Conservative columnist Tim Carney appeared on MSNBC, Friday, to slam MSNBC's "ridiculous" coverage of Mitt Romney's supposed teenage bullying, berating the liberal network's "absurd premise." MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall became so irritated at having her world view challanged that she cut Carney's mic off.
Regarding the cable outlet's coverage, Carney asserted, "I think that the focus that has come on it from the media, from MSNBC, in particular, has been absurd." He dismissed, "But trying to make an issue out of Mitt Romney bullying somebody nearly 50 years ago is ridiculous and it is a big part of the reason most of America doesn't trust the mainstream media." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Carney then explained just how non-stories are played up: "But, what you're doing here is a typical media trick. You hype up a story and then you justify the second day coverage of the story by saying, 'Oh, people are talking about it. Here's how Romney responded to it.'"
An angry Hall sputtered, "You not going to come on and insult me. You're not going to come on and insult the network when you knew what you were going to talk about. Done."
She then cut his mic off.
Earlier, Carney angered Hall when he dismissed the network's "silly" war on women talking point.
Hall didn't like this, either. She complained, "I don't think it's a silly idea. I think a lot of women will take issue with that."
A transcript of the exchanges can be found below:
TIM CARNEY: The silly idea that there was a war on women, talking about gay marriage. All of these things I think are attempts to distract. Whether that's coming directly from the White House, I don't know.
TAMRON HALL: Wait a second, the silly idea that there's a war against women? Whether you subscribe to it or not, A, I don't think it's a silly idea. I think a lot of women will take issue with that. If there's a conversation on the table to discuss regarding a war on women, I don't want to start off with it being called silly.
CARNEY: Well, okay, the idea- the way it's been articulated by Democrats, Republicans are, quote, and this is also a quote from many MSNBC shows, waging a war on women. That is not the way to begin any sort of discussion.
TIM CARNEY: I think that the Washington Post article is a good article. I think that the focus that has come on it from the media, from MSNBC, in particular, has been absurd. And that Romney pushing this aside and attempting to talk about other issues would be the appropriate reaction, because this does not matter. One episode that happened nearly 50 years ago, nearly, does not matter. Tamron, you know we have an 8.1 percent unemployment rate. You know that this president, you know, waged an illegal war on in Libya. You know that Romney has so many other problems. I will attack Romney on legitimate grounds. I'll talk about his economic policy being incoherent. But trying to make an issue out of Mitt Romney bullying somebody nearly 50 years ago is ridiculous and it is a big part of the reason most of America doesn't trust the main stream media.
CARNEY: But, what you're doing here is a typical media trick. You hype up a story and then you justify the second day coverage of the story by saying, "Oh, people are talking about it. Here's how Romney responded to it." No, let's move on to substantive issues.
TAMRON HALL: You don't have to answer a single question I ask you. You did not. And you didn't have to accept the invitation to come on. You knew what we were going to be discussing.
CARNEY: Yes. I came on- and the part of-
HALL: Hang on. Hang on, Tim, because you're kind of in my house here. The problem is this: The story is out there. You're right. I am not saying that we should belabor what happened 50 years ago. We're talking about the response by the campaign and by the governor. Not just on this issue.
CARNEY: So, I'm only allowed to- You are bringing up a meta story, which is "what is Romney's response to this other non-story." I'm trying to go meta meta on you and say here's some media treatment of the Romney response.
HALL: You don't want me to go anything on you because you're actually irritating me right now. I'm going to be honest with you. Yes, you are, because you knew the topics we were going to discuss.
CARNEY: I'm irritating you because I'm questioning your absurd premise.
HALL: You knew them. You agreed. And we are not talking or demeaning- listen, 50 years ago I was a much tougher kid probably than Mitt Romney was in high school. I'm not talking about the issue of whether he was bullying or not. He says he doesn't remember. To be fair, I cannot say he does. What I'm asking you about is how the campaign has handled this decision, handled this situation, how he handled the Colorado reporter.
CARNEY: I'll talk about Colorado.
HALL: How he handled same sex marriage where he said he agrees with gay parents being able to adopt but he does not agree with same sex marriage. Just the handling of questions beyond the economy. If you're not comfortable about that, I am A-okay but you're not going to come on and insult me. You not going to come on and insult me. You're not going to come on and insult the network when you knew what you were going to talk about. Done. Now, let me talk to Jimmy. I'm done.
CARNEY: Are you actually cutting me off?
HALL: Yes, I am.