So nice to see they're again acting like they like each other.
Quick in the wake of MSNBC colleague Lawrence O'Donnell's passive-aggressive criticism of her views on the Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate, the seemingly selfless Rachel Maddow leaped to O'Donnell's defense on her show last night. (video after page break)
In one of those preachy MSNBC "Lean Forward" promos, O'Donnell describes the GI Bill as "the most successful educational program" in American history -- "and the critics called it welfare."
PolitiFact labeled O'Donnell's claim "mostly false," prompting Maddow to unleash yet another salvo at PolitiFact as she has done several time in recent weeks. The PolitiFact article, Maddow pointed out, included an excerpt from the congressional record when the GI Bill was being debated in 1944 near the end of World War II.
According to the congressional record, John Rankin, chairman of the House committee for veterans affairs, compared the GI Bill to British government relief known as "the dole," stating that "the bane of the British Empire has been the dole system."
"What do you think the British dole system is?" Maddow asked incredulously. "Do you think it's a pineapple program of some kind?! Maybe something having to do with bananas, everybody gets a little sticker?! Did you seriously print this piece without once Googling 'the dole' to see what that meant? British, the dole?! You don't even have to use quotes. Did you check to see if maybe it meant welfare?!"
"This is why PolitiFact has to go away," would-be kultural kommissar Maddow declared. "Or at least they need to stop using the word 'fact' as part of their name. Everybody should do fact-checking. PolitiFact should go away. I have not talked to Lawrence O'Donnell about this. I have not talked to anybody on Lawrence's staff about this. I have not talked to anybody else in the building about this. But as a nation that cares about the word 'fact' and ought to demand it back from these people abusing it, I think there is a silver lining here. I think PolitiFact is giving up. This is so bad, this is so egregiously bad, that if they do not correct this one, I think we can safely assume that PolitiFact, for all intents and purposes, is dead. They are over. They are over and out."
With that, Maddow did something she rarely does, "the toss" between shows to O'Donnell himself, whose program follows Maddow's weeknights on MSNBC. It is rare for Maddow and O'Donnell to trudge through this forced bonhomie, though former MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann invariably did so with Maddow when his show preceded hers, as does Ed Schultz now. But Maddow and O'Donnell -- hardly ever.
"And now it is time for 'The Last Word' with its totally true host, Lawrence O'Donnell," Maddow said, "who I don't usually toss to but I felt like we sort of probably ought." (Seeing how he's got his head up his butt on the contraceptive mandate ...)
"Well, Rachel, I heard this in my ear (motioning to earpiece) as I was running to the studio," O'Donnell said, "and I just said, wait a minute, Rachel has to toss. I have to thank you ... (as opposed to, I'd like to thank you), I couldn't possibly be better defended than that, but I've just lost a segment of my show 'cause I was going to do something like that in the rewrite which I can't possibly do, 'cause you did it so masterfully ( ... did I mention how great that was ...?). We've got about a half an hour to come up with something."
"I can rant about that whole ultrasound thing for like half an hour, on cue," Maddow said, alluding to a proposed law in Virginia mandating that women who want an abortion first undergo an ultrasound, which Maddow falsely claims would entail an "invasive" and "transvaginal" procedure despite the language of the law stipulating no such thing.
The unstated subtext of Maddow defending O'Donnell -- pay no attention to what you've heard about differences between MSNBC anchors over onerous Obamacare diktats.