October 18, 2013
Pete Marovich/Bloomberg News
House Speaker John Boehner (Pete Marovich/Bloomberg News)

Sure, the fight among Republicans on Capitol Hill isn’t a pillow fight. But just how ugly is it?

MSNBC host Martin Bashir offered a suggestion on his show just moments ago. After noting that a conservative group had endorsed the primary challenger to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Bashir turned to reporter-cum-commentator-of-the-hour Robert Costa of the National Review. Here’s the somewhat-loaded question Bashir posed:

Robert, we’re delighted to have you with us. I don’t think anyone has gotten as deep into the excrement with Republicans during this shutdown debacle. You look at a prominent conservative group endorsing the challenger against the No. 1 [Republican] in the Senate. Is this, Robert, just the beginning of a Republican-on-Republican fallout from the shutdown and this default tragedy?

The rest of the segment is best abridged as: Bashir, ecstatic over the Republicans’ internal strife; Costa, straight-faced, until Bashir asks him about his favorite band. MSNBC is known as the “Lean Forward” network, where every hour of the daily schedule tilts against Republicans and their policies. On Bashir’s show, the tilt often feels vertical.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.