Can MSNBC's Rachel Maddow go a single day without descending into laughable hackdom?
Any previous doubts about this were erased by her show last night. Mere seconds after she was introduced by colleague Chris Hayes, and after Maddow offered a chirpy "happy snow day" to viewers (this during one of the most brutal winters in memory), Maddow began her show with this -- "The administration of Republican North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has just been subpoenaed in conjunction with a federal criminal investigation." (Video after the jump)
When it comes to reporting on North Carolina's new voter ID law, NBC News's Pete Williams is an improvement over his colleagues at MSNBC, who practically portrayed the new law as the ghost of Jim Crow coming back to haunt the Tar Heel State with a new spin on the detested poll tax. That said, the peacock network's senior justice correspondent did not give viewers of the August 13 Nightly News a balanced or accurate portrait of the law, and indeed suggested that the law was motivated by racial and partisan animus.
Williams began his segment -- titled "The Fight to Vote" in an onscreen graphic which accompanied substitute anchor Lester Holt's introduction -- by noting the plight of one "Alberta Curry, who lives near Fayetteville [and] has voted in every presidential election since 1956." Ms. Curry, an elderly African-American woman, "doesn't have a birth certificate and says it will be hard to comply with North Carolina's tough new voter ID Law" which "was passed a month after the Supreme Court struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act," Williams complained. After dispatching with Republican Gov. Pat McCrory's point of view in a brief soundbite, Williams listed three changes rendered by the new law, the first of which was misleading:
On Monday's PoliticsNation, MSNBC host Al Sharpton hyped liberal attacks on changes to voting laws as he declared that "Republicans have gone on a rampage," and singled out a recently passed law in North Carolina as the "worst attack on voting rights since the Jim Crow era."
Referring to the recent Supreme Court ruling against part of the Voting Rights Act, Sharpton complained:
On Tuesday's All In show, MSNBC host Chris Hayes asserted that, since Republicans have taken control of the North Carolina state government, the state is moving toward becoming an "insane right-wing dystopia," and claimed that the GOP wants to engage in "voter suppression" in the state. Hayes: