Kurtz: MSNBC Complains About CNN Airing Bachmann's SOTU Response Then Spends Days Talking About Her

Howard Kurtz on Sunday pointed out a delicious irony involving MSNBC and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).

After complaining about CNN's decision to air the Congresswoman's response to President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday, MSNBC spent the next several days giving far more attention to her than to the official GOP respondent (video follows with transcript and commentary):

HOWARD KURTZ, CNN: When it comes to cable news, all members of Congress aren't created equal. On the left, Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson, who just lost his seat, got plenty of exposure on MSNBC for saying such things as the Republican health plan for sick people is "die quickly." On the right, Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann became a Fox News star -- she occasionally pops up on other channels as well -- for saying such things as Barack Obama may have anti-American views.

But more incendiary is why the bookers go after them. So when a brainy, budget-cutting hawk, Paul Ryan, delivered the official GOP response to the president's State of the Union, it was Bachmann who made news by making a video appearance for the Tea Party Express thanks, in part, to this network.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I just want to remind our viewers, the only place they'll see on television that speech live, Michele Bachmann's Tea Party speech, will be right here on CNN.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: After the $700 billion bailout, the trillion-dollar stimulus, and the massive budget bill with over 9,000 earmarks, many of you implored Washington to please stop spending money that we don't have.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: But tonight, inexplicably, a national news network decided that they would give Michele Bachmann a job that her own party never did. CNN ran it live on their network. They aired it on national TV. A remarkable act of journalistic intervention to elevate, in effect, at group with which they are cosponsoring a presidential debate, to elevate that group to the level of the major parties in this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: So what did the good folks at MSNBC spend the next day talking about? I'll give you a hint. It wasn't Paul Ryan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody in this room has probably looked at the wrong camera.

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, MSNBC: You know, I've got a room full of cameras here, and I feel like this could happen to me at any moment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michele Bachmann is out there, she's a wildcard.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC: Did she skip the entire financial crisis of 2008 and 2009?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: So did CNN make a mistake in airing Bachmann's speech?

Joining us now to talk about that, and the way most pundits handled the president's State of the Union, Margaret Carlson, columnist for Bloomberg News and Washington editor of "The Week" magazine; Michael Shear of "The New York Times," the lead writer for "The Caucus" blog; and Jim Geraghty, contributing editor at "National Review."

So, Margaret, did CNN elevate Bachmann unfairly, as Rachel Maddow says?

MARGARET CARLSON, BLOOMBERG NEWS: Well, Bachmann makes herself news. I mean, she's -- the Republicans create people like Michael Steele and Sarah Palin and Bachmann. She belongs to the Bachmann party. She is on her own.

She goes out. She always makes news. She's always colorful. She's always incendiary. And we cover news, and she's always willing to make it.

KURTZ: Jim Geraghty, if journalists are going to talk about Bachmann all the time, then what's the big deal for CNN to give her five minutes for that video so that people could see what it is they would then be debating?

Kurtz was spot on with this observation, for from Tuesday on, MSNBC gave far more attention to Bachmann than Ryan mentioning her name 191 times and his 134. 

If the good folks at MSNBC are worried about all the attention given to Bachmann, maybe they should stop doing so many reports on her.

Or is such simple logic beyond shills like Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Lawrence O'Donnell, Ed Schultz, and Cenk Uygur?

Readers are advised that MSNBC only transcribes their weekday programs from 5PM through 11PM.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.