As the skit begins Chris Matthews (Darrell Hammond) spits out:
"Welcome to Hardball. This week Iraq handed over a 12,000 page document detailing every missile, gun, and pointed stick they've got. They think they can avoid a war. Guys save yourself the paperwork. We're gonna invade ya! You got a better chance of keeping Liza Minelli out of the medicine cabinet."
"Sen. Lott, high ranking members of both parties are calling on you to step down after your comments about Sen. Thurmond who was a segregationist. Should your bonehead behavior spell trouble for Republicans?," Hammond/Matthews asked.
Gore/Lott replied, blithely misstating Lott's position. "When I said our country wouldn't have all these problems if Strom Thurmond had been elected president it had nothing to do with segregation. I simply meant," he continued, "that things would have been better if Thurmond were president because he would have kept white people and black people separate."
As the audience laughed, Gore continued, "I just hate it when liberals take me out of context like that."
The skit did not spare Democrats either, with a make-believe lead strategist for the Democratic National Committee making clear with comedic intensity her party holds positions identical to those of Republicans. "Republicans want to go to war with Iraq," she said. "We only support such a war.
Then Gore/Lott was given the opportunity to restate his earlier remarks, saying, "It has come to my attention that some of my comments about Strom Thurmond may have been construed as racially insensitive. Let me apologize." Then he went on to underline instead his supposed insensitivities.
"I meant no disrespect to any white people," Gore/Lott said. "I myself am a white man and some if not all of my best friends are white. Let me make this clear. As long as I am in my office we will leave no white person behind."
Replied Hammond/Matthews, "Senator, you're shedding a lot of light on the situation. Unfortunately the light is coming from a cross you just set afire."
The spokeswoman for the DNC then said, "The Democratic Party condemns Sen. Lott's comments. We believe they are deplorable and worthy of censure. Unless somehow it turns out that everyone's cool with what he said, in which case, so are we."
Hammond/Matthews concluded the segment by spitting out, "We're gonna take a break. When we come back. Trent Lott explains how the world would have been better off if the Germans had won World War II."
This grass roots Al Gore site is promising to have the show up in Quicktime and Real Media later this afternoon:
Right now they have clips of quite a few of Gore's recent TV interviews. Gore's actual Hardball show is currently linked to from the bottom of the page.
the 3 screen captures show:
1. "Chris Matthews"
2. "Sen. Lott"
3. "the DNC strategist"