Those working at MSNBC probably believe they are providing a valuable public service. The network might actually have a chance of doing that if its executives hired an ombudsdman.
Should this unlikely scenario ever occur, the person hired for the job would inevitably focus on Rachel Maddow. (audio clip after page break)
For example, any ombudsman acting in good faith would take Maddow to task for a deceitful claim she made repeatedly on her show Friday.
Here's what Maddow said about legislation enacted earlier this year to change Ohio's early voting law (audio) --
Gov. (John) Kasich and the Republicans did have a plan for that too (Ohio as key battleground in 2012). They passed a law earlier this year to severely curtail early voting in Ohio, to make it harder and less convenient to vote in the state of Ohio. And that, of course, political common wisdom says, hurts Democrats and helps Republicans.
Having claimed the new Ohio will "severely curtail" early voting, Maddow then said this --
Well now Ohio voters have done it again, they are going after Kasich's kill early voting law as well, Ohio's secretary of state confirming today that the more than 300,000 valid signatures submitted to recall John Kasich's Republican kill early voting law in Ohio are sufficient to put that issue on the ballot for recall in November. That means the law is on hold until it can be voted on, which means early voting is saved in Ohio for the presidential election next year. And it means that Ohioans will be voting on whether they want to repeal John Kasich's kill early voting law on the same day they will be voting for president.
Well, which is it -- curtails or kills? Can't be both, even at MSNBC on those infrequent days when they play it straight.
According to the Associated Press, the law shortens early voting in person from 35 to 17 days -- five weeks to two and a half -- and absentee voting from 35 days to 21 -- five weeks to three. The law also eliminates a five-day waiting period "during which new voters could both register and cast a ballot on the same day," the AP reports. "People would be allowed to vote in person on Saturday until noon, and not on Sundays or the three days before Election Day."
Whether the law "severely curtails" early voting is arguable. Those given to hyperbole would undoubtedly agree. But what it doesn't do is "kill" it, no matter how many times Maddow repeats the claim while wishing upon a star.
This from an MSNBC host with the laughable gall to trumpet her alleged "devotion to facts that borders on obsessive." More accurately, Maddow obsesses on appearing obsessed with facts while casually tossing them aside when ideology beckons.