Chris Matthews | Dan Choi | Military | News

Watch: Voices Raised Over 'DADT' on Hardball, with Gay Vets Dan Choi and Alex Nicholson


Chris Matthews raises the hackles of Dan Choi, asking why no Republicans are on board with DADT repeal, and what the President could possibly do to help out.


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  1. Leave the boiled potato alone! His job is to entertain. Does he know politics? Does chris matthews know politics? Well, the prepackaged shit you get on cable news is what he knows, and he isn't completely stupid..."healthy" cynicism saves him from that mr. smith goes to washington schtick that befalls his peers, and is...kinda gross. From embarrassing details about his personal life to criticism of his military record and approach to activism, is Dan Choi becoming a liability? Is he already? He's drawn a lot of attention to DADT and its injustice. What's the verdict?

    Posted by: TANK | Nov 12, 2010 12:22:25 AM

  2. It is not hating Dan Choi to point out that he was in over his head. He has been operating as an activist, and for that role is well suited, but Chris Matthews made the mistake of inviting Choi on the show to act as an analyst, and promoted Choi to a position of incompetence.

    When you want to put a face to gays who suffer under the unjust law of DADT, you call Choi, but if you want someone who has the political savvy to discuss the more theoretical aspects of a political issue, then you get someone who knows what they are talking about.

    That is why Christ kept interrupting Choi. He asked a very specific question, and Choi got no where in the vicinity of comprehending the question, and instead of deferring to the other guy went off on his familiar rant.

    Really, it was embarrassing. I thought Choi was a West Point graduate, but it seems the days of thinking critically are far behind him. I kept wishing there was a fence on the set he could go chain himself to.

    Posted by: Ricco | Nov 12, 2010 1:02:50 AM

  3. Funme, you sound desperate. I don't think you do "love it" or that you find it "too funny." You try to cut down others' arguments and positions by minimizing their numbers, insulting them, and laughing at them. For someone who respects Martin Luther King, you are more of a sad bully than an artful advocate of a legitimate position. I also don't think King would use so many emoticons.

    Dan Choi is not nearly as good a speaker or advocate for our cause as King, unfortunately, but he seems to be the one voice the media has focused on at present. Pointing out the inefficacy of Choi's current style is not taking the side of "the enemy." He could be a great spokesperson, and some days he does better articulate his thoughts. Today, he ranted in a very un-King like manner; not helping our cause, obviously.

    But you keep laughing at the hilarity we bring to our posts. I'm glad you're amused. I respect the energy and time you put into your posts, but I don't think your tactics are all that effective.

    Posted by: JeffDalon | Nov 12, 2010 1:35:27 AM

  4. I love Dan Choi, always have, always will. Met the guy, rallied next to him, marched with him--but the guy can't answer a question. He gets too loaded with emotion to properly respond to complex political questions.

    Posted by: Jake Orlando | Nov 12, 2010 1:48:11 AM

  5. Ricco is spot on. Choi is an activist, and an important one that I support. Chris has no use for activists, and wanted political analysis. Two different styles and TV show agendas, but no enemies here.

    Posted by: adamblast | Nov 12, 2010 2:15:31 AM

  6. I don't blame him for being angry. Tweety has that effect on me whenever I watch him...

    As for the nasty comments here re: Choi ... my how quickly we turn on our own.

    Posted by: Ryan | Nov 12, 2010 3:34:08 AM

  7. Why can’t we get one Republican vote for repeal of DADT? Because they are politicians saving their own jobs. And Tweety knows this, Lt. Choi should.

    30% of the general public does not want repeal, that 30% is more conservative, white, older, most likely religious, they make up a larger percentage of registered voters and are the driving force in the Republican Party. For this 30%, voting in every election is a habit and a calling. They are motivated and are the foot soldiers for Republican campaigns. No Republican can survive the primary process without this group, or at least not offending them.

    Polling of the general public does not equal votes from the electorate. It doesn’t matter what Gallup says a survey reports, at least 35% of the respondents are not registered. And Good Lord, only 47% of registered voters showed up in 2010. So this minority of motivated voters have a greater say in politics.

    Posted by: Gus | Nov 12, 2010 4:16:50 AM

  8. chris and dan and alex are on our side.

    Posted by: andnowwhat | Nov 12, 2010 4:17:35 AM

  9. Choi is an embarrassment, now all the republican blogs are using that interview as proof that gays are too emotional to serve when under pressure. He was asked simple questions but it looks like he has his own agenda crusading against Obama. Choi is the best friend of Republicans now for keeping the attention off of there anti LGBT votes

    Posted by: thebigone | Nov 12, 2010 4:21:05 AM

  10. @FUNME: Just because people actually are supportive of the POTUS doesn't mean they are sellouts ,or, "HRC". I can assure you I am definitely neither, especially the latter.

