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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Defense of Massa

Former Congressman Eric Massa's appearance on Beck has been nearly universally mocked and ridiculed.

Fox News host Glenn Beck apologized to his viewers for “wasting your time” Tuesday after an interview in which former New York Rep. Eric Massa seemingly backtracked on his allegations that he was forced to resign over his opposition to Obamacare.

“We learned a lot I think, but what we learned I don’t think affects you at all,” Beck said, shaking his head and laughing at the conclusion of his hour-long interview with Massa, who resigned his office Monday after it became public that he was the subject of a House ethics committee investigation for possible harassment.

Staring into the camera after Massa seemingly contradicted himself on many points and refused to disclose any alleged corruption Beck suggested he had promised to disclose in a private pre-interview phone call, the conservative host apologized.

Beck himself apologized to his audience for wasting their time. I, personally, found this statement to be fairly arrogant on Beck's part. He's spent the better part of the last six months convincing his audience that progressivism is the scourge of the country. It's something near a broken record with him and so it's unclear what a loyal watcher is learning given that Beck is running through the same theme over and over.

The time line, according to Massa, was this. Initially, he announced that he wasn't seeking a second term because of his cancer. Then, upon realizing he was being investigated, Massa decided to resign. Then, he went on the radio to say that Democratic leadership was trying to force him out because he was going to vote against health care reform.

Then, on Beck, Massa took full responsibility for resigning. So, everyone called this a trackback. Maybe, it is however theree can also be a certain logic to all this as well. Massa may in fact realize that he's done things that are unacceptable, and he may also see the Democrats going after him because they want him gone. Massa is retired military and that attitude might make him expect more of himself. It doesn't sound as though we've heard anything that would necessarily rise to the level of an offense you'd have to quit over. After all, nearly one hundred members of Congress have credit so shot they can't get a credit card. Some inappropriate behavior toward your staff seems to be normal Congressional behavior.

So, maybe, Massa expected more of himself. At the same time, he may have seen that the Democrats were going after especially hard even though there's all sorts of nonsense going on. What I don't understand is what Beck expected of the interview? Massa said that there won't be any real reform unless there's campaign finance reform. Instead of expanding on that, Beck mocked the answer. I don't know what answer he wanted from Massa but he should have explored the answer he was given.

Massa has certainly humiliated himself over the last few weeks. He's a broken person with little credibility. Still, I don't think the problem was his interview with Beck.

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