Life tip: Double-check the recipient line before hitting “send" on that email. Or alternatively, just behave like a professional.
An MSNBC interview request meant for Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin was sent to the wrong recipient this weekend, revealing that “so many” at the cable news network apparently think very highly of the Illinois senator and his involvement in the recent government shutdown.
"This is a long shot request,” a producer wrote in an email sent at around 5:00 pm Friday evening. “How proud so many of us are of Senator Durbin’s courage and integrity. Any chance he would come on our show tomorrow in the 2 pm or 3pm hour? Anchor is David Gura ...”
To be fair, television bookers normally send ingratiating invitations to potential guests. It makes sense. Producers want the guests, so they butter them up a little. But what this MSNBC staffer wrote in a note intended for Sen. Durbin goes a bit beyond the norm.
First, the email’s claim that “so many” at MSNBC admire the Democratic senator's "courage" and "integrity" is just a bad look all around for a supposedly professional news network.
Secondly, it's significant that they invited Durbin to appear in the 2:00 to 3:00 pm block this weekend, which is when MSNBC airs its ostensibly hard news programming. The email wasn’t written on behalf of one of MSNBC’s opinion shows, where the hosts are open about their support for Democratic legislators and policies. The invitation was for a show that’s supposed to be somewhat even-keeled and balanced in its delivery of the news.
In case you were wondering, MSNBC got the interview. Durbin appeared on the cable news network at around 3:50 pm Saturday afternoon to discuss the shutdown. The interview was about as deferential as the booking email suggested it would be.
Durbin was never pressed to explain his role in causing the shutdown. He was never asked to explain how Democrats planned to resolve it. He was never asked why he blames President Trump for it, even though Republicans would have needed at least 60 votes to pass an appropriations bill (there are 49 senators in his caucus).
The Illinois senator was, however, given plenty of uninterrupted airtime to address each of his carefully prepared, lengthy talking points.
Great journalism in action:
An MSNBC spokesperson did not respond immediately to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment.