Matt Yglesias Destroys Rick Wilson

Matt YglesiasI don’t watch Up with any consistency anymore. I think Steve Kornacki is good—one of the best people that MSNBC has. But he lets a lot of nonsense go by that Chris Hayes never would have. For example, this morning Republican strategist Rick Wilson was allowed to go on at length about things that just aren’t true. He’s not a total idiot like Amy Kremer, but he sure wasn’t insightful, even about the Republican movement. And Kornacki let him make some blanket statements about Obama that just weren’t true. It was sad to see.

The best part of the show was after Wilson went on at length (Of course!) about how he wanted the NSA to “scoop up” all the data in other countries. That struck me as typically stupid conservative. It goes right along the lines of people thinking that the Constitution only applies to citizens, even though that’s not what the Constitution says. There is this idea that only America matters. I have a hard time stomaching this kind of anti-international, parochial world view. Luckily, Yglesias was there to hit back:

Another thing that has not gotten a lot of play in the debate is the international element. It’s great for us to sit in America and say, “Yeah, of course we want to spy on foreigners.” But it’s very important to American commerce… And people who are sitting in their living room in Paris, in Berlin, in Tokyo are not going to be so blase and say, “Well, it’s only foreigners who they’re spying on.”

This caused Wilson to backtrack and refine what he was saying, but it was clear that he’d been nailed. The exchange is at the end of this clip, but it is well worth checking out:

Afterword

I really like seeing Matt Yglesias on the TV. He is clearly a quiet person who hasn’t studied broadcasting. It is nice to see a wonk just being a wonk.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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