Maddow Finally Gets It Right About Alito's Reaction During State of Union Speech in 2010

Better belated than never.

More than two years after she dishonestly claimed that Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito was caught "heckling" President Obama during his State of the Union address, Rachel Maddow has finally come clean on what actually occurred. (video after page break)

On her MSNBC show Jan. 27, 2010, right after Obama spoke before Congress, Maddow said this --

This year both the speech made some news and the theater around the speech made a tiny little bit of news. One moment of pure political theater tonight was a quasi-reprise of Congressman Joe Wilson's "you lie!" moment from last year's speech on health reform. As President Obama was describing last week's Supreme Court ruling allowing corporations the world over to spend without limit on American politicians and political campaigns, incredibly, a justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Samuel Alito, shook his head (footage shown of Alito's reaction) and said "not true" or possibly "simply not true." A Supreme Court spokeswoman told NBC's Pete Williams tonight just moments ago that Justice Samuel Alito who was himself unavailable for comment on the heckling ...

Not so incredibly, Maddow's dubious claim about Alito "heckling" Obama was accompanied by her parroting Obama's patently false claim of the Citizens United ruling allowing corporations "the world over" to spend "without limit" on politicians and campaigns in America.

What Alito did here, at least according to Maddow, was engage in a seldom seen example of silent heckling. Close your eyes and you'd miss it; politicians and comedians invariably do when this happens. More forceful examples clearly rise to the level of hate speech as dutiful thought cops like Maddow will remind you.

Lapsing into candor this past Monday, Maddow recounted the episode more accurately --

MADDOW: Even before the Obama administration's health reform law was taken up by the Supreme Court this past week, the court's conservative majority had already come under fire from the administration, and from the president specifically, for their last very controversial ruling, in the Citizens United decision.

OBAMA (from 2010 State of Union speech): With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations to spend without limit in our elections.

MADDOW: That was when the conservative justice Samuel Alito mouthed the words "not true" back at the president. Remember that? Watch again, it goes by fast. Watch (footage shown again). By the way, (this?) is how a Supreme Court justice yells "you lie!" at the president at the State of the Union.

How refreshing that Maddow has also stopped referring to Joe Wilson's "scream" at Obama during his health reform speech before Congress in September 2009.

Jack Coleman
Jack Coleman
Liberated ex-liberal from the People's Republic of Massachusetts