February 21, 2013
Last month, MSNBC’s Al Sharpton conducted a spirited debate about whether Obama belongs on Mount Rushmore or instead deserves a separate monument to his greatness (just weeks before replacing frequent Obama critic Cenk Uygur as MSNBC host, Sharpton publicly vowed never to criticize Barack Obama under any circumstances: a vow he has faithfully maintained). Earlier that day on the same network, a solemn discussion was held, in response to complaints from MSNBC viewers, about whether it is permissible to ever allow Barack Obama’s name to pass through one’s lips without prefacing it with an honorific such as “President” or “the Honorable” or perhaps “His Excellency” (that really did happen).
Yesterday, Chris Matthews – who infamously confessed that listening to Obama (sorry: President Obama) gives him a “thrill going up his leg” – hosted another discussion, this one involving former Obama campaign aide and MSNBC contributor Joy Reid, about whether the Honorable President should be mounted on Mount Rushmore (Matthews restrained himself by explaining that “I’m not talking about Mt. Rushmore but perhaps the level right below it”, but then shared this fantasy: “If [Obama] were hearing us talking about him maybe mounting Mount Rushmore, getting up there with the great presidents…what would he be thinking? ‘That’s exactly what I’m doing?’”). A Pew poll found that in the week leading up to the 2012 election, MSNBC did not air a single story critical of the President or a single positive story about Romney – not a single one – even as Fox aired a few negative ones about Romney and a few positive ones about Obama. Meanwhile, Obama campaign aides who appeared on MSNBC were typically treated with greater deference than that shown to the British Queen when one of her most adoring subjects is in her presence for the first time.