Another Republican primary, another instance of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow wringing her hands over having to cover former President Donald Trump’s victory speech.
Just as she did in the wake of Trump’s Iowa Caucus win last week, Maddow issued a warning to her viewers on Tuesday night before tossing to the former president’s remarks in the wake of winning the New Hampshire primary by 11 points over Nikki Haley.
On Wednesday’s show, Megyn was joined by Ruthless co-host Comfortably Smug and The Fifth Column co-host Michael Moynihan to discuss Maddow’s overwrought coddling of her audience and how she should have handled the situation.
Maddow was on the air on MSNBC on Tuesday night when Trump started delivering his victory speech from his campaign headquarters in Nashua, New Hampshire. Before showing the live feed of Trump’s remarks, the primetime host rambled on about what a conundrum the former president poses to the network:
MADDOW: We’re expecting Trump to speak momentarily. We are going to go to those remarks to see how he uses this moment at least at first. We’ll see how it goes. Again, this is a decision that is one that we consider to be an open-ended, live decision. Let’s go to Trump headquarters right now in Nashua, New Hampshire…
TRUMP: …You know, we won New Hampshire three times now. Three, three. We win it every time. We win the primary. We win the generals…
MADDOW: So, there we go. Um so this is part of the issue here… The former president has opened his remarks tonight once again by proclaiming falsehoods about previous elections. This is what makes it hard to take him, his pronouncements live. We’ll try again though. Here we go…
Moynihan questioned how a cable news network can get away with not covering political news, but he also wondered how Maddow gets away with taking that tone. ”How the hell do you run a cable news network that is based on politics and showing politicians speak [by] cutting away when they lie,” he asked. “I don’t need Rachel Maddow… telling me what I can and cannot hear… Stop trying to be the paternalist in the TV studio in Manhattan.”
For all the fuss that is being made about the 2024 election posing a threat to democracy, Comfortably Smug questioned the irony of the gatekeeping. “It’s a very odd kind of paternalism,” he noted. “But, at the same time, it’s fundamentally based on the idea that democracy is when the party in control decides who’s allowed on the ballot, which is just the wildest ever possible definition that is being defended right now by the Democrats every single day.”
In Megyn’s view, Trump “does not have an adult relationship with the truth,” which means some fact checking may be necessary at times. But, as she explained, “it’s really not hard” to cover a speech like the one the GOP frontrunner gave on Tuesday.
“If I were anchoring that speech at the Fox News Channel, I would listen to it and I would make notes to my control room: What’s his track record in New Hampshire? Could he possibly be talking about the general? How did he do in the primaries? How about that one? What do we know about this,” she shared. “And maybe I’d have five things that I needed to address at the back end and… then I’d offer – without affect or enthusiasm – the truth on any items and then I’d move on.”
The net-net: “You don’t have to have a f–king meltdown over the fact that he might say some things that aren’t true,” Megyn concluded. “If you’re going to do it to Trump, then do it to Biden too because he and his team lie all the time. It’s just about different subjects.”
You can check out Megyn’s full analysis by tuning in to episode 709 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.