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Sunday, September 20, 2020

On MSNBC, Kamala Harris is treated to the gentlest interview you’ve ever seen

Meet the Press host Chuck Todd claims there is “no editorial view” on any of MSNBC’s daytime newscasts.

Do his MSNBC colleagues know that?

Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris joined MSNBC’s Chris Jansing this week for what felt more like an advertisement for the California lawmaker or perhaps an on-air massage than a news interview.

Jansing asked exactly five questions of Harris, who is under consideration to be presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s running mate, despite her long and disturbing record of abuses as a prosecutor.

These are the questions (I promise you that these are real questions asked by a real anchor on a real news show):

1. “[Trump] can’t say if civil rights icon and long-serving congressman John Lewis, who was bloodied and arrested numerous times in his fight for equality, was impressive. … But what do you think when you hear that clip, somebody who won’t even say, do you find [Lewis’s] story impressive?”

2. “Tens of millions of people who have filed for unemployment claims. Some of them now worried about eviction notices. … Tell me your thoughts on where we are right now and how we’re going to get help to the people who need it.”

3. “The Census Bureau has said that they’re going to stop counting people a month earlier than they thought because they need that time to get the report in by the end of the year. … How concerned are you about this decision?”

4. “We know you’ve been named on [Biden’s] shortlist. Can you tell us anything about where you are in the vetting process or what you have gone through in terms of the vetting process, or at least from having been through this part of the vetting process, what you are learning about what the former vice president is looking for in his running mate.”

5. “Accusations of being too ambitious, some black women see a double standard. There have been claims that you are too ambitious. Have we learned nothing in the last four years since those kinds of accusations were leveled against Hillary Clinton?”

On MSNBC, Kamala Harris is treated to the gentlest interview you’ve ever seen

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That was it. That was the interview. It is tempting to call it a softball interview, but at least in softball, they still have to pitch the ball. This MSNBC interview is the equivalent of setting the ball on the tee for Harris.

In July, Chuck Todd said in earnest that “there is no editorial view here on any of these newscasts on MSNBC in the daytime.” Really? Could have fooled me.

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