Shut Up and Read Your Teleprompter

Yesterday, Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC interviewed Montana [mc_name name=’Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’D000618′ ] about, among other things, [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ]. Because the media is obviously in the pocket of the Democrats, she of course asked him about Rubio missing votes in the Senate, which is something literally no one actually cares about, but which always comes up when a Senator runs for President. Daines offered what is by now a pretty standard response, which is that Rubio has missed fewer votes than a number of prominent Democrats did when running for office, including Obama, Kerry, and Clinton.

This is not a new or novel claim. Rubio himself offered this defense during a highly publicized exchange in the last debate – a debate which occurred on a sister network, CNBC. Moreover, even if you missed the debate itself (and all the other occurrences of him raising this claim live), the one moment that “went viral” from that debate was him stepping on Jeb Bush’s face over this very issue.

In other words, someone like Andrea Mitchell has had plenty of opportunity to fact check this claim several times over. And it is an exceptionally easy claim to fact check as well, such that even the notoriously hackish Politifact was forced to concede that not only was Rubio right, he actually understated the gross absenteeism of the Democrats he mentioned.

So, to review, this claim has been a) widely circulated b) for weeks and c) proven conclusively to be true. Via the Free Beacon, watch how Andrea Mitchell responds to this unquestionably true claim:


Mitchell: One argument, though, is that he hasn’t been in the Senate very much, that he says he hates the Senate, he’s quitting the Senate (Ed note: this is not true). Um, he, since announcing his candidacy, has missed 42% of his votes. Does that trouble you at all? Obviously, you want to be in the Senate, you were just elected there.

Daines: Yeah, well, I think that’s an example of the liberal media bias. Let’s take a look at President Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry. They were all Senators who also ran for President. They missed hundreds of votes. So, I think there’s a double standard, here. Marco’s running for President of the United States and, uh, I’m grateful he’s out there, investing his time and talent to be the next President of the United States.

Mitchell: Well, I will have to check those numbers because I don’t think any of the people you cited – Biden, and Hillary Clinton and Obama, missed as many votes as Marco Rubio

I have had it with this gross and inexcusable incompetence from people whose only marketable skill is reading lines smoothly from a teleprompter but who nonetheless feel empowered to tell the rest of the world what is and is not true, despite the fact that they are pretty much wrong every time they try.

This kind of crap does not happen to Democrat candidates for office. They don’t get “corrected” with corrections that are absolute bulls**t by allegedly neutral journalists. They get asked questions, they give answers, then the people are allowed to decide if they are being truthful or not, which is as it should be. However, the talking head idiots are perpetually unable to help themselves from interjecting flat out lies in response to Republican answers. Who can forget this absolute debacle from CNN’s Candy Crowley from the 2012 Presidential debate:


Romney: I think it’s interesting the President just said something, which is that on the day after the attack, he went in the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror. You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack it was an act of terror? It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you’re saying?

Obama: [nods] Please proceed, Governor.

Romney: I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the President fourteen days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.

Obama: Get the transcript.

Crowley: He did, in fact, sir, so let me call it an act of terror..

Obama: Thank you, Candy.

Crowley: [Giggling like a schoolgirl who’s been complimented by a cute boy in class] – He did call it an act of terror, it did as well, uh, did as well take, two weeks or so for the whole idea of being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You’re correct about that.


Here’s where this exchange should have ended – when Obama said “Get the transcript.” Then people could have gone for themselves and seen that while Obama technically uttered the words “acts of terror” on the day after the attack, they were in a speech that clearly had nothing to do with Benghazi, and then people who weren’t completely in the tank for Obama could have seen for themselves that Obama was full of crap. Instead, the impression was clearly created that Obama was right and Romney was a liar.

Crowley herself later admitted that what she had said was incorrect (contrary to CNN’s own bizarre post-debate fact check), but by that time the damage was done. Almost no one noticed the correction, the live debate on the other hand was watched by millions. Crowley’s interjection was not only unprofessional, and completely false, it was absolutely contrary to the agreed upon rules of the debate.

During the course of last week’s CNBC debate, liberal gasbag moderator John Harwood twice tried to correct Republican candidates – both times he was demonstrably and laughably incorrect. First, he tried his hand with [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ], making a false claim that he had already retracted on twitter. When Rubio pointed out that he had already corrected himself on this story, he flat out lied and claimed, “No, I did not.” Later, in an astonishing breach of etiquette and debate rules, he interrupted Donald Trump’s closing statement with a claim that was worthy of outright laughter:


Trump: Let me give you one quick example. These folks, CNBC. They had it down to 3, 3 and a half hours. I just read today in the New York Times, $250,000 for a thirty second ad. I went out and said, “It’s ridiculous. Nobody wants” – I could stand up here all night, nobody wants to watch three and a half or three hours. It was a big sacrifice, and I have to hand it to Ben. We called Ben, he was with me 100%. We called in, we said, “That’s it, we’re not doing it,” they lost a lot of money, everybody said it couldn’t be done, everybody said it was going to be three hours, three and a half hours, including them [pointing to moderators] and in about two minutes I renegotiated down to two hours so we can get the hell out of here. Not bad, not bad. And I’ll do that with the country. We will make America great again, and thank you everybody.

Harwood: Just for the record, just for the record, the debate was always going to be two hours. Senator Rubio?

Trump: [pointing] That’s not right, that is absolutely not right. You know that is not right.

Harwood: Senator Rubio?

Obviously, I am the furthest thing from a Donald Trump fan on the face of the earth. But Harwood’s contention that the debate had always been planned for two hours was positively Orwellian in its brash disregard for the truth. Harwood could have claimed that the debate was not shortened due to the insistence of Trump and Carson – even though there were roughly a billion reliable news reports that indicated that their threat to boycott the debate unless it was shortened was the reason for the change, but to claim that the debate had never been scheduled for three hours at all was just a blatant revision of widely known history.

Occasionally, the news will have an actual expert in a given field on to give their opinions about something or another. Occasionally these people clearly have relevant wisdom and expertise and I’m ready to hear when they contradict something that a given candidate has said. But the Andrea Mitchells and Candy Crowleys and John Harwoods of the world are experts at one thing: reading copy that is placed in front of them into a television camera with professional levels of staged sincerity. That’s it.

There’s absolutely no reason that any of them has any right or qualification to be arbiter of what is true or not true any more than any jackass who wandered in off the street, and furthermore that is not their job. Their job is to stare into a camera and read a teleprompter.

So how about they start doing more of that, and less burdening us with their ridiculous factual errors?


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