O'Donnell, Tubbs Jones Spar Over Clinton Campaign's Role in Pushing Rezko Story

The last time I wrote about Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, I described her as "ever-smiling." Scratch that. The Dem congresswoman from Ohio and Hillary co-chair just jabbed at MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell during a discussion of who is responsible for circulating the story about the Rezko trial: the media or the Clinton campaign.

At one point, things got heated enough for Tubbs Jones to tell O'Donnell "you know what? I'm enjoying talking to you but you can't talk on top of me in order for me to answer your question."

The conversation was proceeding swimmingly until Norah broached the Rezko matter. And then . . .

NORAH O'DONNELL: What about, congresswoman, that many--and Barack Obama--essentially charged today that the reason he failed to win in Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island last night is because Hillary Clinton went negative on him, and that that worked?

STEPHANIE TUBBS JONES: You know what? Throughout this campaign the Obama team has tried to say it's us going negative. Whenever you point out the differences in the records of Senator Clinton and Senator Obama, it's that we're going negative. And that is not the fact. The fact is there is a difference between the two of them. We pointed it out and the people --

O'DONNELL: But pointing out that the Rezko trial is going on is not a pointing out of differences in records, is it?
It was shortly thereafter that Tubbs Jones let some temper show . . .
TUBBS JONES: She didn't point out the Rezko trial is going on, the media reported -

O'DONNELL: Oh, her campaign has just about every day, yeah.

TUBBS JONES: Wait, wait, wait. The media pointed that out. And it's a fact. I'm a former judge --

O'DONNELL: I thought the media was bad?

TUBBS JONES: Excuse me.

O'DONNELL: I thought we were responsible for, for --

TUBBS JONES: You know what? I'm enjoying talking to you but you can't talk on top of me in order for me to answer your question.

O'DONNELL: I hear you, congresswoman. Go ahead.

TUBBS JONES: My response was, I'm a former judge, and a former district attorney, and trials are public trials and the media reports on them all the time. It's not our campaign reporting. It's a fact that a trial was going on, and it's being reported.
Leaving aside that moment of tension, O'Donnell raised an interesting point. When Norah stated that Camp Clinton has been pushing the Rezko story, Tubbs Jones retorted no, it's the media that's been reporting it. But hasn't Hillary's campaign been claiming that the media has been in the tank for Obama, or as Norah put it, "I thought the media was bad" -- in the sense of biased against Hillary?

So which is it? If the media is hopelessly biased for Obama, why has, according to Tubbs Jones, that same media and not the Clinton campaign been pushing the Rezko story to Obama's disadvantage?
Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.