Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham is outraged — outraaaged! — that President Obama met with some MSNBC anchors at the White House on Tuesday, according to her daily newsletter:
"Rachel Maddow, Al Sharpton, Lawrence O'Donnell, and Ed Schultz all stopped by the White House to discuss the President's fiscal cliff proposal. Can anyone even imagine how the press would have reacted if Fox News hosts and conservative personalities had stopped by the Bush White House to discuss policy? They would have been rightly outraged."
Yes, let's all put on our imagination hats and try as hard as we can to imagine what that meeting would look like. George W. Bush would be seated in an Oval Office chair, doing jazz hands in front of a bust of Winston Churchill. On his left, Fox News host Sean Hannity would be pensively smelling his hand on a couch with conservative personality Michael Medved. On his right, conservative personalities Neil Boortz and Mike Gallagher would be sharing another couch. And, just for imagination's sake, let's put conservative personality Laura Ingraham in there, too, right next to the president. Now, obviously, such a scene never actually transpired, but — wait, what? Oh. It did.
After Media Matters revealed Ingraham's hypocrisy to the world, a producer responded with the classic "Ingraham didn't actually write the newsletter, and also, the two things are totally different because I said so" defense.
During Laura's brief radio hiatus, the Daily Fix is written by staff. Although I didn't know Laura had visited the Bush White House with other conservative radio hosts, the circumstances of her meeting the president were quite different. Laura did not go to the White House to advise the president, but was simply briefed on policy for perhaps an hour.
For what it's worth, the MSNBC hosts didn't "advise" Obama. They were, uh, briefed on policy:
"This afternoon at the White House, the President met with influential progressives to talk about the importance of preventing a tax increase on middle class families, strengthening our economy and adopting a balanced approach to deficit reduction," Earnest said in a statement Tuesday.
As embarrassing as this whole episode is for Team Ingraham, they're not the only ones who should have done a little research before going into full fauxtrage mode about the MSNBC meeting. Take the hosts of Fox & Friends (please!), for example, who overreacted in typical fashion. "I'm shocked by that," Brian Kilmeade said. "To invite five talk show hosts in, all from the same channel? That's outrageous." Mike Huckabee, who has a show on Fox News, claimed yesterday that the sit-down with Obama destroyed any "illusion whatsoever that there's objectivity going on at MSNBC."