Rachel Maddow Weaves a Tangled Web

J$P makes an uncredited cameo appearance on MSNBC, while Rachel Maddow practices to deceive.
Tonight Rachel Maddow struck back at Politifact and at your humble correspondent. Politifact got most of the attention; we were relegated to a screengrab and one dismissive sentence. You can watch the whole segment here; we’re only concerned with what she said about our article posted yesterday. The backstory: talking with Jay Leno, Rachel Maddow claimed seven of the top ten contributors in the 2010 election gave to Republicans:

RACHEL MADDOW: If you look at the last election cycle, of the top ten people donating money in that election, seven of them were giving to Republicans, those were all corporate interests and Right-wing PACs and stuff. Seven of the ten were all Right-wing, and the only three that weren't were unions.

Our post pointed out that this was untrue, based on OpenSecrets.org. Tonight Ms Maddow responded, also citing OpenSecrets.org:

MADDOW: Of the top ten, seven of the top ten from the last election are contributing to the right. Only three of them are contributing to the left. And the only three that are contributing to the left are unions....There are only three out of the top ten contributors of big money of outside groups in the last election who are not contributing to right-wing causes and they are the unions.

Cleverly done. Her original statement about the ‘top ten people’? Now rewritten into the top ten outside groups. Her claim that seven of the ten ‘gave to Republicans’? Morphed into ‘contributing to right-wing causes’. Why? Because as we pointed out in our post, the money totals shown on OpenSecrets.org for these ‘outside groups’ are not contributions to candidates of any party. They are outside expenditures for issue advocacy that cannot endorse or oppose candidates.

Rachel Maddow isn’t being honest. Instead of rewriting her own words to make them fit the list of ‘outside groups’, why not just admit she made a mistake talking about people rather than groups, and was in error when she said they ‘gave to Republicans’? Or is she too starting to suffer from Olbermannitis? Does she really think she’s fooling anyone with such transparent trickery?

And then MS Maddow turned to yours truly. Showing a screengrab of our post (but not giving the URL...gee, thanks Rache!), she stated:

MADDOW: But the right-wing is on fire right now about Shep Smith citing that same information I cited, because I also cited it and therefore it must be false.

Read our post again if you must, and look hard for where we implied, or suggested, or said any such thing. We didn’t. If that description was supposed to be a summary of what we wrote (and since this was on screen as she spoke what else could have been intended?) then it’s worse than bullpucky. It’s a lie.

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