First rule of gloating? Get your facts straight, else you’ll look the fool. Case in point: MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow‘s recurring Debunktion Junction segment in which she explores the veracity of rumors and stories on her radar. Last night she was very proud to confirm a Roll Call report that former Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell would be guest hosting Fox & Friends during the week that follows Christmas. Turns out that, according to a Fox News spokesperson, this report is in fact, untrue. (Sad trombone sound.)
In introducing the clip, Maddow took the Glenn Beck approach of playing a clip of herself making an earlier prediction while on Meet the Press, suggesting that the GOP would do well in the mid-term elections and that “Christine O’Donnell’s new show on Fox is going to be awesome.” An extremely self-satisfied Maddow then pointed to the Roll Call report, saying:
Despite the lameness of that joke on Meet the Press it was an accurate lame joke on the Christine O’Donnell point. Since losing Delaware’s U.S. Senate race a month ago, O’Donnell stayed busy as a noncandidate political camera attractant. As reported by Roll Call’s Christina Bellantoni and Steve Peoples “O’Donnell’s schedule is booked through January with meetings, tea party events, official Republican events and even a guest-host stint on “Fox and Friends” during Christmas week.” it takes precisely zero genius to predict O’Donnell would host TV on Fox News but it has now gone from prediction and rumor to true.
Except that it’s not. Fox News spokesperson confirms to Mediaite that no such guest hosting gig for O’Donnell has been booked, reiterating a similar statement made to Mediaite roughly a month ago:
Now that the election has ended, what’s next? In an exclusive statement to Mediaite a Fox News spokesperson says that the cable newser “has no plans to hire her.” While it’s probably safe to say that we haven’t seen the end of Ms. O’Donnell in the mainstream media, or even an occasional appearance on Fox News, the regular contribution gig (which can be lucrative) does not appear to be in O’Donnell’s future.
Given that MSNBC promos present Maddow as a tireless journalist in constant search of facts, it’s odd that she apparently did not confirm the Roll Call report with Fox News. The fact that she used this report to gloat over her earlier prediction and now appears to have been wrong in a segment titled “Debunktion Junction” is, well, pretty embarrassing. One wonders if Maddow will debunk her own debunking in a future show?
Update: Roll Call’s Christina Bellantoni tells Mediaite: O’Donnell told me in a sit-down interview this week that she’d be filling in for Gretchen on Dec. 23 and Dec. 24. A spokesman also mentioned that a few years ago she regularly appeared on Fox and Friends in a similar capacity. I think it was in ’08.
Update #2: Fox News confirms that while Christine O’Donnell appeared as a guest on Fox & Friends in 2008, she never filled a role as a guest host, as was mentioned in the update above.
Watch the clip from MSNBC below:
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