Maddow, Michael Moore Agree 'Beltway Media' Ignore Liberals -- on MSNBC

On Monday night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow attacked the “Beltway media” for ignoring liberals. She said this on a piece of the major media that champions liberals around the clock. To share in her pain, Maddow invited on Michael Moore to announce once again that the American public is “much more liberal than the Beltway pundits give America credit for being.”

There’s a small nugget of truth in this big bowl of Silly: while liberals dominate the media, they don’t use the word “liberal” and they often try to pretend Obama doesn’t have a “base” as they express great (fake) concern that the conservative base is tearing the GOP apart. It makes more sense if you replace the word “radical” where Maddow puts “liberal,” that the fringy Daily Kos roots are being ignored:

You know, if you listen just to the Beltway media, Democratic Party doesn't really have a base. And liberals don't really function in American politics. I have said before, and I will say again, the way the Beltway media covers liberals in this country is sort of on a good day akin to the way they cover really, really, really foreign news in countries where we don`t have diplomatic relations and on a bad day, it`s like extraterrestrial life.

The Beltway media doesn't believe liberals are important. This White House has been able to get away for a long time without believing the loyalty of its base is important, that the left and frankly the center didn`t have anywhere to go, that they were going to support this president and his re-election effort no matter what happened.

Seeing the poll numbers on the left and among Democrats soften in recent weeks and in recent months has brought this back to the center, has brought this issue back to the center and has made liberals a relevant point of Beltway discussion for the first time in a very long time -- certainly the first time in the Barack Obama presidency.

Then Maddow brought on Michael Moore as they expressed some joy that Obama was "finally" waging class warfare. "I wanted to know if you feel better about his tone these days."

MOORE: I felt instantly better. So, it doesn't take much for me. That`s another good thing about liberals. That's just how easy we are. Just a little -- you referenced us as being treated sometimes by the mainstream media as extraterrestrials. Well, you put a few of those Reece`s Pieces out in front of us and we got a whole bag of Reese's Pieces today.

By the way, the American public loves E.T. So, as beloved as E.T. is, I think the American public is actually, as you've pointed out many times on this show, much more liberal than the Beltway pundits give America credit for being. When you look at the actual issues, the American public takes the liberal position on the majority of them, whether being against the war, whether it`s equal rights for women, whether it`s a strong environmental laws.

In last month's poll, for the first time ever, 54 percent of Americans saying that they believe gay marriage should be the law of the land.So, Americans are actually quite liberal even though they may not call themselves that. 

On the eve of 9/11, Michael Moore sent an e-mail to his supporters with the Chris Hedges "We Are Terrorists Too" rant. But Rachel Maddow told her audience that Michael Moore is a "mainstream" American,as he explains in his new book:

You write about your values being -- your liberal values, your confrontational Michael Moore liberal values, really being an American inheritance, being something that you learned in a mainstream way.

But then the book is also a story about your life of tough confrontation, trying to live your values, trying to make the world accord to what you think is right and what you think is just. So I wonder if you -- if in that, a feeling that you have mainstream values, but getting justice means confrontation, I wonder if you identify somewhat with the Democrats who you criticize for not fighting hard enough?

Moore replied: “What I wish that he would have done is to come in more with the resolve of understanding -- as you said earlier in the show, that he won by 10 million votes, three times the difference of Bush over Kerry in 2004. That's -- it was a huge mandate. And he didn't understand the mandate very well."

Finally, Maddow complained about the opposite -- that the Beltway media obsess too much over the Tea Party:

MADDOW: You know, we were talking a moment ago about how -- and it`s one of the things I complain about a lot -- that the Beltway doesn`t cover the left. There isn`t really a sense that the Democratic Party has a base.

The other side of that is they really, really do heavily cover the right and the conservative base and the Tea Party in particular. So, why do we have -- with all of the blanket coverage, why do we have such a difference between what they say they are about and what they are doing? I mean, the Tea Party narrative, if you read the Beltway media, really still says they are all about taxes and fiscal conservativism, even with all of the evidence about the birtherism and all of the other social conservative issues that they do seem to motivate them?

MOORE: Yes. And they are not the majority of Americans. I mean, the actual number -- the members, the members of the Tea Party is a very small number. They had to cancel their convention in D.C. last year because they couldn`t get people to come. They're on their own crazy boat that I call the "Tea-tanic" and I think the American people are smarter than this and they`re not going -- they`re just going to let the boat sink.

But last week when Wolf Blitzer and CNN had that debates, the CNN Tea Party Express debate and Wolf sat there and called them his partners -- I just thought, this was amazing because would you ever see the CNN nurses union debate or the CNN teachers union debate? Because I think there are a few more teachers and nurses in this country than there are members of the Tea Party.

But we`ll never see that in the mainstream media and liberal organizations which have many more members just don`t get the attention. A thousand people arrested in front of the White House a couple of weeks ago on the tar-sands environmental issue -- hardly any coverage of this.

Can you imagine if 1,000 Tea Party members had been arrested in front of the White House? It would be at the top of every news story.People are down on Wall Street right now, holding a sit-in and a camp- in down there, virtually no news about this protest.

This goes on with liberals and the left all of the time, and it gets ignored. And, fortunately, there are shows like yours and others who aren`t ignoring it. It doesn`t mean it isn`t happening and it will continue to happen.

Maddow asked Moore if Mitt Romney or Rick Perry will inspire a third-party split from the GOP. Moore said "If Romney is the nominee. The Tea Party will not allow that election without one of their own on the ballot. So that`s the way it will break and they'll split the vote and President Obama will have a second term, which I hope he comes in like gangbusters and does the Roosevelt that we need to see take place -- really do the job in those next four years. Because we are on a brink of the abyss and it`s a historic moment for him and he needs to pull the country back. But he better start doing it now or he`s not going to get those voters out there next year."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis