MSNBC's Rachel Maddow pulled off a dubious trifecta Wednesday night. Not only did she fail to mention that a Nashville mayor forced to resign in March was a Democrat, Maddow most assuredly did mention the Republican affiliation of not one but two Republican governors swept up in scandal. She did this in all of a minute and a half. And some still wonder why she's a rock star on the left.
Maddow cued up her shabby display of selective party identification by pointing out how politicians facing serious charges are often able to do something that those outside "public service" aren't -- they can offer to resign in exchange for prosecutors dropping charges or reducing their severity.
"Even if you are potentially on the hook for very, very serious crimes, it's pretty much accepted practice," Maddow said. "It's in the U.S. Attorneys' manual!" Maddow then cited a recent example:
MADDOW: That's what happened to the mayor of Nashville, Tenn., just a few weeks ago -- plea deal. She pled guilty to a felony but she got no jail time, she got unsupervised probation. How'd she get such a sweet deal? As part of the deal with prosecutors, she agreed to resign.
Hmm, notice anything missing here? The most obvious omission leaps out -- party affiliation. Conservatives know from long experience that failure to mention it in media is actually confirmation that the pol in question is a Democrat.
Moreover, former mayor Megan Barry's actual misdeeds are curiously scant here as well, in a way they most definitely would not be had she been a Republican pleading guilty to felony theft, a crime that took place while she was involved in an extramarital affair with her bodyguard.
The same thing happened in coverage of Barry back in March, as described by NB's Tom Blumer, who nailed the Associated Press for going a pathetic 1-for-10 in mentioning Barry's inconvenient party connection.
Yet when it came to the next two politicians mentioned by Maddow, she wasted no time in getting to party affiliation --
Same thing happened last year to Alabama Republican Gov. Robert Bentley, the governor who you might think would be voted least likely to fall victim to a lurid sex scandal. One in which there were tapes.
Which unintentionally suggests that Megan Barry would be voted "more likely". Well played, Maddow.
Maddow then provides considerably more background on the resolution of Bentley's case in a way she just couldn't bring herself to do for Barry --
But Gov. Bentley did not get prosecuted on ethics charges. He instead made a deal in which he did community service and he agreed to resign from office. And in his case he not only agreed to resign from office, he agreed to a lifetime ban on him ever again holding any other public office. Prosecutors thought that was pretty good deal.
Maddow proceeds to dutifully mention the party affiliation of another governor in trouble, again not wasting a breath in getting right to it --
Now today it is Missouri Republican governor Eric Greitens. There has been serious scandal swirling around Gov. Eric Greiten since the beginning of this year. In Missouri he was facing possible impeachment, he was facing an ethics inquiry, he was facing a reported FBI investigation, a felony charge from one prosecutor, another felony charge from a different prosecutor while a charge that had been filed against him and then dropped but it might be filed again by a special prosecutor, all of this swirling around Gov. Eric Greitens. Well today, the top prosecutor in St. Louis revealed her agreement with the governor that she would drop one pending felony charge against Eric Greitens in exchange for him resigning from office.
Such a wealth of detail -- and his party affiliation! Just me or anyone else noticing a pattern?