Rachel Maddow Reveals Flimsy Rationale for Excluding Republican Guests

There she goes again, revealing more than intended.

Hardly a broadcast of her MSNBC cable show passes without Rachel Maddow earnestly claiming to have invited a Republican guest, only to be told, thanks no thanks.

But based on Maddow's remarks on her show this past Friday evening, those claims come across as dubious -- given Maddow's censorious rationale for selecting guests. Or more accurately, those possessing the temerity to disagree with her politics.

Maddow had this to say during a discussion with Ana Marie Cox about what they perceive as more vocal criticism of Obama from Republicans who do not hold elected office (click here for audio) --

MADDOW: I have to, just as a programming thing, I mean, there's this issue of all the face time that Liz Cheney is getting, all the discussion time that Rush Limbaugh get (sic), that Newt Gingrich get (sic), that Mitt Romney gets, that Mike Huckabee gets. I mean, these people don't have jobs and ....

COX: Let's, don't put them on the TV, Rachel. Like, I just, I don't want to tell you how to do your job but, like, come on.

MADDOW: But, we quest-, but, I mean, the Rachel Maddow show staff, many of whom you know, we sit around all day and talk about whether or not we should put folks on the air. But in terms of the political debate that's happening in the country, it's just not being engaged in by elected Republicans. The only people who are talking from the right are these folks who I prefer not to put on TV 'cause they don't have jobs and I shouldn't feel obligated.

Wow -- Rush Limbaugh doesn't have a job? Aside from the best-paying and most influential one in media. Except for that.

How about Mike Huckabee -- unemployed, really? Last I checked, the former Arkansas governor works as a political commentator for Fox -- much as Maddow is so engaged at MSNBC.

Is it only Republicans that Maddow views in this light or does it also extend to Democrats? Take frequent Maddow guest Howard Dean, for example. Like Huckabee, Dean is a former governor and also served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. And like Huckabee, Dean currently holds no elected office -- yet often finds time to excoriate Republicans while schmoozing with Maddow. Go figure.

And what about Maddow's guest when she said this -- former Wonkette blogger Ana Marie Cox, now a contributor to The Daily Beast, Air America Radio and Playboy magazine. I'll take a wild guess and venture to say that Cox wasn't elected to any of these gigs, although this mysteriously doesn't prevent Cox from expressing views that neatly dovetail with those of the DNC.

Maddow interviewed Obama last October right before the election, but I wonder what she would have done if given the same opportunity a few years earlier. Back then, Obama was ostensibly a United States senator, though everyone knows his real job was running for president. John Kerry followed a similar path, seeking the presidency from 1984 when he was first elected to the Senate to 2004 when he was defeated by Bush at the end of an official presidential campaign. After that, Kerry began actually serving in the Senate. 

At least what Maddow is suggesting is a tad more creative than the standard liberal shtick of decrying "hate speech" and "fearmongering" from right of center or demanding more "fairness" and "diversity" in media. The labels change but the motive remains the same -- keeping conservative opinion out of the mix.

Jack Coleman
Jack Coleman
Ex-liberal from People's Republic of Massachusetts