Former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman appeared on Hardball, Thursday, to attack Rick Perry's climate change skepticism as a "war of the worlds between science and faith." Dismissing anyone who isn't sold on global warming as not logical, Fineman scoffed, "It's part of their new Ten Commandments."
Both Matthews and the Huffington Post contributor offered condescending takes on the Tea Party movement. Comparing Perry to a student, Fineman derided, "And he's not just the kid who didn't read the assignment. He's questioning the right of the teacher to make the assignment in the first place."
He added, "It's an article of faith with the Tea Party people and Perry is going right at every Tea Party voter he can."
Matthews argued that only those who accept climate change could have reasoned beliefs: "Why is [global warming skepticism] so theocratic? Why is it so close to their religious beliefs?"
Fineman, who was the senior editor at Newsweek until October of 2010, has previously attacked Perry. On August 14, 2011 , he dismissed, "And you know when proponents of George Bush...are accusing Rick Perry of being shallow, you've got some questions to ask, okay?"
A transcript of the September 8, 2011 Hardball exchange:
RICK PERRY: Well, I do agree that there is- the science is not settled on this. The idea that we would put Americans' economy at jeopardy based on scientific theory that's not settled yet is, to me is just- it is nonsense. I mean - I mean- And I tell somebody, just because you have a group of scientists that stood up and said here is the fact, Galileo got outvoted for a spell.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, you know, he reminds me of the kid in school that didn't do the reading assignment. And is come in and basically B.S.-ed Going off, reaching off to Galileo. I mean, the question, after all these years of studying man's impact on climate in the country, you've got to reach a conclusion if you're in public life and he refuses to reach that conclusion.
HOWARD FINEMAN: Well, you and I were out there last night, Chris, and what we saw was a war of the worlds between science and faith.
FINEMAN: Okay? And he's not just the kid who didn't read the assignment. He's questioning the right of the teacher to make the assignment in the first place. It's an article of faith with the Tea Party people and Perry is going right at every Tea Party voter he can. The climate change is a hoax. It's part of their new Ten Commandments. One is, if climate change is a hoax. Get the EPA off their back.
MATTHEWS: Why is it so theocratic? Why is it so close to their religious beliefs?
FINEMAN: Well, well, partly it's because, if you want to get technical about it, in terms of God and creation, that's part of it. But it's just a questioning of the scientific elite. Many times, what, at least two times last night, Rick Perry waved away an issue to say, that's something for intellectuals. We can have an intellectual discussion of that at some point. It's an anti-elitist that takes on any power in society purporting to dictate to the lives of the people that he claims to represent, including the scientific community.
MATTHEWS: This is interesting because this isn't a debate over left and right. It's a debate over did you do your homework in school? And is that homework valid?
— Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here  to follow him on Twitter.