Tamron Hall Ends Tim Carney's Spin Doctoring By Tossing Him Off Her Show


What a delicious bit of video from Heather at Video Café. Tamron Hall lost her temper at the right wingers who tried really hard to distract everyone from Mitt Romney's bullying ways and more importantly, his disingenous denials and half-apologies.

Carney, a right-wing writer for The Examiner, did what wingers always do when they're on the "liberal network." He tried to filibuster and dodge her specific question, which was not about what Mitt Romney did 50 years ago, but how he handled it when confronted with five witnesses—four of whom were willing to speak on the record—about the incident. Via The Atlantic, who reported it as a story where Hall was in the wrong:

Here's what happens when they don't. Tim Carney, a columnist with the conservative Washington Examiner, was on MSNBC's NewsNation with Tamron Hall this afternoon to talk about Romney. Carney came out of the gate fast: "What you're doing here is a typical media trick. You hype up a story and then you justify the second-day coverage of the story by saying, oh, well people are talking about it." Hall almost immediately lost her cool, chastising Carney, telling him he didn't need to come on the show, shouting over him, and eventually cutting his mic. Sample line: "You don't [want-sic] me to go anything on you, because you're actually irritating me."

The Atlantic's David Graham says Hall was wrong and Carney was right; that viewers don't care about how Romney handled the story or whether it will do any long-term damage to Romney's campaign. I disagree. I think it's a story that's entirely relevant to voters and one that should be given as much attention as possible. Not because it's negative, but because Mitt Romney's reaction was dismissive. He seemed shocked that it was even something that was being talked about.

Sorry David Graham, but Digby's right on the money about this and you're not:

I wasn't joking when I said this would actually help Romney with the base. This bullying is one of the defining characteristics of modern American conservatism. The idea that the good people all work hard and it's only the lazy that ever need help is fundamental to their worldview. Even the Tea Partiers who are on government assistance insist that unlike all the others, they have worked hard and so deserve it.

I've been writing about this for a long time, often in the context of the torture debate. But it also plays a large part in our political system. It's actually a very well developed form of social control called Ritual Defamation (or Ritual Humiliation:

Which is why it was good to see Tamron let Mr. Carney have it with both barrels. He was condescending to her and evading her actual questions. When it became clear that he simply intended to filibuster and not respect what she was asking or why it was being asked, she cut him off. Good for her.

One last note to David Graham at The Atlantic:

Moreover, he's exactly right about how TV news inflates stories. It's a bipartisan tactic: Jon Stewart showed some time ago how Fox News built up narratives by a two-step process: First, the likes of Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity talk up non-controversies; the next day, news anchors like Megyn Kelly would bring up the stories with the same "some people say" formulation.

Citing Jon Stewart exposing Fox News does not—I repeat, does NOT—make it a bipartisan tactic. Really, let's leave the false equivalence to the pundits and think-tankers, shall we?

If only Harry Reid could end Senate filibusters so cleanly, eh?


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