MSNBC had a field day when Chris Matthews on “Hardball” nailed conservative commentator Kevin James on whether or not he knew what the word appeasement meant. After some 24 attempts at getting an answer, Chris finally got Kevin to admit he didn’t know what he was talking about.
In full self congratulatory mode, on “Countdown with Keith Olberman”, Friday night guest host Rachel Maddow interviewed Chris about the confrontation and they shared their concern that words, especially hot button words, be used properly. Unfortunately, earlier in the same episode, Rachel noted a political anniversary by saying that back in 1868, “the Senate actually came close to impeaching a president”. For an analyst and a network so intent on the proper use of words, Rachel and MSNBC blew it big time. The president in question, Andrew Johnson, did not come “close” to being impeached. He was impeached. He was NOT convicted. What Rachel should have said was that the Senate came close to convicting and thereby forcing out of office a president. To make the mistatement all the more glaring, she identified the president as Andrew Jackson. Fortunately, after a commercial break, she corrected that whopper but neglected to correct her use of “came close to”.
If MSNBC is going to self righteously pound its chest over historical accuracy, they need to do some fact checking before opening their mouth.