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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Massa Crazy But Right?

There are two competing narratives the media is perpetrating about former Congressman Eric Massa. First, he's a loon, a nut, and totally embarrassed himself on Glenn Beck. Second, more and more, they are finding agreement with what he said. I suppose the old adage is true, "just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean you're wrong."

First, here's John Kass.

Naturally, the White House denies the naked shower episode ever happened, and
President Barack Obama's spokesman is basically calling Massa a nutball.

But can't both be true? The naked and the nutball?

Massa denies he sexually harassed anyone, but he now says he did engage in "tickle fights" with male staffers and may have sent inappropriate texts.

So of the nutball thing I am convinced, after watching his interview with Glenn Beck on Tuesday, one of the worst hours of TV in the history of the world, even worse
than "A Very Brady Christmas."

"I'm going to show you a lot more than tickle fights," Massa warned a horrified Beck. "This will look like an orgy from ‘Caligula

Yet, he also says this.

But I believe him because I've had a similar argument with Rahm before he was White House chief of staff, right here in the Tribune newsroom, Rahm jabbing his finger near my chest.

It really was just a finger, honest. And happily, Rahm was fully clothed.

So, Kass thinks Massa is a freak but he also believes the Rahm shower story because he had his own variation.

Here's Politico.

At least one part of former Rep. Eric Massa’s hourlong, train-wreck interview with cable-television host Glenn Beck rang true to his fellow House freshmen Tuesday: the grim description of the intense and time-consuming fundraising pressures that dominate the lives of junior members.

So, it was disastrous but...

Congressmen spend between five and seven hours a day on the phone, begging for
money,” Massa (D-N.Y.) told Beck, before launching into a detailed account of the arduous fundraising routine — a demeaning process, Massa said — that includes filling out call sheets, detailing the amount of money raised per hour and conferring with fundraising coaches who advise them on how to wring even more money out of donor calls.

“I don’t have the life’s energy to get up at 5 in the morning and work until midnight [and] spend five hours on the phone begging for money,” said Massa, estimating that he worked 120 hours a week as a congressman. “I have completely abandoned my family for five years.”

To his fellow members of the Class of 2008 — many of whom are also looking to solidify their grip on newly won seats while convincing party leaders of their political chops —Massa’s account was all too familiar.

I've gone through my own progression about Massa. I don't know what he did toward his staffers and I don't care. A lot of it appears to be inappropriate but none of it illegal. It's not any more inappropriate than confronting someone naked in a shower. So, why are we judging Massa.

His interview with Glenn Beck appears to be disastrous because Beck said it was. Beck dismissed the thought that discussing campaign finance reform would have any probative value even though it appears that most freshman agree with Massa that far too much time is spent raising funds.

The whole thing is fairly despicable. The media is taking its turns putting Massa through the gauntlet all while proclaiming that on most points he was accurate. Then, they turn around and say he's a disaster. The man appears to be a walking disaster all while revealing previously unknown truths about the halls of power all at once.


AG said...

It isn't really that much of a surprise that inside the Beltway, fundraising is synonymous with leadership, is it?

Jason Gillman said...

"while revealing previously unknown truths about the halls of power all at once."

Not at all trying to be antagonistic, but what unknowns were there? Maybe I slept through the revelations.

mike volpe said...

A few things. First, there's no need to apologize for being antagonistic, this is a debate not an AA session.

Second, I probably could have phrased it better. Still, I don't think we get that Emanuel story without Massa and the obscene amounts of fundraising was also not necessarily previously known.

Anonymous said...

I timed my late afternon to make sure I could hear the Glenn Beck show on XM (which has to be a first!). Since I didn't get to watch body language, I had to wade through it with audio and dozens of commercials. IMHO, Beck pooched the interview. He allowed Massa to take him down the wrong path rather than keep him on track. As soon as Massa hit the "campaign finance" subject, there was at least 10 minutes left for Glenn to pull of a spectacular recovery. It didn't happen and I was very dissapointed. Although Massa clained that he was going to do only two interviews and that was it, Beck needs to hunt him down for a do-over. Massa has something he really wants to tell the world. Give him his 30 minutes and then let him be.