“Zero Dark Thirsty,” “Swing and a Miss,” “Parch Madness,” “Tough Swallow,” “Just Add Water,” and “Water Under the Bridge” were a handful of the phrases used on-air by MSNBC on Wednesday to mock Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio for awkwardly pausing to take a sip of water while delivering the official Republican response to the State of the Union address.
Throughout the broadcast day, between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. EST, MSNBC showed a replay of Rubio’s swig approximately 155 times — 101 of which came during “The Rachel Maddow Show,” which played the moment on loop at the bottom of the screen for more than 13 minutes.
“In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy,” wrote Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black in the New York Times vs. United States ruling. “The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the public. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government.”
Does anyone really feel like the media is doing a good job of informing the public when a quick sip of water is allowed to overshadow the substance of what a US Senator says?
And to be fair, the right does it to what with their obsession over the President’s teleprompter and “57 states” gaffes.
It’s one thing to have a chuckle when a politician does something awkward. It’s quite another to dwell on some trivial gaffe to the point of distraction.