Howard Kurtz, who hosts Media Buzz on Fox News' Weekend lineup, was appalled that MSNBC had the brass to place their first Democratic Debate in the capable hands of Rachel Maddow. Her co-moderator, Chuck Todd, was a perfectly acceptable moderator, as far as Kurtz is concerned, because he's a well-known, both-siderist, not my job to ask tough questions pundit. But Rachel is beyond the pale and far more liberal than those who have been assigned to GOP Debates, in his wild imagination. Howie tweeted this in response to MSNBC's choice of moderator(s):
Rachel Maddow's smart & did a good job last night. But why did MSNBC put a liberal commentator on that debate stage? https://t.co/TdDlapdpr5
— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) February 5, 2016
Let's look at those who've hosted the Republican Head Jebus-Loving, Commander in Chief of Killing Muslims and Hating Certain People Debates, and compare and contrast with the MSNBC Debate last night.
*August 2015: Megyn Kelly, maligned as she was by Trump, was part of the first GOP Fox News Debate. No one could mistake her as a middle-of-the-road 'journalist.'
*September 2015: CNN hosted the debate with Hugh Hewitt as a moderator. Hugh Hewitt!
*October, 2015: They literally flipped out completely over the CNBC debate, where the questions weren't tailor made to cater to the hawkish xenophobic group of GOP hopefuls.
*November 2015: The Fox Business Network Debate with ultra-conservative hosts who include Maria Bartiromo and Neil Cavuto.
*December 2015: Best friend to Republicans, Wolf Blitzer hosts CNN Debate.
*January 14, 2016: Maria and Neil host another Fox Business Network debate.
*January 28, 2016: Once again the original three, Kelly, Baier and Wallace host the debate.
But she is an unabashedly liberal commentator who rips the Republicans every night on her program. She should not have been put in that position.
This is especially true because MSNBC has aggressively been trying to shed its left-wing label and rebrand itself as a news network. Brian Williams is now a regular presence as a breaking-news anchor. Liberal hosts who once populated the daytime hours, such as Ed Schultz, Ronan Farrow, Joy Reid and Alex Wagner, have lost their programs. Al Sharpton was shifted to early Sunday morning. Todd was brought back for a daily show. The liberals are now restricted to the evening hours.
Howie believes that a far right wing nut, conspiracy theorist like Sean Hannity is the diametric opposite of the far more educated, professional, intellectual and even-tempered Rachel Maddow
Imagine the reaction on the left if the Fox News moderators at a debate were Bret Baier and Sean Hannity, an unabashed conservative. The criticism of Fox for fielding such a team would have been intense.
He's not surprised that Rachel could conduct herself in a manner befitting of the professional way a debate is supposed to be handled, but surprised that MSNBC selected her of all people. He compliments her ability without realizing that this is precisely the reason she is so qualified to act as an unbiased journalist, something we see rarely on Fox 'News.' By his own admission:
Rachel Maddow handled herself professionally in New Hampshire, which is no surprise. What’s surprising is that her network saw fit to cast her in the role of unbiased journalist.