In one of her trademark monologues, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow last night criticized Fox News host Bill O’Reilly for sticking to the claim that former IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman had visited the White House 157 times. As explained by The Atlantic’s Garance Franke-Ruta, that number has some serious deficiencies — deficiencies that O’Reilly hasn’t quite acknowledged as he continues peddling the line. Maddow seizes on the whole thing: “Publicly available arrival and departure information only shows that he attended 11 meetings over four years. Is it obscene that the commissioner of the IRS, who was, by the way, appointed by George W. Bush, apparently had an average of two or three meetings a year inside the whole White House complex, over the course of four years, is that a smoking gun scandal? At Fox News, that’s a smoking gun scandal.”
Maddow vs. O’Reilly is a fair and fun fight. Go for it.
Yet: Must Maddow extend the snark and nastiness and condescension to the American television viewer? She apparently couldn’t resist. After hitting O’Reilly, she said, “This is what your uncle who watches Fox News all day has been screaming at the television recently, in case you couldn’t make out the words while he was screaming them. This is what he’s talking about.”
The Erik Wemple Blog, it should be noted, is a proud uncle who watches Fox News all day.