags when he sees somebody he knows.”
Host Andrea Mitchell brought Matthews onto give his thoughts about the Clinton/Lynch meeting and Matthews began the short appearance with a head-scratching exclamation about “[w]hat a menu you’re giving me today to discuss.”
Mitchell summarized the widespread concerns among Republicans and some Democrats about the meeting before Matthews took over with his bumbling cadence about how “we know Bill Clinton, he’s like — he’s the big dog.”
From there, the mood grew only more awkward as Matthews emphasized that Clinton’s nickname is “[t]he Big Dawg” and “Elvis” who “gush[es] when you meet him” even “if you had a hard time with a journalist, he still comes up and says hi.”
If one thought Matthews was done with the head-shaking lines for the week (which can be seen here, here, and here), he dropped this comparison that could be easily taken as an inappropriate innuendo [emphasis mine]:
He's — he’s very friendly. His tail wags when he sees somebody he knows. It’s just who he is. I know he has a high IQ and somewhere said, my God, this person could be prosecuting my wife potentially, potentially, I should say out of this one, but that sort of the super ego, that doesn't work with Bill Clinton....So, I wouldn’t make it, but the people on the hard right, and in an adversarial situation will make the most of it.Earlier in the show, Mitchell complained that the Clinton/Lynch meeting on a plane in Arizona has “overshadowed” Hillary Clinton’s campaign and especially since both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden plan to stump for her next week.
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports
July 1, 2016
12:09 p.m. Eastern
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Oh, what a menu. What a menu you're giving me today.
ANDREA MITCHELL: Where to start? Well, Bill Clinton, Loretta Lynch. One is a former constitutional law professor, before he was governor of Arkansas, the other is the Attorney General, a former prosecutor. Even Democrats, David Axelrod tweeting yesterday, Chris Coons on CNN saying they should have known better.
MATTHEWS: Yeah, but we know Bill Clinton, he's like — he’s the big dog. That's his nickname, d-a-w-g. The Big Dawg. Elvis, he's gushing when you meet him. If he’s — if you had a hard time with a journalist, he still comes up and says hi. He's — he’s very friendly. His tail wags when he sees somebody he knows. It’s just who he is. I know he has a high IQ and somewhere said, my God, this person could be prosecuting my wife potentially, potentially, I should say out of this one, but that sort of the super ego, that doesn't work with Bill Clinton. Don't you think the id often works with him more powerfully? Just guessing. So, I wouldn’t make it, but the people on the hard right, and in an adversarial situation will make the most of it. Remember, we almost got into a war of Iraq because of a meeting in Prague somehow with some meeting — you know, whatever, you know. Something that connected 9/11 to we had to go to war with Iraq because of a meeting that may not have occurred.http://newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/curtis-houck/2016/07/01/creepy-matthews-bill-clinton-elvis-whose-tail-wags-when-he-sees