On Monday night’s edition of his little-watched MSNBC show, Rachel Maddow reported a satirical article calling for Sarah Palin to lead an invasion of Egypt as fact. Not only as fact, but as evidence of dangerous wacky right-wing ideas.
The site the article originally appeared on: ChristWire.org. Not a tip-off at all there.
It’s embarrassing to get something so obvious so wrong, but it’s even more humiliating when your entire act is a smarmy smarter-than-you above-it-all snark-fest and you’re unmasked as a buffoon.
On Tuesday’s show, Maddow decided that it was Glenn Beck’s fault he couldn’t tell the difference between satire and reality. The ugly-assed Eyeblast.tv video is at Newsbuster’s site, but I don’t like to soil my site with their unwatchable low-res garbage. Here’s the relevant transcript from Newsbusters:
After more than six minutes of conservative/Beck bashing, Maddow finally addressed her pathetic gaffe from the previous evening:
MADDOW: And if you are wondering, yes, this is all an elaborate excuse slash explanation for us believing that ChristWire.org was something other than satire yesterday.
The clip of her gaffe from Monday was shown followed by:
MADDOW: Yes, those folks asking [Sarah Palin] to invade North Africa it turns out are writers for a satirical website called ChristWire.org, which is really actually very excellent. Props to them for a brilliant piece of satire, shame on us for believing it, but in a world where China taking over New Zealand is what passes for real analysis on the situation in Egypt, how do we know that’s not satire, too?
“It’s not us, it’s them.”
It’s not the first time Maddow issued a non-apology, turning an issue around on Conservatives and blaming them for his mistakes.
Back in October, Maddow made reference to former Republican Congressman Steve Stockman, saying Stockman had prior knowledge of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. In reality, Stockman had gotten a press release sort-of fax from a militia group after the bombing and turned it over to the FBI for investigation. After an uproar, Maddow claimed an “editing error” and spoke on the issue the following night.
The real vomit-all-over-your-keyboard moment comes at roughly the 2-minute mark, where Maddow sarcastically frames her apology as a chance to congratulate herself on bringing the specter of militant right-wing politics to the public’s attention. “For all the conservative bloggers out there who are extremely angry at me for making that mistake” she said, “thank you. Thank you for signaling such enthusiasm for discussing guys like Steve Stockman, and for getting all the details right. If the country talked a lot more about the Steve Stockmans of the world and anti-government extremism and what the experience of having anti-government extremists in Congress was like for this country the last time we tried it, I think that would be good for us in this country, particularly before this round of elections.”
Maddow’s apology, wherein the range of dangerous anti-government extremists is eventually expanded to include unnamed past and future members of Congress, is a case in point. She’s willing to apologize for an isolated factual inaccuracy, but only so she can advance a truly paranoid line of reasoning in which a single congressman who hasn’t held public office in a decade and a half (and couldn’t even get his own party’s nomination for Texas Railway Commissioner) proves that we’re in for a resurgence of Oklahoma City-style right-wing militancy. This is a bogus talking point disguised as an apology.
There’s a YouTube video of that non-apology, so here it is.