Did Rachel Maddow Mock FBI Tactics That Led to Arrest of Whitey Bulger?

Sure looks like it, but decide for yourself.

Whitey Bulger is the alleged crime boss arrested Wednesday by FBI agents in Santa Monica, Calif., with his longtime girlfriend Catherine Greig.

The basis for the Jack Nicholson character in "The Departed," Bulger is suspected of involvement in at least 19 murders and myriad other crimes. Until last month, only one other figure on the FBI's most wanted list was considered more dangerous -- Osama bin Laden.  

On her MSNBC show Monday, Maddow described new FBI tactics in the agency's 16-year manhunt to bring the notorious fugitive to justice (video clip after page break) --

MADDOW: The FBI held a press conference in Boston today to announce details of their current strategy to find Whitey by finding Catherine. And they think they will find Catherine with a little help from the ladies of "The View." Seriously, if watch "The View" or Ellen DeGeneres or daytime soap operas, you may soon also see this.

FBI COMMERCIAL: This is an announcement by the FBI. Have you seen this woman? The FBI is offering $100,000 for tips leading to Catherine Greig's whereabouts. These photos are from the early 1990s. Greig has had plastic surgeries. She is wanted for harboring James "Whitey" Bulger, a fugitive on the FBI's 10 most wanted list.

MADDOW: The theory behind this FBI ad is that the women who watch Ellen or Dr. Oz or "The View" or Regis and Kelly might also themselves spend time at beauty parlors or getting a little work done. And that is the kind of place where you might run into Whitey Bulger's fugitive girlfriend.

A clip was shown of an FBI spokesman at the press conference saying Greig, a former dental hygienist, probably has "well-kept teeth," frequents beauty salons, and has undergone "multiple" plastic surgeries. (Link here for the Maddow segment in its entirety)

MADDOW: Now, I'm not kidding here, but a year ago the FBI started putting ads in the newsletter of the American Dental Association and in Plastic Surgery News, published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The ads say, 'Have You Treated This Woman?' They then list all the procedures she's had over the years, from breast implants to something called lower blepharoplasty. From the dental ad and the plastic surgery ad they say they got over 100 tips. And so now they are doubling down. Ladies who watch Dr. Oz, if you have ever sat down for a mani pedi next to Whitey Bulger's girlfriend anywhere, that's $100,000 for you if your tip means they find Catherine Greig. And there's $2 million for you if your tip leads through her to Whitey Bulger himself.

Oh to have been a fly on the wall at the FBI when they decided they were going to go with this strategy.  (Mimics FBI agents in animated discussion) All right, I'll call the plastic surgeon trade publications and you (pause) ... Do you think we can get on 'The View'?!

Yes, Maddow finished the segment by describing it as "Best new thing in the world today," the title of a recurring feature on her show. But given how she seemed to mock the FBI strategy, one could just as easily interpret the "best new thing" shtick as ironic -- as with so much else that liberals say, the better to have it both ways.

Two days after Maddow had her fun with this, Bulger and Greig were taken into custody. Here's how it was reported at the Wall Street Journal --

The arrests came as a "direct result" of an FBI publicity blitz that began Monday, Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of the investigation for the FBI, said in a news conference Thursday in Boston.

Unfortunately for Bulger, Maddow wasn't working at the FBI when the publicity blitz was conceived and hence wasn't in a position to kill it through disparagement. 

Not surprisingly, Maddow made no mention of the fact that Bulger is the brother of William "Billy" Bulger, a well-known Democrat who ran the Massachusetts state senate for nearly two decades. 

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