“Saturday Night Live” writers? Your job is like way, way too easy. And who’s the FAIL artist who didn’t tell La Bachmann which camera to look into?
UPDATE: On Rachel Maddow’s overnight show Wednesday, NY Rep. Anthony Weiner said Bachmann is “clearly not in touch with the mothership.” Ouch.
CNN probably got a ratings bump out of being the only news outlet to broadcast the Internet-streamed Tea Party Nation speech live, but I’m not sure they brought credit to themselves as a news organization. And then, trying to seriously analyze it without addressing the just plain bizarre staging of it (given that CNN was not above debating the staging of President Obama’s Denver convention speech)– with Erick “shoot the Census workers” Erickson sitting on the panel with David Gergen and company… well … let’s just say it was not CNN’s finest hour (or Michele Bachmann’s…)
Meanwhile, turns out not only did Rachel Maddow get some serious mileage out of putting CNN down for airing the speech that was, again, NOT the official response of the Republican Party — turns out Republicans aren’t exactly thrilled with CNN either. This earlier yesterday from Greg Sargent:
Originally, Bachmann’s response was going to be available for viewing only on the Internet. But CNN has announced that her speech will be shown in full in addition to broadcasting the speech from GOP Rep. Paul Ryan, who was picked for the official response by the Republican leadership.
GOP aides are unhappy with the decision, because it risks making the opposition look conflicted — as if the two are trying to upstage one another — muddling GOP efforts to offer a unified response.
“CNN is basically inventing a conflict that doesn’t really exist,” a GOP aide emails. “It’s not responsible journalism.”
CNN’s decision to air Bachmann’s speech, interestingly, is angering liberals and Republicans alike. Steve Benen notes this morning that Bachmann’s Tea Party brew could end up making Ryan’s speech look moderate and reasonable in comparison. Both Benen and Atrios also point out that it could create a fundamental imbalance — two Republicans responding to one speech from Obama — and that there’s no way CNN would allow a liberal Dem to offer a response from the left, as Bachmann is doing from the hard right.
But Republicans, too, have reason to be annoyed about this. Granting such a high profile to Bachmann’s Messianic Tea Party air won’t help the GOP manage the already difficult task of offering a response that has a chance of competing with Obama’s speech.
The President already has a big built-in advantage during State of the Union speeches, and the designated opponent already faces an uphill climb when trying to rise to his stature. Elevating Bachmann, of all people, will likely complicate this dynamic even further.
Apparently, the unnamed aides are not alone. Both House majority leader Eric Cantor and the tea party group from Bachman’s own home state of Minnesota were not amused by CNN’s decision to air her speech.