As NewsBusters has been reporting almost ad nauseam, Chris Matthews spent much of last week mercilessly lambasting Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann with cherry-picked and distorted quotes far afield of their intended meaning.
On Friday, the “Hardball” host got a touch of instant karma when he said the Panama Canal is in Egypt (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: You know, the great thing about Egypt is it’s its own country. It was always there before there was an America or Britain or anything, there has been an Egypt. It’s like China. It’s a real country. It wasn’t just carved off the map or out of the map by the Europeans, like so many African and third world countries have.
It’s got a real rooted history. It’s not just an Arab country. It was a country long before it was an Arab country — long before Islam, there was an Egypt. Will it see itself in this moment of chaos as joining a greater Islamic world or is holding to its national identity?
AMB. MARC GINSBERG, FMR. U.S. AMBASSADOR TO MOROCCO (via telephone)GINSBERG: There’s no doubt that the Egyptians view themselves as the center of culture in the Arab and the Muslim world and the center of Islamic learning. I studied there. I used to take classes at the al-Azhar University, which is considered to be the pre-eminent Islamic institution in the Muslim world, Chris.
GINSBERG: And the fact is that there’s enormous pride going back to the history of the pharaohs. The Egyptians embrace their ancient culture. But they’re very dissatisfied with their current regime.
MATTHEWS: Well, let me ask you about the prospects we’re looking at as an American. We’re looking at the map of the world right now and where Egypt sits in the world. It’s so strategically located. It has, of course, the Nile River. It has, of course, the Panama Canal.