Sneering MSNBC Slams GOP Candidates as 'American Freak Show'

Sometimes the bias is extremely clear: A MSNBC graphic on Monday mocked GOP senatorial candidates with the headline, "American Freakshow [sic] Angle, Paul, O'Donnell: New Faces in Politics." American Freak Show is also the title of guest Willie Geist's new book on politics, but all the apparent "freaks" discussed in the piece were Republicans.

Geist complained to Jansing and Co. host Chris Jansing, "The frustration about this is, you have to hand in a book so early that all these people have come out of nowhere. They sprout up like weeds. Christine O'Donnell, Rand Paul, Linda McMahon." [MP3 audio here. Click on article for video.]

Considering that South Carolina's Democratic candidate for Senate is under a felony porn indictment, one would think Alvin Greene would be included in the "freak show" discussion.

Instead, Geist described the California gubernatorial race, in which the Democratic campaign called the female Republican a whore, this way: "The California race where the entire debate last week was over the word whore." Are both sides to blame here? Is this somehow Meg Whitman's fault?

A transcript of the October 18 segment, which aired at 10:54am EDT, follows:

MSNBC GRAPHIC: American Freak Show: Angle, Paul, O'Donnell: New Faces in Politics

CHRIS JANSING: Christine O'Donnell and witchcraft, Ron Paul's son, Rand Paul, you know, are talking about aqua whatever.

WILLIE GEIST: Aqua Buddha.

JANSING: Aqua Buddha.

GEIST: Ever try the Aqua Buddha? [Makes a pot smoking gesture.]

JANSING: Me?

GEIST: I've heard.

JANSING: Don't you wish you could update this book daily? That's what I want to know.

GEIST: That' what I keep saying. The frustration about this is, you have to hand in a book so early that all these people have come out of nowhere. They sprout up like weeds. Christine O'Donnell, Rand Paul, Linda McMahon. The California race where the entire debate last week was over the word whore. These were the people who deserved to be included in the book and they're going to be in the next edition.

JANSING: You know, the other question that I have for you, and it's not really so much a question as just take off if you'd like to. [Starts laughing.] Someone at our meeting this morning said, "It's the campaign silly season." And I said, I've been through silly seasons this needs a new name. It's so far beyond that.

GEIST: Yes.

JANSING: I mean, we could call it freak show, but it's already the name of a best-selling book.

GEIST: And another friend of mine said, "Congratulations on the book. But, why would I read the book when I can just turn on cable TV and watch something that is reality and much better than that?" That's not true of course, you should still buy the book.

JANSING: Did you think of putting a DVD here?

GEIST: We should put a DVD. That's a great idea.

JANSING: Yeah.

GEIST: But, it is a little odd when you have a campaign season in which a serious candidate for Senate, filling the Vice President's Senate seat, looks to camera and says, "I am not a witch." And there's no sense of irony or anything there.

JANSING: There isn't?

GEIST: That's an odd season. I mean, she means it. She wants to let the voters know in no uncertain terms that she's not a witch. I haven't seen that before.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org