Hardball host Chris Matthews: “Here we have maybe 25, 24 people who’ve lived in London and England and the free world for all these years that become citizens, subjects of the Crown, and yet, after having gotten to know us, they want to kill themselves to hurt us. Isn’t that an even deeper conundrum here than the chemicals being used in these attacks?”
NBC’s Brian Williams: “And that, Chris, that last aspect, the willingness to take one’s own life — I always tell people, you know, there are guys on our team like that, too. They’re called Army Rangers and Navy Seals and the Special Forces folks and the first responders on 9/11 who went into those buildings knowing, by the way, they weren’t going to come out. So we have players like that on our team.”
— Exchange on MSNBC’s Hardball, August 10, 2006 after word of the foiled terrorist plot to bomb American passenger jets over the Atlantic Ocean.
“Comments I made during a live interview with Chris Matthews last night have been aggressively misunderstood in the hours since....I was criticizing the view, expressed by some, that as long as we are fighting the ‘suicide bomber mentality’ we can never get the upper hand, because, as this belief goes, ‘we aren’t willing to give our lives the way they are.’ Of course we are. The difference is: the folks willing to die for OUR country do so in the act of protecting and defending it — NOT killing civilians by detonating an explosive and killing innocent people. I hope that clears it up.”
— Williams in a posting to NBC’s Daily Nightly blog the next morning, August 11, 2006.