MSNBC Promotes Sandra Fluke’s State Senate Run with Softball Interview

You had hoped it was just a fluke when she received so much national attention back in 2012, but sadly, no: Sandra Fluke has crystallized into a national icon, not just for birth control advocates, but for liberals in general. On Tuesday’s NewsNation on MSNBC, host Craig Melvin put Fluke in front of the cameras and helped to boost her fledgling campaign for the California Senate.

In setting up the interview, Melvin reminded his audience of how those mean House Republicans stopped Fluke from testifying at a hearing about ObamaCare’s contraception mandate in February 2012. He then dialed up the hype: “She later testified before a Democratic House panel about birth control coverage and the rest is history.”


History, indeed: the history of the much-hyped, yet fake, Republican “war on women.”

In a “hint, hint” moment, Melvin mentioned the name of Fluke’s campaign website: “She’s been asking for donations and support at her new website, StandwithSandra.org.” That sounded like a not-so-subtle message to MSNBC viewers to donate to Fluke’s campaign.

The interview itself was brief. Melvin only asked two questions, both softballs that Fluke could knock out of the park with well-crafted, seemingly well-rehearsed sound bites. The second question was especially generous:

How concerned are you, or are you concerned at all about being able to create your own political identity? Are you worried that folks are only going to associate you with all of the nastiness that came out after you testified, with Rush Limbaugh and all?
 

Every liberal loves a good victim story, and Fluke all too perfectly fills that need. She's milking it for all it's worth to launch a political career, and MSNBC is milking it for all it's worth to perpetuate the "war on women" meme about the GOP.

Fluke should send a thank you note to MSNBC for helping to jumpstart her campaign. She is only running for State Senate, after all. How many other state legislative candidates get to appear on national television and take questions from a sympathetic host? Now that Fluke has made her pitch on the network, will MSNBC invite her Republican opponent onto any of their shows? It seems unlikely, but it would be the fair thing to do.

Below is a transcript of the interview:



CRAIG MELVIN: It has been a week now since Sandra Fluke announced that she's going to be running for a seat in California’s state senate and her campaign is getting underway. She’s been asking for donations and support at her new website, StandwithSandra.org. Fluke, as you know, became famous back in 2012 when congressional Republicans prohibited her from testifying at a hearing during the contraception mandate discussion in President Obama’s health care law. She later testified before a Democratic House panel about birth control coverage and the rest is history. Sandra Fluke joins me live now. Good to see you again. Thanks so much for being with me. You considered apparently –

SANDRA FLUKE: Thank you.

MELVIN: You considered running for retiring congressman Harry – Henry Waxman. There he is right there. You considered running for that seat, I understand. What made you decide to run for the state senate instead?

FLUKE: Ultimately for me this was a decision about where can I create the most effective change, do the most to serve the constituents of Los Angeles, of Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, down to the south bay. And I believe that from my work from my experience working with legislators in Sacramento and also advocating in D.C. that Sacramento is somewhere where we can create a lot of progressive change in a much more effective way than D.C. is able to right now. Now Sacramento is not perfect, and I want to be able to go there and bring a fresh perspective and new ideas about how that system should work. But that’s a place where we can create change that will hopefully roll across the country. California is a model for legislation in other states and it's a way to do the most for my constituents to further the work that I've always done and to have a big impact.



MELVIN: How concerned are you, or are you concerned at all about being able to create your own political identity? Are you worried that folks are only going to associate you with all of the nastiness that came out after you testified, with Rush Limbaugh and all?

FLUKE: I'm very proud of the fact that I stood up and didn't back down when I was personally attacked, but more importantly, that I stood up for women across this country for their access to health care. And so I am very proud of how I conducted myself during those difficult times. But the more I talk to voters and constituents in my district, the more they understand that that is far from the most important thing that I've done in my career. I've been working on legislative advocacy on issues of minimum wage and living wage, gay rights, human trafficking, of course gender equality, a whole smorgasbord of social justice for ten years now and those are the kind of victories that I am most proud of, far more than anything that has received more press coverage.

MELVIN: All right, we're going to leave it there. Sandra Fluke, good to see you. Thank you so much for your time on this Tuesday afternoon.

Paul Bremmer
Paul Bremmer is a Media Research Center News Analysis Division intern.