Frequent Maddow Guest Michael Isikoff Also Denizen of ‘Planet Cheney’

If only Rachel Maddow watched her MSNBC show when someone else is guest hosting, she might avoid inconvenient juxtapositions.

The first part of the embedded clip shows Maddow on Aug. 31 taking aim at former vice president Dick Cheney’s unapologetic defense of Bush administration tactics against al Qaeda and the war in Iraq.

The second part shows Newsweek investigative reporter Michael Isikoff appearing on Maddow’s show Aug. 24 and inadvertently undermining what Maddow would say about Cheney a week later.

First, Maddow from this past Monday —

MADDOW: There are certain basic elements that define life here on planet earth. In general, we humans need air to breathe, water to survive, and we need facts in order to win arguments. The vitality of facts may not be among the essential elements of life on another planet within our galaxy, Planet Cheney.

The former vice president reemerged yesterday after weeks in presumed orbit somewhere to give an interview on Fox News, offering his response to the just-released CIA report which concluded that we don’t really know how effective torture was. Or, if you reside on Planet Cheney …

CHENEY: I think the evidence is overwhelming that the EITs (enhanced interrogation techniques) were crucial in getting them to cooperate and that the information they provided did in fact save thousands of lives and let us defeat all further attacks against the United States.

MADDOW (quoting Cheney): The evidence is overwhelming, I think so! You know, the actual evidence at hand from the CIA review of the torture program in 2004 doesn’t say that at all. Quote, ‘there is limited data on which to assess their individual effectiveness,’ talking about enhanced interrogation techniques. In the case of Abu Zubaydah, who was waterboarded 83 times in one month, the CIA says, quote, ‘It is not possible to say definitively that the waterboard is the reason for Abu Zubaydah’s increased production, or if another factor, such as (the) length of detention, was the catalyst.’

But on fact-free Planet Cheney, that counts as overwhelming evidence!

Not nearly how Isikoff interpreted the report’s findings when he appeared on Maddow’s show Aug. 24 with guest host Alison Stewart —

STEWART: And finally, Michael, what does this report say about effectiveness?

ISIKOFF: Well, a muddied picture. As you know, Vice President Cheney and others who had defended this program have insisted time and again that valuable intelligence was gotten out of this program. You could read passages of this report and conclude that that is the case, that they did get, some passages say important intelligence was getten (sic). But then others are far more nuanced and measured, saying we don’t really know the full story, whether alternative techniques could have been used. I think that a final verdict on that is still yet to come.

Next on “The Rachel Maddow Show,” Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff provides further confirmation of intelligent life on Planet Cheney …

Such are the risks that left wingers take when invoking their favorite boogeyman in feeble attempts to distract attention from ObamaCare’s death spiral.

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MSNBC Delights in Ad Denigrating Cheney: ‘Brutal, But He Deserves It,’ ‘Rather Undeniable’

Late Wednesday afternoon, MSNBC’s David Shuster and Chris Matthews made clear their agreement with the message of a new ad from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) which ridicules former Vice President Dick Cheney’s past judgments and thus proclaims him “WRONG” on the value of enhanced interrogation techniques, with Shuster declaring “he deserves” the “brutal ad” which makes, Matthews decided, an “obvious” and “undeniable” point.

Giving free publicity to the TV ad supposedly scheduled to begin airing Thursday on cable channels, just before 5 PM EDT MSNBC played part of the ad and Hardball viewers were treated to the entire 30 seconds about a half hour later. With “WRONG” on screen, the ad features a clip of Cheney asserting what was conventional wisdom at the time: “There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.” Then, with “HE’S STILL WRONG” on screen, viewers hear Cheney maintain “the enhanced interrogation techniques were absolutely essential.” The ad ends with:


Following the ad clip, Shuster chirped: “You know, it’s a brutal ad on Dick Cheney, so, ah, but he deserves it I suppose.” Matthews set up the ad: “Dick Cheney gets called to account.” Afterward, he insisted: “Well that’s pretty obvious, anyway, and rather undeniable.”

The DNC site doesn’t seem to have video of the ad, but the Huffington Post has the video via YouTube.

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