Rachel Maddow Plugs and Re-Plugs McCain Aide Smearing Palin as 'Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs'

While the “nonfiction” writers have clearly sharpened their knives for Sarah Palin (and put “writers” in quotes if we’re talking Levi Johnston), the liberal media also can’t help but publicize smear-fiction of Palin. Case in point: Nicolle Wallace, the Palin-hating McCain aide, whose new novel smears Palin with a plot about a vice president who isn’t vetted well who’s exposed after the election as mentally ill. 

Wallace, who plays a Republican on TV, was featured and touted on two editions of the Rachel Maddow show (Tuesday and Wednesday). Maddow especially liked and reran Wallace suggesting with a smile, “Look, you know, I was inspired by her to write a book about someone who was cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. So don’t ask me.”

On Tuesday, Wallace slashed at Palin as someone with “a whole nest of problems that would -- you know, that she’d have to confront. But the first one would be to resist her most partisan and most polarizing instincts because that would make her a bad candidate for the moment.” She’s saying this on MSNBC, one of the most partisan and polarizing channels on TV. Maddow asked: “And does she have anything to offer beyond that?” And Wallace called her a cuckoo.

On Wednesday, Maddow promptly reran that point into the ground, trying to make the smear stick:

Steve Schmidt who ran the McCain-Palin campaign saying that Sarah Palin`s selection as the vice presidential nominee in `08, as someone ostensibly qualified to be commander in chief was a failure of the vetting process. Is Sarah Palin thinking about running again this year? This seems about an important assertion from somebody who should be in a position to know.

Also who sat here last night with Steve Schmidt was Nicolle Wallace, another senior staffer to the McCain-Palin campaign, who worked closely and directly with Governor Palin on that campaign. Now, for context here, Nicolle has just published a book about someone very much like Sarah Palin who is elected vice president and who then turns out to be very seriously mentally ill... [Then, the cuckoo-clip rerun.]

Two of the most senior people from Sarah Palin’s vice presidential campaign in 2008 say she is the living proof that the vetting process sometimes doesn`t weed out people who aren`t qualified to be president and that she is the inspiration for a terrifying book of fiction about someone who gets all the way into the White House before they are revealed to be seriously mentally ill. We are not usually a show that breaks important political news about Sarah Palin, but that is important political news about Sarah Palin.

How is it “news” that someone who hates someone else is saying they’re insane? Didn’t Rachel Maddow join the other liberals in protesting Sen. Bill Frist for diagnosing Terri Schiavo’s brain activity from the Senate floor? But it’s apparently “news” that a non-psychiatrist can smear an enemy as insane and Maddow treated it like an expert science-based opinion.

Maddow likes Wallace as much as she likes RINO celebrity and Daily Beast pundit Meghan McCain, who's made repeated conservative-trashing appearances on the Maddow show. Wallace clearly hates Palin’s guts, and Maddow’s repeatedly used that. When Palin’s book Going Rogue came out in 2009, there was Maddow citing “exclusive” information that Nicolle Wallace called assertions about of how Wallace helped her CBS buddy Katie Couric with the Palin hatchet-job interview “fictional.” Overall, Wallace told Maddow the Palin memoir was “a bizarre fixation on things that everyone else has moved on from.”

That sounds a little tinny now that she’s written Palin-in-a-straitjacket fiction.

PS: Wallace was clearly pandering to Maddow. When asked to describe the plot in an interview on NBC's Today, Wallace merely said "Well, this novel really gets at one's fitness to serve. It's about a vice president, a female vice president who's hiding a debilitating mental illness from the White House staff and the president, and it's about really how Washington becomes engulfed in the hunt for the truth about this woman's fitness for office."

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