MSNBC: Reporters May ‘Punish’ Rubio for Not ‘Owning Up’ to Flub

Offering a window into just how journalists view their power, on MSNBC on Thursday NBC News correspondent Gabe Gutierrez suggested that reporters may “punish” Marco Rubio for not admitting, quickly enough, to a bad debate performance in New Hampshire. 

Appearing on MSNBC Live, the reporter reminded viewers that Rubio claimed “the reason that his campaign didn't initially own up to that debate performance is that he didn't want to hurt morale.” Gutierrez noted it wasn’t until Tuesday that the Republican “came clean.” 

Offering a possible threat, the journalist wondered, “But the question is will reporters punish him? Not just for that terrible debate performance on Saturday, but for the follow up, the next day, trying to own that flub instead of owning up to it.” 

Openly talking of “punishing” a conservative politician. That’s MSNBC. 

A transcript of the comment is below: 

Tell the Truth 2016

MSNBC Live
2/11/16
9:06

MARCO RUBIO: I mean, there’s a big difference. He couldn’t remember what he wanted to say. Apparently, I remembered it too well. 

GABE GUTIERREZ: So there he [Marco Rubio] was cracking jokes with reporters on that plane. But the question right now is will voters believe it? He is fighting for that establishment lane of the Republican Party. As you mentioned, Steve, right now it is a two-person battle between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Everyone else slugging it out beneath that. Expect a really tough campaign right now over the next few days between Marco Rubio and his former mentor Jeb Bush as they try to keep those donors — there were reports that donors were panicked after that debate performance. 

Again, he said, Marco Rubio, that the reason that his campaign didn't initially own up to that debate performance is that he didn't want to hurt morale in the campaign that Sunday. Finally having to come clean during his concession speech on Tuesday night and again during reporters yesterday. But the question is will reporters punish him? Not just for that terrible debate performance on Saturday, but for the follow up, the next day, trying to own that flub instead of owning up to it. 

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the associate editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org site.