The web page for MSNBC's The Cycle has the chutzpah to describe co-host Abby Huntsman as a "conservative." Whatever happened to truth in advertising?
On today's episode, Huntsman again demonstrated why the conservative tag doesn't fit. As a guest offered up a laughably lame analogy in arguing against a travel ban on people from Ebola-affected countries, Huntsman was quick to weigh in with an approving comment.
It was international development maven Todd Moss who made his anti-travel ban argument this way: "if your neighbor's bathtub was leaking and it was running into your house, would you go help them fix the leak or would you try to paint rubber walls or something? . . . Even talking about a travel ban is counter-productive because what we need now is a surge of health workers."
The helpful Huntsman interjected: "who's going to want to go if they can't come back?!"
Can we count some of the ways Moss's analogy and Huntsman's comment were wrong?
If your neighbor's tub was leaking into your house, and it was going to take months or years to fix [as is the case with getting Ebola under control], you're darn right that you'd want to find a way to seal off your house. And doing so wouldn't prevent you from going over and giving your neighbor a helping hand.
As for Abby: of course we can and should assure Ebola aid workers that they could return to the United States in controlled conditions. But that doesn't mean that we should permit thousands of members of the general population from the affected countries to enter the US.
MSNBC: do us a favor and lift Huntsman's misleading "conservative" label.
ABBY HUNTSMAN: Todd as you know, we've been having a debate in this country around whether we should ban all flights to West Africa. You have a number of Republicans that are saying, why haven't we already done this? We are now in this situation. And the president said last night, look, we are not banning flights for a number of reasons. We'll keep monitoring it. Where do you fall on this debate?
TODD MOSS: Well, first of all, it makes no sense to ban flights from the Ebola-affected countries. We don't have any direct flights from Guinea, Sierra Leone or Liberia. Really the way we are going to contain Ebola is at the source. But if you think about -- if your neighbor's bathtub was leaking and it was running into your house, would you go help them fix the leak or would you try to paint rubber walls or something? It would make no sense.
MOSS: And really the way we are going to contain Ebola is at the source. And really a travel ban, even talking about a travel ban, is counter-productive because what we need now is a surge of health workers --
HUNTSMAN: -- who's going to want to go if they can't come back?
MOSS: Exactly. And so this is actually going to make it much tougher.