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MRC Research Director Rich Noyes on Fox Business Network at 5:55 p.m. ET

Matthews: America is the Book Palin Didn't Read! 'She Doesn't Know Us!'

Chris Matthews, on Thursday's Hardball, trashed Sarah Palin, for all things, not quickly responding to a Glenn Beck question about who her favorite Founding Father was. After playing a clip of Palin telling Beck, initially, that she liked, "all of them," before settling on George Washington as her favorite Founding Father, the MSNBC host portrayed Palin as the dumb student:

 

MATTHEWS: You know in school when you didn't read the book and you had to answer the essay question of the book and you hadn't read it. "I thought the book was interesting at times, sometimes it was boring but a lot of it was very interesting." The book you didn't read. That's her story. America is the book she didn't read and yet she's running around the country as this patriotic icon of American what? She doesn't know us. How can you not say Ben Franklin? How can you not say Thomas Paine? Thomas Paine is a major hero of the, the teabaggers and he should be a hero to all. She doesn't know the names of the Founding Fathers!

While Matthews eventually admitted he appreciated her choice of Washington, he went on to mock Palin praising the "diverse opinion" of the Founding Fathers, because Matthews thought Palin was referring to their economic/racial diversity when she used that term: "But the lack of knowledge. Keep saying 'diverse?' One thing there wasn't among the Founding Fathers was diversity! They were all a bunch of white aristocratic landowners."

The following teaser and exchanges were aired on the January 14 edition of Hardball:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: But up next lots of other political news including Sarah Palin's incredible interview with Glenn Beck. I mean, boy there's a duo made in heaven. But anyway this interview is something you're gonna have to watch if you have a problem with both these people because you might learn something about what she doesn't know. Incredible lack of information by a public figure. I don't know if you get a job as a local news anchor with this lack of knowledge. This is Hardball only on MSNBC.

...

MATTHEWS: We're back. Time now for the Politics Fix, with Melinda Hennenberger the editor and chief of PoliticsDaily.com and Sam Stein of the Huffington Post. It's unusual tonight but we're gonna show you, right now, a Glenn Beck interview with Sarah Palin. He asked her a fairly simple question. This wasn't a curveball. He asked her to name her favorite Founding Father. Of course we know all of them, having grown up in this country and loving it. We know, especially, well everybody knows who the Founding Fathers are. Take a look at her strange response. It so much reminds us of her answer about "What do you read?" Let's listen.

(Begin clip)

GLENN BECK: Who's your favorite Founder?

SARAH PALIN: You know, well all of them because they came collectively together with so much diverse-

BECK: Bull crap! Who's your favorite?

PALIN: -so much diverse opinion and so much diversity in, in terms of belief but collectively they came together to form this union.

BECK: Do you have a favorite?

PALIN: No. And, and they were led by, of course, George Washington. So he's got to rise to the top. Washington was the consummate statesman. He served, he, he turned power to the people. He didn't want to be a king. He returned power to the people. Then he went back to Mount Vernon. He went back to his farm.

(End clip)

MATTHEWS: You know in school when you didn't read the book and you had to answer the essay question of the book and you hadn't read it. "I thought the book was interesting at times, sometimes it was boring but a lot of it was very interesting." The book you didn't read. That's her story. America is the book she didn't read and yet she's running around the country as this patriotic icon of American what? She doesn't know us. How can you not say Ben Franklin? How can you not say Thomas Paine? Thomas Paine is a major hero of the, the teabaggers and he should be a hero to all. She doesn't know the names of the Founding Fathers!

MELINDA HENNENBERGER, POLITICSDAILY.COM: I think she's picking, though, George Washington because she's saying, "He's a lot like me that farm boy, who prefers to stay out of the limelight."

MATTHEWS: No she did make a good point in all fairness. I mean she made a good point. I've always espoused the wonder of George Washington of giving up the chance to be our first dictator and going back to, as George the Third, once said, when he was told that, he once asked during the American Revolution, what will Washington do after the war is over? And the guy was painting him and it was an ex-pat that was painting him and he said, "Well I think he's going back to run his farm, his plantation." And George the Third was smart enough to say, and this is chilling to hear him say this, "Then he'll be the greatest man in the world." So what she said was great. But the lack of knowledge. Keep saying "diverse?" One thing there wasn't among the Founding Fathers was diversity! They were all a bunch of white aristocratic landowners.

HENNENBERGER: But I'm happy she's for diversity!

MATTHEWS: But what, but why does, how come she can't answer the most simple questions?

-Geoffrey Dickens is the senior news analyst at the Media Research Center.