MSNBC's Martin Bashir made a bit of a fool of himself Thursday surprisingly with the assistance of NBC News's Kelly O'Donnell.
When Bashir claimed the just-ended failed cloture vote on Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary was "an example of the fractures in the Republican Party because at the beginning of the day we didn't think that Harry Reid would get any Republican votes," O'Donnell responded, "Actually, not a surprise, not a surprise" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
To set the stage, Bashir was interviewing O'Donnell as the final cloture votes were being counted. When it was announced that cloture failed, O'Donnell reported:
KELLY O’DONNELL: What this means, Martin, is that Democrats can say that they have put this to a vote. They have sort of smoked out Republicans to get them on the record for blocking this nominee short term. Republicans can say they have strong oversight questions that they believe are legitimate and that more time is necessary because Hagel just completed his work at the committee, and so the broader Senate needs some time to review some of their questions to work through that.
At the same time this can be viewed through a political lens that this is just an attempt to weaken Chuck Hagel as a candidate to become the next Secretary of Defense, and that in the intervening time that his detractors, outside groups and so forth, can try to unearth something that might ultimately really torpedo his nomination. All the expectations now are that he does have the votes to be confirmed, but this is a part of the using the rules of the Senate to get something from the administration. Democrats do it when they are not in power. Republicans are doing it now, and it is a function of oversight which in many cases is critical to finding information out. So Republicans…
Pretty fair, balanced report, wouldn’t you say?
But Bashir can’t have that, so he interrupted O’Donnell saying, “But Kelly, isn't this also an example of the fractures in the Republican Party because at the beginning of the day we didn't think that Harry Reid would get any Republican votes, and he's actually secured quite a few?"
Bashir laughed a little as he was saying this.
Most delicious, if you watch the video, notice the smug smile disappear from Bashir’s face when O’Donnell not only failed to join in the Republican bashing, but also refuted his assertion:
O’DONNELL: Actually, not a surprise, not a surprise, because most Republicans will say a president has the right to choose his own nominees. They believe that so that when the president is from their Party that holds true. What happened here is that Hagel's performance at his hearing, and some of the questions that have come up, some of the unanswered questions, have dragged that out.
And this should give people an idea of where MSNBC is today.
As NewsBusters has documented O'Donnell's liberal bias over the years, she is by no means a bastion of impartial reporting.
Yet here she was trying to do so, and the star of the program did his darnedest to pull her to the left and join his Republican bashing.
For a change, someone on MSNBC didn't bite.
Brava, Kelly! Brava!