MSNBC's Rachel Maddow briefly departed from her Ahabesque obsession with Bridgegate last night to mention two relatively picayune matters -- a potentially "catastrophic" storm bearing down on the East Coast and two mayors getting convicted on corruption charges.
Anyone familiar with MSNBC's modus operandi knows what to expect from its, uh, "reporting" on political corruption -- if the politician is a Democrat, a viewer will wait in vain for any mention of party affiliation, while if said corrupt pol is a Republican, the affiliation will be cited repeatedly in the first sentence. (Video after the jump)
Last night's example was notably comical, however , because it involved three politicians. The first two were Democrats -- though you'd never know that from Maddow -- and the third a Republican, former Connecticut governor John Rowland.
At first blush the segment came across as a feel-good story about Trenton, which Maddow described as mocked twiceover -- for being in New Jersey, and for being Trenton. Regardless, it's "one heck of a town," she said, the kind of place where funky hepcat mayor Tony Mack dances with local seniors at an annual Christmas party funded by the city -- even after he's indicted!
Mack "really, really, really enjoys being mayor of Trenton," Maddow explained, deploying her trademark repetition of "really" to persuasive effect. Alas, this was before Mack was indicted in December 2012 for extortion conspiracy, attempted extortion, accepting bribes, scheming to defraud city services, mail fraud, wire fraud, you get the idea.
"And then he went to the mayor's annual senior gala!" Maddow gushed. "Four days after he got indicted! Tony Mack would not give up the joy (and ka-ching!) of being mayor just because he was indicted on multiple federal corruption charges. (Come and get me, coppahs!) He stayed in office all through the indictment, all through the investigation. He stayed in office as mayor during his trial on those corruption charges. And now, Tony Mack is still staying in office in Trenton, even though was convicted on those corruption charges on Friday."
How can you not love this guy?! And have I failed to mention his inconvenient party affiliation?! Guilty as charged.
Maddow segued from the adventures of Tony Mack, who may leave office next week or stand trial a second time, who the heck knows, this being New Jersey, to telling viewers about a second mayor being convicted on corruption charges, this one from a much bigger city -- Ray Nagin of New Orleans. Yeah, that Ray Nagin. The guy asleep at the helm when Katrina hit.
Nagin was convicted Wednesday by a federal jury on 20 of 21 counts, including bribery, wire fraud and conspiracy. He faces 20 years in prison and is expected to appeal. And once again, as with Mack, Nagin is a Democrat -- and Maddow once again could not bear to mention the dreaded word, lest it scald her sensitive throat. Or, worse yet, she'd risk being accused of hate speech and/or racism from her more unhinged ideological cohorts, seeing how both Mack and Nagin are men of color.
Just out of curiosity, did any of Nagin's abundant corrupt practices take place while he could have been better engaged? Preparing his city for major hurricanes, for example. You'll never learn the answer from MSNBC. It would too closely resemble journalism.
Only at MSNBC could, uh, "reporting" on the conviction of a big-city (Democrat) mayor be followed with this claim -- Nagin's downfall, Maddow asserted, "was enough to make you think of this guy," referring to ex-Connecticut governor Rowland -- who was convicted on corruption charges in December 2004. Quite a segue, don't you think?
Hard to believe, but Rowland was not the first person who came to mind after I learned of Nagin's conviction. I seriously doubt he was the first person who came to mind for any sentient person -- except Maddow or one of the parrots she employs at MSNBC. But Rowland was dusted off for good reason -- because, go figure, he's a Republican, as the now-dutiful Maddow mentioned.
Rowland was once "a rising star in New England and maybe Republican national politics," Maddow told her audience, at least before he got greedy and then got caught. What -- Tony Mack was never a "rising star" among Democrats? OK, maybe not Mack, being from Trenton and all, but how about Nagin, twice elected mayor of the Big Easy? Surely Nagin was deemed a "rising star" among Democrats on many occasions, even on MSNBC. After all, who could forget his consummate passing of the buck after the levees burst.
Maddow then showed a clip of NBC anchor Brian Williams reporting on Rowland's conviction nearly a decade ago -- and as to be expected, Willliams mentioned that Rowland was a Republican. Not only that, Rowland was, ahem, a "rising star in the GOP" and considered a possible running mate for George W. Bush in 2000 (and we all know how corrupt he was). Fast forward a decade-plus to Nagin's conviction -- and this time around, Williams also neglects to mention that Nagin was a Democrat. At this point, it's safe to say one discerns a pattern.
After Rowland's release from prison, he worked as a radio talk show host, Maddow pointed out. Rowland recently hired a top criminal defense lawyer in response to a new federal grand jury investigation. "The new investigation," Maddow said, "reportedly has to do with whether or not the governor was involved with alleged unreported campaign spending from a fellow Republican running for Congress in 2012."
Got that? Not just a Republican -- a "fellow" Republican. Geez, they're so corrupt, aren't they? Nothing like those (cough, cough) Democrats.
"Elections have consequences," Maddow opined at the end of the breathtakingly shabby segment. "Sometimes convictions do too." Unless you're a Democrat in a jam, in which case your soulmates at MSNBC will do their best to sugarcoat them. After all, corruption is hardly limited to politics.