Rachel Maddow on Thursday told one of her guests, "I personally think that you and the folks that do what you do are a parasite who gets fat on Americans` fears."
Maybe this is what led former President George H.W. Bush to call Maddow a sick puppy on Friday.
Abdicating all journalistic standards and ethics -- what a shock for an MSNBC employee!!! -- Maddow made it clear why she was attacking Tim Phillips, President of Americans for Prosperity: "[B]ecause we`re making this about you and me."
Maddow further elaborated that some of her anger regarding Phillips's efforts to block ObamaCare is because he's "being paid to do it."
Phillips marvelously responded, "And what are you being paid to do? To attack guys like me?" (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, relevant section at 4:30, h/t Story Balloon, file photo):
RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: I just want to know who you are and I want America to know.
TIM PHILLIPS, AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY: Sure.
MADDOW: And I have to tell you -- because we`re making this about you and me -- is that I personally think that you and the folks that do what you do are a parasite who gets fat on Americans` fears. And I hope that.
PHILLIPS: That`s very hurtful and disappointing.
MADDOW: I know.
PHILLIPS: You certainly have the right to say that and it`s wrong.
MADDOW: I know this sounds hurtful, that`s why I apologized before I said it, but I wanted to make sure that I want to say it.
PHILLIPS: And you`re wrong and you`re disparaging a lot of Americans who are out there fighting a good fight, Rachel.
MADDOW: But I want -- no, it`s different.
PHILLIPS: Sure you are.
MADDOW: It`s different because you`re being paid to do it. And what you`re doing.
PHILLIPS: And what are you being paid to do? To attack guys like me?
PHILLIPS: . and David Koch and?
MADDOW: When you signed on -- you took money to say some really disgusting things in the past, like you did about those Chinese workers in the Marianas Island, and we know who paid you to do it then -- those guys like Ralph Reed who should have gone to prison and guys like Jack Abramoff who did go to prison. Now, you`re pushing stuff that is as disgusting and the only difference is that we don`t know this time.
PHILLIPS: Standing for the health care feelings of Americans is disgusting? Wow. That`s a fascinating way to describe.
MADDOW: No, but having speakers at your event saying that ObamaCare is like Pol Pot and the Holocaust.
PHILLIPS: I haven`t said that.
MADDOW: Right. But your speakers have and you`re organizing the event.
PHILLIPS: A speaker who has at that event that was co-sponsored by us.
PHILLIPS: I did not control the podium. Again, if you want to pick one out of 600 rallies, I`ve asked you to come before, come with us on the road and see these people at these events.
MADDOW: I don`t want to help promote you, Tim. I don`t. I think what you`re doing is you`re getting fat, literally financially fat on Americans` fears. And what I hope is that.
PHILLIPS: And what are you getting fat financially to do, Rachel? You`re doing it to attack us on your show.
MADDOW: To do a news show and I`m trying to tell people who you are.
PHILLIPS: A news show? Come on. Attacking us? Please.
MADDOW: And what I hope is that people stop falling for your shtick and stop being so afraid and that your industry that takes money to do this stuff and scare people and make money off it as, I think, Republican and corporate-funded thing, I hope that your industry, proverbially, starves because we stop being so afraid.
So, I feel like I got to say that to your face because it`s what`s burning under the surface while I`m asking you these questions.
PHILLIPS: I can tell that you`re pretty upset tonight.
MADDOW: I`m mad about what you do. I think you`re really bad for the country.
This is journalism today?
Heaven help us.