    And please Gay people, stop prefacing your comments with any variation of , "if Black...".

    It's borderline coded racism and rather boorish to boot.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Nov 12, 2010 4:37:40 AM

  11. I wish Chris Matthews would have 1.) not quickly escalated the conversation by interrupting Choi and 2.) asked Alex Nicholson more questions - because Nicholson seemed to be able to answer them far more coherently than Choi could.

    I'm not dissing Choi or anything. I'm grateful for what he's done for all of us. However, he has to learn to take it down a notch and answer the questions succinctly without digressing into talking points - no matter how passionate he is about it.

    Posted by: damien | Nov 12, 2010 5:28:17 AM

  12. Ricco is right. And I'd like to add that Chris Matthews is on our side, too. I met him a few years ago at a conference and got to speak with him one-on-one for half an hour, much of that time on gay issues. On his show, he draws connections between the larger political landscape and status of gay rights -- and the need for progress -- all the time. And yes, he speaks over people when they won't answer a direct question. An interviewer has a right to get answers to the questions he actually asks. I don't hate or dishonor Choi at all, but he needs to learn to tell the difference between friend and foe.

    Speaking of which: whoever out there keeps referring to Mattrhews as "Tweety" ... I can only imagine what cartoon figure you resemble. I doubt it's a Disney Prince.

    Posted by: Atlanta Guy | Nov 12, 2010 5:41:58 AM

  13. Dan Choi is an American hero. He demonstrates more leadership than Obama on this issue, and frankly more than the rest of us.

    Can you imagine the change we could bring if we all cared as much as he does, and acted on it?

    Posted by: r | Nov 12, 2010 5:46:22 AM

  14. Chris Matthews is a douchebag who ought to be ostracized by the GLBT community.

    Chris Matthews also needs to rememeber that it wasn't the Republicans who promised to repeal DADT. Obama promised it, not the Republicans. Therefore, it's Obama who must deliver on his promise.

    If Obama showed half the enthusiasm for DADT repeal that he showed for his health-care plan, we'd have had DADT repealed long ago. Since the health-care bill passed, the numbers in Congress haven't changed, only the enthusiasm of our so-called "fierce advocate" has.

    Posted by: jason | Nov 12, 2010 5:55:31 AM

  15. I trust anyone, on the strength of this interview and with something worthwhile to say will completely avoid being interviewed by this man Matthews. A complete waste of time, even if the questions are pertinent. What's the point of asking if never allowed to answer? It smacks of a side-show.

    Posted by: Andy | Nov 12, 2010 6:23:54 AM

  16. What Catalino said!

    I'd like to see any of the queens here sit on national TV and try to do better than Dan did today. You know it ain't easy. What's easy is armchair quarterbacking. Instead of tearing the guy down on Veteran's Day, lend him a hand.

    Can you imagine if he had access to the kind of coaching that Sarah Palin gets? The Tea Party gets one thing right - they realize that control of media/and message is King, and they spend a fortune on their stars.

    I think Dan makes a good representative of what the military looks like.

    Posted by: Evan | Nov 12, 2010 6:36:00 AM

  17. I admire Dan Choi for his stand on this issue, but he is NOT a very good spokesperson on this topic. His inability to respond to simple questions in an articulate way without loosing his cool is a problem.

    Posted by: Ingmar53 | Nov 12, 2010 6:58:08 AM

  18. The most dangerous place to stand is between Dan Choi and a TV camera.

    Posted by: Brent Z | Nov 12, 2010 7:03:33 AM

  19. @Funme needs to get a grip. Just because commenters on this blog are critical of Dan Choi's ability to articulate the reasons for DADT repeal does mean we are turning our backs on our community or we're "closet queens" or whatever other epithets you threw at us. I think the only our message stays coherent is to be critical of those who appear incoherent. You can blame Chris Matthews, but you have to be able to articulate your message in a variety of ways to a variety of interviewers whether it's Chris Matthews, Bill O'Reilly, or a college freshman broadcasting major. That's just the game. Like I said, Choi needs someone to help him channel his justified emotion and anger into coherent arguments. It's not saying I don't think he's a hero or that he's not a worthwhile voice for repeal, he just needs a little coaching. And actually, I think up until this interview he's appeared fairly coherent. I don't buy all the fame-whore criticisms or any of that, I think he's truly interested in serving his country, but he obviously let his emotions get the best of him on Chris's show, which cannot happen.

    Posted by: Anthony | Nov 12, 2010 10:45:00 AM

  20. Dan sounded off here, but Chris Matthews does bombard with questions and doesn't let you finish your answer. He's tough to watch and I'd imagine tough to be interviewed by.

