As we reported over the weekend, on her April 6 show Rachel Maddow claimed to have a breaking news report on a current legislative controversy in Michigan.
In the report Maddow falsely asserted Michigan Republicans were using an “unprecedented” power grab to pass an extensive number of bills with an immediate-effect clause without acknowledging that Michigan Democrats had previously used the same clause and voting procedures when they controlled the Michigan legislature by very similar margins.
On Maddow’s Monday program, she ran an update on the story in response to what she said was criticism from both sides of the isle and a decision by the Michigan Appeals Court to overrule a previous court order and side with Michigan Republicans. The Appeals Court ruled to allow several bills passed with the immediate-effect to become laws now.
In other words, the Appeals court saw nothing wrong with the process that was used to pass those specifics laws. Maddow did not outright acknowledge her factual inaccuracies or unfair contentions in the first report, but did finally concede that “both sides have done this.”
End of story, right? Nope. Not to be outdone, Maddow’s contention has now graduated from an unprecedented circumvention of democracy to the argument that Republicans should have requested a roll call vote in the Michigan House when the Democrats previously used the same exact procedure to pass laws with the immediate-effect clause.
So now, she is indirectly admitting that her big “scoop” is simply that Michigan House Republicans are using the same voting procedures that have been used for years.
She also used the segment, once again, to try to tie likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to the “controversy” surrounding Michigan Republicans’ actions via his father George Romney, the former Governor of Michigan. George Romney presided over the convention where the state approved a constitutional amendment requiring 90 days to pass before a law could be enacted after it was passed by the state legislature unless an immediate-effect clause was attached.
The segment on Monday ended with Maddow saying that her program will continue to cover the story in Michigan.
“On a personal note, I have to say I am more inclined than ever to stay on this story,” she said. “One, because it keeps getting more and more interesting and more and more fraught all the time. I think something is going on Michigan that’s not going on anywhere else in the country, and it deserves a lot more attention than it’s getting.”
She also claimed she would not be discouraged from covering the story even as her “detractors” insulted her.
“But also, turns out your insults make me stronger Bring it on, keep shooting the messenger.”
The problem with that assertion is that her detractors are not actually insulting her or “shooting the messenger,” rather they are pointing out that she was pushing a dishonest, partisan message.
Let us hope her continued coverage will include more fact-based reporting and less false contentions focused on attacking Republicans.