Maddow Lapses Into Amnesia About Proposed Brown-Warren Debate

For someone seemingly so bright, Rachel Maddow sure has a short memory.

There she was on June 19, talking about a proposed debate between GOP Sen. Scott Brown and Democrat challenger Elizabeth Warren and mocking Brown with her trademark brand of arm-waving, arrested adolescent sarcasm (video after page break) --

MADDOW: This week, though, Scott Brown said he would agree to a televised debate with Elizabeth Warren, but he had conditions. And he said if his conditions weren't met, he wouldn't do it. His conditions are, first, that the widow of Senator Ted Kennedy not make an endorsement in the Senate race. Seriously, that was one of his demands. And two, his second demand, Scott Brown also demands that MSNBC not be the host of the debate. MSNBC is not the host of the debate! MSNBC was never going to be the host of the debate. MSNBC never even got asked about hosting the debate. But Scott Brown demands that MSNBC be removed as the host of this debate!

But as I wrote the next day, the proposal for MSNBC to air the debate came from, drum roll please -- Vicki Kennedy. On June 12, the Boston Globe reported on the proposal from Mrs. Kennedy.

"In a letter received by both candidates Friday, Vicki Kennedy said the debate would be consponsored by the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate and the University of Massachusetts," wrote Globe reporter Glen Johnson. The debate "would be held Sept. 26 at the UMass Boston Campus Center, broadcast locally on NBC-TV affiliates, and possibly to a national audience via MSNBC."

On her, uh, MSNBC show last night, Maddow curiously neglected to mention the second of Brown's "conditions" she found so hi-larious on June 19. In Maddow's more recent take, they were winnowed to "condition" --

MADDOW: Asked to participate in a debate sponsored by the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, Scott Brown this year decided there is a new rule for debates. He said he would not participate in that Kennedy Institute debate if anybody associated with the Kennedy Institute was going to make an endorsement in the race. Now he didn't just mean somebody who was going to be moderating the debate and actually asking the questions or anything like that. What Republican senator Scott Brown insisted on, rather, was that the widow of Ted Kennedy personally be banned from making an endorsement in the Senate race because she has an association with her late husband's institute.

I mean, to be clear, there was never any indication that Vicki Kennedy was going to participating in the debate in any way or asking the questions or anything like that. Just because she is associated with the institute named for her late husband, Scott Brown said that he forbid (sic) her from making any endorsement in that election -- before the debate, after the debate, ever, all the way through to the election. Scott Brown's condition for accepting that debate was a personal endorsement ban on the late Ted Kennedy's wife. If he didn't get that, he said that debate just wouldn't be fair.

This is what passes for a correction from Maddow -- not repeating a seriously bogus claim she made last week. And a good example of why Scott Brown doubts he'd get a fair shake from the Stalinist airbrushers at MSNBC.

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