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On Shutdown, Chris Matthews Snarls at 'Troglodyte,' 'Planet of the Apes' Conservatives

Chris Matthews, who has publicly insisted that he doesn't like "cheap shots," on Tuesday trashed conservatives in the House as "troglodytes" from the movie Planet of the Apes. According to the Hardball anchor, Republicans opposing the President in the government shutdown believe that "if the country goes down, the economy goes down, the world comes apart, 'hey, we get an extra inch of flesh off this guy [Obama].'"

After guest David Corn, editor of the liberal Mother Jones magazine, sneered that these GOP members want to "blog things up" and "plunge the detonator," Matthews snarled, "Is this troglodyte or weird thinking?" He fumed, "It's almost like Planet of the Apes...At what point are they going to say, I guess we were wrong?" [MP3 audio here.]

Matthews's thoughts on the shutdown shifted into a weird diatribe that included global warming and evolution:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: When you see a million years of bones on the earth and the Leakeys and everybody else dig them up, all the way back to Lucy, and they find there's all this hard evidence of human life going pretty far back, in millions of years -- Oh, it's only 5,000 years because the literal word of the Bible says that. Or they see the water level going up around this planet -- I'm sorry, this continent -- Miami going under water at some point.

Corn didn't try and break down the cable anchor's scattered thoughts. Instead, he insisted that the House Republicans are "impermeable to science and facts."

Matthews concluded, "Well, then it is the Planet of the Apes."

On September 27, Matthews attacked a GOP congressman who suggested the host didn't read. The journalist assailed, "I wish you hadn't made that last remark. I think it was a cheap shot."

A partial transcript of the October 8 segment is below:

7:08 PM ET

CHRIS MATTHEWS: David, buddy, I am stunned here because I don't know what you'd do if you put these guys under sodium pentothol, put them into a lie detector, would it just be a flat line? Have they talked themselves into believing this? Or is it just politics, where they'll say, We're not going to give the president the facts on the table. We won't even give him there's a deadline. We want to be able to push this and push this and push this until we get what we want. And if the country goes down, the economy goes down, the world comes apart, 'Hey, we get an extra inch of flesh off this guy.'

DAVID CORN: I think they are living within an alternative reality. I do think it's not that they -- I think they kind of believe this, in the sense that they came to Washington to blow things up. If it's either the government, or you know, the financial system, they just don't like it. They want to disrupt. And you know, I kind of see them as Ayn Rand libertarians who want to plunge the detonator and see what happens afterwards --

MATTHEWS: You mean "Atlas Shrugged."

CORN: -- because they don't like -- they don't like the established order, and they are going to -- and they're -- they have people back home, they have people on Web sites, social media sites, talk radio, who keep egging them on, saying, Listen, you can't blink. You got to stare down Obama and everybody else. And if it comes to the brink, you've got to be willing to go over the cliff with this. And they really believe it. And I think they're trying to justify, you know, the possible anarchy they could bring about by saying, I don't think it will be that bad.

MATTHEWS: Is this troglodyte or weird thinking, like -- it's almost like Planet of the Apes. When you see a million years of bones on the earth and the Leakeys and everybody else dig them up, all the way back to Lucy, and they find there's all this hard evidence of human life going pretty far back, in millions of years -- Oh, it's only 5,000 years because the literal word of the Bible says that. Or they see the water level going up around this planet -- I'm sorry, this continent -- Miami going under water at some point. At what point are they going to say, I guess we were wrong?

CORN: I don't think at any point, Chris. I don't think they are -- I think they're impermeable to science and facts, economic analysis --

MATTHEWS: Well, then it is the Planet of the Apes.

— Scott Whitlock is Senior News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Scott Whitlock on Twitter.