Yesterday MSNBC's Alex Wagner treated viewers of her noon Eastern Now program to a panel that featured Obama Super PAC staffer Bill Burton. Today the promotion of pro-Obama spin continued with Wagner herself attempting to help DNC chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz spin the Obama/Clinton State Department's decision to scrap the Keystone XL pipeline project.
"Is there a concern, though, that this, as he pushes a jobs message that this looks sort of counterintuitive for him to say, 'I know this may create some jobs but I'm not going to, I'm not going to pass it, I'm not going to give the permits'?" the former Center for American Progress staffer asked. [MP3 audio here; video update follows page break]
Wasserman Schultz, as is her prerogative as Democratic Party chief, dutifully defended the White House and attacked Republicans. But rather than hit Wasserman Schultz with anything else, particularly that some labor unions -- a key constituency of the Democratic coalition -- would benefit from the "shovel-ready" jobs that the project would create, Wagner turned to her liberal panelists seeking their advice to Wasserman Schultz and the Obama team on messaging:
I'm still baffled by the resistance to, from some corners, Obama's message. What do you guys think he needs to do to make this a compelling message through to November of this year?
Turning again to Wasserman Schultz, Wagner complained about the "mountain of negative ads," and asked her "What is your favorite line of attack that has been lobbied [sic] at Mitt Romney so far?"
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To her credit, Wagner's next question deviated a bit from the softball template, but even then was focused on sharpening the Democrats' talking points on an embarrassing double standard:
In opening up Romney's record at Bain, are you at all concerned at the fact that President Obama has just named as his acting director of the OMB a former Bain, grand poobah at Bain. Does that concern you at all as we sort of dissect what Bain did, that someone in the administration was in fact employed there?
Wasserman Schultz, of course, failed to directly answer the question, rehashing her attack on Romney. Wagner, of course, failed to press Wasserman Schultz on her evasion of the question.
Is it any wonder that critics call the network MSDNC?