Liberal media critics harshly criticize the Fox News Channel for being overly polite and asking softball questions to Republican officials. But liberals never seem to look at how Democrats get gushy, cozy interviews on CNN and MSNBC. Rachel Maddow's Wednesday-night bow-and-scrape with Eric Holder is just the latest example.
After asking a few unchallenging set-ups about how Holder and Obama are working to bend redistricting into helping Democrats, she went to the ad break: "I would be remiss if I did not ask you something about what's going on right now between the FBI and Justice Department and the White House. I also would be fired if I didn't ask you if you're running for president. So, can I ask you to stay right there and I will ask you both of those things when we come back?"
After that powdery pretty-please, and her please-attack-Trump questions, she asked:
MADDOW: Would you make a better president? How is that? It's pretty good I snuck that in there, right?HOLDER: That`s pretty good. (LAUGHTER) I think any one of my kids would make a better president than Donald Trump….MADDOW: Are you going to think seriously about running this year, sir?HOLDER:...I will make a decision at the end of this year about what I want to do with regard to a higher office.MADDOW: Eric Holder, former attorney general during the Obama administration, now the chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, thanks for being with us tonight. I know you're super busy, sir. I really appreciate your time.
The "sirs" make you wonder if Maddow should wear a tux like a parking valet. Here is the please-attack-Trump section on the FBI, with a typical speech/question pleading for poor Andrew McCabe, without mentioning any of the sketchy specifics on McCabe slow-walking the Hillary e-mail probe and McCabe's wife getting hundreds of thousands in donations from Gov. Terry McAuliffe. She has the audacity to discuss the "independence" of people like James Comey and McCabe:
MADDOW: We are in some uncharted territory in terms of the relationship between the president and the justice system. In the last few months, we have watched the president and some of his supporters in Congress really try to work to discredit the FBI around the investigations into the president and his campaign but also sort of in general. In several cases, they have called out in concerted efforts -- they've called out by names specific FBI officials.
The case of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, he was essentially pressured out of bureau. He retired last month. He's 49 years old.There have also been concerted pressure campaigns against other named senior Justice Department and FBI officials. When you're in charge of the Justice Department and something like that arises, I know you didn't have to face that same kind of thing, but is there something that an attorney general or that other people in positions of authority can do to deal with those kinds of attacks? Would there be -- is there more that an attorney general or anybody else could have done to shield the FBI and senior Justice Department officials from the kind of pressure that they've been getting?
HOLDER: That is the exact role an attorney general has. You are supposed to shield your people from political pressure. And the thing -- one of the things that disturbs me the most is the fact that this attorney general has for whatever reason been relatively silent….
MADDOW: If the attorney general fails at that, is there a Plan B in terms of doing the most to uphold the rule of law, to uphold the independence of law enforcement when an attorney general doesn't take that heat? What else -- what are our other options as a country?
HOLDER: Well, you know, our institutions are strong. Our norms are being tested, but they are also strong....The president going after named career people. The president saying things about the integrity of those two institutions, the Justice Department, the FBI. No other president has ever said those kinds of things, conducted himself in that way. [Hillary Clinton and her campaign attacked Comey...but she didn't come president.]