MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow ripped into rival network CNN’s decision to air the State of the Union response by Rep. Michele Bachmann Tuesday night, calling it an “inexplicable” decision.
CNN was the only major news network to carry the speech–billed as the “Tea Party response”–live, the third major speech of the night after the president’s, and the official Republican Party response delivered by Rep. Paul Ryan.
To Maddow, CNN was engaging in “journalistic intervention,” elevating Bachmann to parity with Obama and Ryan:
“Michele Bachmann is not the national spokesperson for the Republican Party,” she said. “She is unlikely anytime soon to be chosen to be the spokesperson for her party. But tonight, inexplicably, a national news network decided that they would give Michele Bachmann a job that her own party never did.”
CNN’s coverage was defended–forcefully–by the network’s newest star, Piers Morgan, who joined the Wolf Blitzer-helmed political panel that followed the speeches. Taking to Twitter, Morgan slammed his timeslot rival Maddow:
@PiersMorgan: Ms Maddow doesn’t think it’s ‘news’ when 2 different factions of Rep Party make post-SOTU speeches? http://huff.to/igZu91 #SERIOUSLY?
@PiersMorgan: Sorry, but just nonsense for @maddow to say @cnn shouldn’t have run Tea Party speech. Rep split is proper news, may decide next election.
Watch Maddow here, from MSNBC:
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