Chris Matthews, Vicious Questioner

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I received a voicemail from Chris Matthews last week (that I only got around to listening to yesterday, sorry) asking me if I really thought it was fair to characterize his statements in June 2003 about Wilson and the Vice President as “attacks.” He raised a good point in that he was not “attacking” the Vice President in any personal way (unlike, say, Scooter Libby did Joe Wilson), rather, he was asking questions about what the Vice President Office knew about Libby’s Wilson’s* trip:

Why would the vice president’s office, Scooter Libby or whoever is running that office — why would they send a CIA effort down in Niger to verify something, find out there wasn’t a uranium sale, and then not follow-up by putting that information — or correcting that information — in the president’s State of the Union? If they went to the trouble to sending Joe Wilson all the way to Africa to find out whether that country had ever sold uranium to Saddam Hussein, why wouldn’t they follow-up on that?

It’s not an attack, but I’d be careful around a question that pointed.

*Corrected, thanks to the vigilant and rapid work of commenter JJ. Thanks, J2.

UPDATE: There’s nothing wrong with pointed questions — in theory, that’s the job — and I wonder why anyone would assume that my calling attention to a pointed question (albeit with a perhaps unsuccessful — nay, botched, even! — joke playing on the literal meaning of “pointed”) somehow implies that I disapprove of them. Strange world.