    Posted by: jgm22 | Nov 12, 2010 10:47:08 AM

  21. Oh God, there is not Dan Choi hate in here. Chris was being a journalist and Dan did not deliver. Dan was too passionate and not on point.

    Don't call us Obamabots, because Chris held Dan accountable.

    I rather have Dan on his game, than mouthing off foolishness. Hopefully, Dan will learn from this and get better

    Posted by: wondermann | Nov 12, 2010 11:07:54 AM

  22. I wish I had half the courage of a Dan Choi.

    I found nothing wrong with his performance. Matthews was trying to get a political answer out of a man who is trying to appeal to the conscience of the country. The problem with Chris Matthews, aside from the fact that his questions are twice as long as the answers he allows his guests to give, is that he looks at everything from a political slant. To him, politics is a fun game no matter which side wins. Occasionally I've seen him express compassion for the progressive view point, but I saw none of that here. He was hostile, abrasive and just plain rude. He's also two-faced. He would never treat a professional politician with such condescension as he treated Choi.

    Dan Choi is a hero, with or without a military record. Chris Matthews is a smug, pompous, self-congratulatory fat-head. There is no contest. The fact that many on this site can't see that is dismaying.

    Posted by: Vince | Nov 12, 2010 11:38:33 AM

  23. Dan Choi is a hero not only to his country but to the LGBT community. He has been the one to take this fight all the way to the White House. He did an EXCELLENT job in this interview, especially considering Tweety trying to yell over him and never letting him speak 5 words.

    The TRUTH is Obama is a homophobe and a hypocrite. On day one of his presidency he could have issued a stop-loss order to end discharges under DADT while he was working on repeal. He did not and the truth is he did nothing, NOTHING to end DADT until members of congress took it upon themselves to introduce legislation. Obama meanwhile gives lots of pretty speeches about ending DADT and how discriminatory it is, yet his own Dept. of Justice defends DADT using the very talking points that the right wing bigots use. When DADT was declared unconstitutional, the DOJ appealed it! It was dead and Obama's administration resurrected it.
    Meanwhile while congress was debating repealing DADT, neither Obama nor his administration called not one congressman to drum up votes. Yet, that same day he took time out of his schedule to call a sports team and congratulate them on their win. There are several senators who have expressed an interest in talking to the Obama administration in perhaps voting for the DADT repeal legislation. His office has still not called one of them, not one.
    The truth is Obama does not give a rats a$$ about repealing DADT. He has never had a plan to repeal it, he has never actually lifted a finger to help get votes and beyond making pretty speeches, has yet to speak to one congressman to drum up votes. Wake up and smell the coffee! Obama and the Democrats took LGBT donations of money, volunteers and support and promised to work on repealing DADT, DOMA, and enact ENDA. DOMA is still in place and will be for a very long time, ENDA is a forgotten dream at this point. DADT repeal is all but dead. If you don't think the Dems and Obama care nothing for LGBT community then you've been drinking too much of their kool-aid.

    Posted by: Brad | Nov 12, 2010 1:47:39 PM

  24. I don't blame Dan Choi for getting irritated and short-tempered with Chris Matthews. I probably would have reached across the table and stuffed Chris Matthews' talking points sheet down Tweety's throat.

    But, Mr. Choi has to understand that Matthews is right about the Constitutional questions regarding DADT. It's the same argument I've been making.

    Constitutionally, only Congress can repeal DADT, since Congress enacted the legislation in the first place. DADT is law and the President cannot unilaterally dismiss any law passed by Congress.

    The Uniform Code of Military Justice is the "constitution" of the military. It is promulgated by the military, enforced by the military, but it is approved by the U.S. Congress. And in order for DADT to be repealed, the UCMJ and its proscriptions against homosexuality and other sexual indiscretions will have to be struck for the UCMJ (for example, adultery is a grave offense, and gets an automatic dishonorable discharge and can lead to time in the brig).

    I do think Dan Choi needs to take a break. Slow down. Try and control that righteous anger of his, which he has every right to feel. He was making the military his career and was denied his career because of an archaic prejudice against gay men.

    Posted by: mike | Nov 12, 2010 1:53:48 PM

  25. It is unreasonable to expect anyone who has suffered the demoralizing effects of institutional discrimination to be emotionally detached at all times. I can certainly related to how Dan Choi feels.

    Being a privileged, white heterosexual, I don't think Chris Matthews can relate at all and it shows. It's certain that if Matthews' Constitutional rights were being abridged for his entire life he would have a better understanding of why many of us become emotional about our inequality. It is now apparent that we have lost this battle and others for the time being and there are bound to be very emotional responses to that fact.

    Posted by: Timzilla | Nov 12, 2010 2:36:56 PM

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