Matthews, Olbermann: We meant to say ‘Assent’ is the highest form of patriotism. Or is it ‘Consent?’


Precisely what constitutes the highest form of patriotism has been the focus of robust debate at 30 Rock since inauguration day. So reports, “The Oracle”–the official interpreter of the thoughts and thrills of Chris Matthews’ Leg.

Sure, for eight years the journalistic industrial complex and the intensely earnest comment throngs at DU, Daily Kos, and HuffPo have operated in breezy metaphysical certitude about patriotism. Dissent was the thing. A hundred thousand Suburu bumper stickers couldn’t be wrong.

That fragrant little orthodoxy meant that throughout the Bush 43 administration guys like Bill Maher and Olbermann could feel like the love child of Thomas Paine and Betsy Ross in suggesting that Dick Cheney eats the heads of live puppies for breakfast. It was awesome.

But then the day of bliss happened. Which led to “the conundrum.”

Chris suggested changing the bumper sticker beatitude to: Helping make this administration a success is the highest form of patriotism. Olbermann felt that was too wordy and countered with: Genuflecting is the highest form of patriotism. Maddow offered: Screaming “You’re freaking awesome Mr. President!” is the highest form of patriotism.

Other h.f.o.p. contenders were:

Giving the president a verbal hot oil foot rub . . . (Andrea Mitchell)

Abandoning all pretense of objectivity . . . (David Shuster)

Among America’s news men and women you’ll find a few holdouts stubbornly clinging to old fashioned notions of objectivity and journalistic integrity.  Throw backs like ABC’s Jake Tapper–who told Charlie Rose the other night:

I would say for a lot of my colleagues, it’s perhaps an unrequited love between them and the president. He’s — you know, he’s a cool customer. You know, I think that there are some of us that, you know, maybe try to report on our feet a little bit more than on our knees and he doesn`t necessarily know what to make of us all the time. You know, he eyes us warily.

That comment gave The Leg an idea for his bumper sticker:

Reporting on your knees is the highest form of patriotism.

Then The Leg went online to order three pairs of kneepads for some friends who will need them.


Olbermann in Post-Bush Crisis. Must Find New Focus for 17 Million Gigawatts of Incandescent Hate or Risk Spontaneous Human Combustion.

The Leg is concerned about colleague Keith Olbermann. From the moment Air Force One disappeared over the western horizon on inauguration day (also known at MSNBC HQ as “Mission Accomplished Day,” “The Dawning of Perfect Joy,” and “The Day of Indescribable Bliss-y Goodness) carrying outgoing President Bush to Midland, Texas, the Countdown host seemed to slip into a bewildered funk.

“He’s like a little lost boy now,” one perky intern observed. “Albeit, a boy that will grope you then scream at you fetch him a Powerbar.”

Since Countdown debuted on March 31, 2003, George W. Bush has done the world a service by serving (along with Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh) as a safety valve-like target for Keith’s bombastic, self-important, spittle-flecked rage.

But now the locus of 70 percent of that irrational, Daily Kos-fueled hate energy has been removed and the laser of loathing must find a new outlet or risk melting down. But whom to unfailingly impute bad faith to? Whose difficult decisions to put the the worst possible construction upon? Whom to label a “liar” every time they are merely mistaken?

In desperation, Olbermann has recently lashed out at targets as innocuous as John Gibson, pro-lifers, the infield fly rule, and beets. But it just wasn’t the same.

And so an anxious world watches and wonders as the East Coast’s answer to the Yellowstone caldera builds up pressure. To turn some old Queen lyrics on their head, The Leg wonders, “Won’t somebody find KO, somebody to hate?”

Historic Inauguration Triggers History-Making Reaction in Chris Matthews’ Leg

There were reports of shattered windows up and down the east coast today as Chris Matthews’ Leg began vibrating at a frequency and amplitude previously unknown to science. Homeland Security officials noted that the peaks in the harmonic surge waves tended to coincide with certain inaugural events being covered by MSNBC.

Meanwhile, theoretical physicists at the FermiLab particle accelerator in Chicago and at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva both reported that around noon EST, ultra-sensitive equipment deep within the earth had begun detecting new and exotic subatomic particles.

“The standard model of particle physics predicts the existence of ‘strange quarks,’ said FermiLab researcher Hans Delbrück. “But these quarks were stranger than we’ve dared to imagine. We’ve had a remarkable day here. One of the guys thinks we may have captured the elusive Higgs Boson. But were still compiling all the data.”

Whether there is linkage between the flurry of exotic particles and the excitability of Matthews’ lower limb has yet to be established. However, crew members on the set with Matthews and Olbermann have reported witnessing strange phenomenon around the anchor desk including strange orbs of colored light, disorientation and nausea in those standing close by, and brief episodes of time travel for those who look directly at the leg at the apex of a tingly phase.

Civil defense personnel and other first responders are standing by in the event of another episode during tonight’s inaugural festivities. Officials are urging citizens to remain calm, but watchful–and to stay away from plate glass windows for the time being.

Random Restless Leg Thoughts

  • So MSNBC has banned Ann Coulter for life. The Leg is sooooo relieved to hear this. It would be such a shame if the network gave air time to anyone being screedy, ideologically shrill, hyper-partisan, or mean.


  • It seems Minnesotans have finally equaled the electoral trick of putting Jesse Ventura in the governor’s mansion for four disastrous years. It took a little creative bookkeeping by the state canvassing board and some magically appearing ballots, but Al “The Body” Franken is poised . . . as crazy as this sounds . . . to be seated in the most important deliberative body on planet earth. The Leg says, “You gotta love Minnesota. They always have a critical mass of half-toasted ice fishermen willing to vote for the novelty candidate. And the Twin Cities are like a big, frozen Berkeley, California but with Swedes, Norwegians and lutefisk.”


  • The Leg wonders if MSNBC can get a ratings bailout. “It sucks that we’re always in last place among the cable news networks,” The Leg whines. “Some FoxNews viewers should be shifted to us. They’ve got millions of them. In the words of a certain President-elect, ‘It’s a question of fairness.'”

CML Enjoying the Leg Warmers Santa Brought. Reflects Back on an Awesome Year.

Dear Diary,

Three words . . . Best. Year. Ever.

Okay, actually it’s my only year ever. As you know, I spontaneously achieved self-awareness back in February during a speech by Barack Ob . . . oops . . . I mean President-Elect Barack Obama. (woo hoo!) Those beautifully vague platitudes; those soaring, unkeepable promises; those mesmerizingly affected oratorical cadences . . . well they combined powerfully to jolt me into sentience.

Like the rest of the “professional” press corps (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), Chris and I spent most of the rest of the year solely focused on getting our guy elected. And we did it. The price was our credibility, journalistic integrity and self-respect. Totally worth it!

Just when I thought the year couldn’t get any better, I was recently the recipient of a major award!

What will 2009 hold? A run for the Senate? Hard to say. Right now it seems like Chris may be getting cold feet, er . . . foot.