VOX POPLAR: Good evening and welcome to the new political gameshow, Evil? Or Misunderstood? Where folks can display their knowledge of moral relativism. Tonight's contestant is a former political flack turned pseudo-journalistic hack, the host of CNBC's Hardball, Chris Matthews. Welcome Chris.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: It's good to be here Vox.
VOX POPLAR: That's Mr. Poplar to you. Now you made some comments during a recent trip to Canada that terrorists aren't evil, merely misunderstood.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: They are. The real evil in the world is the United States.
VOX POPLAR: Can the speeches Hardnuts. You're here to prove to the world that you are a real, honest to god expert on the nature of evil.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: That's right.
VOX POPLAR: The rules are simple. I will present you with something and you have to figure out if those things I tell you are Evil, or just Misunderstood.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: I'm ready.
VOX POPLAR: First question. You have kidnapped a woman who has dedicated her life to helping the people of the country you claim to want to liberate. Rather than let her go on with her work, you torture and then behead her. Would that make you Evil, or Misunderstood?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Misunderstood.
VOX POPLAR: Sorry. That is wrong. Doing that will make you Evil. Next question. You have invaded a country and overthrown its brutal dictator. You then begin reconstruction of that same country under difficult circumstances, helping them learn to work together, write a constitution and build democratic institutions. Would that make you Evil, or Misunderstood?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: That sounds like something America would do. I would definitely say Evil.
VOX POPLAR: Sorry. Wrong again. That would make you misunderstood. You're way behind, but there's still a chance you can win our grand prize of absolute moral superiority. Here's our next question. You're the ruler of a country that is rich in natural resources. Instead of using those resources to improve the lives of your people, you instead build palaces, start wars with your neighbours, and use poison gas on your own citizens. Would this make you Evil, or Misunderstood?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Hmmmm. This is a tricky one. It's the sort of thing we'd like to blame America for doing, even though America doesn't really do it... let me think. I'm going to go with Misunderstood.
VOX POPLAR: Is that your final answer?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Yes.
VOX POPLAR: Wrong again, the answer is Evil. And the funny thing is that if you just guessed, you'd probably be right half of the time. Okay, next question. You run a country that is under constant terrorist attack. You have captured a terrorist, and to make him talk you can either pull on his shirt and talk rudely to him, or have an attractive young woman give him a lap dance. Would that make you Evil, or Misunderstood?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: That's horrible. Anyone who would do that is definitely Evil.
VOX POPLAR: Wrong again. You're not doing too well here Chrissie Boy. Onto the next question. You have a bomb strapped to your chest and you have just deliberately blown up a hall during a wedding reception, killing dozens of innocent people. Would that make you Evil, or Misunderstood?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Are those people Israelis?
VOX POPLAR: They could be, it doesn't really matter.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, if they are Israelis I'm going to say Misunderstood.
VOX POPLAR: Looks like yet another leg has been taken off your moral high-horse. Doing that would make you Evil, no matter whose wedding it was. Only two more questions left, there's still a chance to walk away with second place, which would your last remaining shred of dignity. The question is: You are questioning the patriotism of politicians who are deliberately undermining your country's war effort by making statements that hearten your enemies, or publicly discussing classified information with supporters of terrorism. Would that make you Evil, or Misunderstood?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: It's obviously Evil to question the patriotism of anyone who supports the enemies of their country.
VOX POPLAR: There goes your last shred of dignity. To get third place, which is certification that you have one functioning brain cell you have to get this question right. You are a politician who is deliberately undermining your own country's war effort in order to score cheap political points. A course of action that could possibly cost untold numbers of innocent lives. Would that make you Evil, or Misunderstood?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: That's simple. You'd be Misunderstood.
VOX POPLAR: Congratulations. You have the same sense of right and wrong found in amoeba and psychopaths. Now get out of here before I have security toss you on your ass.
(Chris Matthews leaves)
VOX POPLAR: Join us next time when Al Franken comes to the show to tell us if stealing from poor children is Evil, or Misunderstood.