Via NRO and Noah Rothman, who wonders whether MSNBC will catch as much hell for this as Fox did when “Fox & Friends” pulled something similar in May 2012. (Among those giving Fox hell at the time was, of course, MSNBC.) Let me play devil’s advocate, though: At this point, why keep up the pretense that an attack ad is materially different from what they’ve been doing with their regular programming lately? Or, for that matter, what they’ve been doing with their regular programming for the last few years? Remember this breakdown of cable news coverage during the last week of election 2012? Fox was very slanted towards Romney; MSNBC was out-and-out propaganda for Obama.
On Monday night, five days after news of Bridgegate broke and four days after Christie’s press conference about it, MSNBC still devoted nearly every moment of airtime to the story between 5 p.m. and midnight — 211 minutes in all. That was the same night that Chris Hayes, having previously scheduled an hour on poverty for his show during its normal 8 p.m. slot, decided he had to come back at 11 p.m. to get in a full hour of attacks on Christie too. That’s what’s really driving the O’Donnell ad here, I think; at this point, it’s a matter of oneupsmanship among MSNBC’s primetime hosts to see who can emerge as the most dogged anti-Christie attack dog of ’em all. Maddow was first out of the gate with a half-baked theory about the alleged real motivation for the bridge closings; then came Hayes, going the extra mile until midnight to make sure no evening hour would pass without Christie-bashing on liberal cable news. And now here’s Scary Larry trying to raise the bar again by dashing off his very own attack ad — replete with something at the end stressing that this is something Christie’s Republican rivals will use against him, as if Democrats wouldn’t merrily use it in the general election too.
According to Eliana Johnson, after Martin Bashir’s meltdown MSNBC assigned an executive to pre-approve all scripts before they hit the air. If that’s true, then someone there up the chain saw this and greenlit it before it ever went live. Because of course they did.