The strangest thing happened last night on MSNBC -- its self-proclaimed civics geek Rachel Maddow ignored the results not one but two special elections the day before to fill vacancies in the House.
I know, I know, hard to believe. I mean, every time Maddow does report on elections results -- such as when Democrats win -- she'll segue into her reporting by mock drumming to NBC's bombastic election night music in the background. The woman eats and breathes elections. Can there be much doubt that Maddow camped outside her polling place the night before she first cast a vote to avoid lines in the morning? (video after page break)
Inexplicably enough, not a word from Maddow on her show Wednesday night about Republican Mark Amodei beating Democrat Kate Marshall to win in Nevada -- dog bites man -- nor about Republican Bob Turner defeating Democrat David Weprin to win in NY's 9th -- man bites dog. The New York district used to be represented by erstwhile frequent Maddow guest and political soulmate Anthony Weiner before he tweeted his way into future editions of Trivial Pursuit.
What makes this all the more strange is that Maddow couldn't wait to report the results back on May 25 after Democrat Kathy Hochul won a special election in NY's 26th. In fact, Hochul was Maddow's first guest that night, appearing less than a minute after the show began.
Two months later, on July 13, Maddow again dutifully reported on the results of a special election in the House, this time to fill a vacancy in California's 36th District. "Over the past twelve years as the blog Smart Politics notes today," Maddow told viewers, "there have been 192 elections in which the Republican Party has tried to take a California congressional seat out of the hands of the Democrats, 192 straight elections. Of those 192 elections, Democrats in California have won all 192 of them. Over that same period, seven of California's congressional seats that were Republican have gone to the Democrats. California in terms of federal office is very, very deep blue."
And what a shock, California is also in very, very deep doo doo, due largely to a breadth of political diversity unseen since the Politburo.
What did Maddow focus on last night instead of those bellwether special elections? She interviewed Harvard professor, author and professional scold Elizabeth Warren about her challenge to GOP Senator Scott Brown. Then she chatted with former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell about Republicans pushing a plan to apportion electoral votes in the state by congressional district. Following that Maddow spoke with JournoList refugee Spencer Ackerman on alleged anti-Muslim bias in FBI and police training.
Then came the week-old news of a neo-Nazi being sentenced in Washington state for an attempted bombing along the Martin Luther King parade route in Spokane last January, and the tale of two Kentucky brothers creating the website "Shermageddon" -- a play on the expected traffic nightmare of "Carmageddon" in California two months ago -- after the Sherman Minton Bridge linking Kentucky and Indiana was closed due to structural damage.
Not a one of these stories -- not one -- was more newsworthy that what happened in those special elections. I'm sure Maddow will get around to reporting about them eventually. It's just a matter of whether she'll blame the results on racism, sexism, homophobia, or all of the above.