The liberal hosts on MSNBC just couldn't get enough of watching U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio reach for a glass of water and take a sip during his rebuttal of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, airing the snippet a staggering 155 times during the Wednesday broadcast schedule, according to a tally by the Daily Caller.
Other cable news networks showed the footage far less often. CNN aired it 34 times, and Fox News Channel played it just 12 times -- all of which took place on “The O’Reilly Factor” and “Hannity” while the hosts discussed the media's obsession with the Florida Republican's “watergate” incident.
MSNBC's total would not have been so overwhelming if the host of “The Rachel Maddow Show” hadn't aired it 101 times, along with a loop of the moment at the bottom of the television screen for more than 13 minutes.
From 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., the channel displayed such catch phrases as “Zero Dark Thirsty,” “Swig and a Miss,” “Parch Madness,” “Just Add Water” and “Water Under the Bridge” to mock Rubio's awkward moment.
In addition, it came as no surprise when several cable news anchors took advantage of the opportunity to taunt the conservative Hispanic member of the GOP.
Along with Maddow, fellow MSNBC host Al Sharpton used that seconds-long clip as a springboard to hammer the senator and the Republican Party.
“With the Republicans’ savior [Marco] Rubio’s big night -- and what a night it was,” Sharpton stated during his “PoliticsNation” program before leaning sharply to his right and retrieving a small bottle of water.
“OK, OK. Where was I?” he asked while drinking some of the water. “Sen. Rubio laid out the right-wing vision for America. And oh, what was I saying? Rubio bent the truth last night.”
After pausing again to sip from a slightly larger water bottle, Sharpton declared: “I’m hydrating, just like the senator. Yep, we’re having some fun, like the rest of America, with Marco Rubio’s epic water fail.”
“And it lit up Twitter -- 9,200 tweets per minute,” he continued. “Sen. Rubio’s in on the fun himself, tweeting out a picture of his famous water bottle.
“But what Rubio was saying before and after his water cooler moment wasn’t so funny. That’s coming up, right after I finish my drink,” Sharpton said before taking yet another drink of water, this time from a five-gallon container.
Over at CNN, 20 of the channel's 34 replays took place during Wolf Blitzer's three-hour-long “The Situation Room” afternoon program.
As NewsBusters previously reported, Blitzer used some of his air time to ask an absurd question:
So can a drink of water make or break a political career? A U.S. Senator, possible presidential candidate. We're going to find out, whether he likes it or not.
At the end of Blitzer's program, CNN contributor Jeanne Moos examined the Internet and media obsession with the incident.
We've all become waterlogged over that one little swig over and over in lip-licking slow-mo.
Moos also pointed out that this wasn't the first time Rubio needed a drink of water while giving a speech. During the GOP convention, “after Clint Eastwood left the stage, Sen. Rubio arrived thirsty.”
After taking a sip from the water bottle on the podium, the Florida Republican stated: “I think I just drank Clint Eastwood's water.”
Meanwhile, Bill O'Reilly sarcastically asked if this “big story” could be the “new Watergate,” referring to the scandal that forced Republican President Richard Nixon to step down on August 9, 1974.
“This is so ridiculous,” the conservative host stated. “This is really the crux of the story. This is so foolish. Does it show desperation on the part of the Left?”
Liberal guest Kirsten Powers replied:
Well, I've maintained for a while that the media is run by a bunch of 14-year-olds, but now I'm going to downgrade them to kindergartners because this is the thing that they think the whole speech was about.