Say, did you happen to see that commercial for Elizabeth Warrren in the guise of an interview on "The Rachel Maddow Show"?
Those six minutes of scintillating chit-chat would have cost Warren big time if she and MSNBC went by the book, seeing how in-kind contributions to politicians don't get more obvious. (Video after page break)
The predictable schmooze was preceded by Maddow giving her viewers a heads-up that she was about to interview Warren, with Maddow saying this --
The senior senator from Massachusetts has the odd distinction right now of being the senior senator, even though she has only been on that job for about three months. Elizabeth Warren has been thrown into this disaster in a dramatic way. She was involved in the immediate response to the bombings early last week. She has since been raising money for the One Fund Boston, the victims' fund that has been set up. Earlier today, Senator Warren spoke at the memorial service for Sean Collier, the 27-year-old MIT police officer who was killed in the line of duty late on Thursday night. Senator Elizabeth Warren joins us for the interview next.
Or as it's known on the Maddow show -- The Interview.
I used to work with a newspaper colleague who loved the phrase "in a big way" -- as in, Chuck Farley has taken to basket weaving in a big way. She used the phrase as shorthand since it spared her from that annoying burden of actually describing how Farley had gotten bitten by the basket-weaving bug. Maddow does much the same here, claiming Warren was "thrown" into this disaster "in a dramatic way."
True, Maddow does assert that Warren was "involved in the immediate response to the bombings" -- which only proves Maddow's capacity for delusion.
Those people who risked life and limb to save the bleeding, shredded victims at the marathon finish line -- they were involved in the immediate response.
The police and other law enforcement personnel who quickly began searching for the perpetrators and also risked their lives while doing so -- they were involved in the immediate response.
The doctors and nurses in Boston hospitals working on the worst day most will ever see, God willing, and not losing a single patient from more that 170 brought to them -- they were involved in the immediate response.
Warren's response to the bombings? She swung into action by assigning staffers to determine ASAP when and where the first news conference would be held. Once this was established, Warren ran to a waiting limo, sped through the streets of Boston, and rushed to a lectern bristling with microphones and surrounded by other stalwart pols.
Once Warren's tireless efforts there were done, she threw herself tirelessly into raising money for the victims and their families. This became the party-line rationale for her appearance on the Maddow show April 24, as opposed to the actual reason, which was to imbue her with revelance during a crisis that had rendered Warren irrelevant, if only for the time being.
Speaking with Maddow during this "exclusive" interview (no one else talked to Warren at the same time!) , the Bay's State's senior senator was reduced to mouthing banalities about the bravery of first responders, the depravity of the perpetrators, the refusal of Americans to be cowed, and how the future looks bright indeed. The conversation then turned to the main fundraising effort, which raised more than $23 million in its first week.
What One Fund Boston is about, Warren said, "is to make sure we're still pulling together, long after the cameras are gone, long people are no longer talking about this, when people are trying to rebuild their lives, when people who've lost a leg are trying to learn to walk again, to have a chance, to run again, when people who've been burned, when people who have wounds, are healing and trying to get their lives back to normal, we want to be there to help them. And that's what OneFundBoston is all about. People can go to OneFundBoston.org and they can make a contribution, whether it's a little one, whether it's a big one, they can just be part of helping people recover. Because we're going to be there for them. That's, that's what this is all about."
Whereupon Maddow could have asked a question of the multimillionaire politician so earnestly involved in raising money to help the victims. The question, straight out of Journalism 101, is this -- Senator Warren, how much money have you donated to One Fund Boston?
Naturally, Maddow didn't ask. She didn't dare, the risk being too great. It was that rare moment in journalism or the bastard version of it practiced at MSNBC when a single question might have ended a poseur's career. Just about anywhere else, the question gets asked -- but not at 30 Rock.