Within moments of us getting booted out of Christine O'Donnell's campaign headquarters yesterday, the great Oliver Willis popped up on our show's self-serving RSS feeds, when he blogged about this fundraising email from the Christine O'Donnell campaign.
Dear Patriot: The charade is over. We all knew that my opponent couldn't hide behind the *failed* policies of Obama, Pelosi and Reid forever. Even the *liberal* media led by Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann can't cover up the truth ... Help me lead the charge against liberals in Washington by donating $100, $75, $50, or $35!
It is oddly flattering to learn that Christine O'Donnell thinks we are important enough to raise money off of, to raise money off me and Keith as liberal villains, and to complain about the way we cover the news and politics.
But here's the thing:
If you are unhappy with our coverage of you, Ms. O'Donnell, if you think that we intentionally "cover up the truth"... as you said in your fundraising letter, I can assure you that our reporting on you would be so much better-informed if you were actually in it, if you would actually talk to us, instead of having your staffers call us names and getting some angry man to yell "Get off my lawn" at us, just because we asked for an interview.
We know you're very busy -- we would have been happy to talk even just with anyone from the campaign. We want to get your side of things. We'd love to improve our coverage of you by adding your campaign's perspective on it.
You won't let that happen. And now you're complaining to your supporters that you don't like the result.
For those of us who work here at MSNBC, one of the most surreal things about this particular election year, has been conservative politicians' efforts to make us part of the elections: Republican politician or conservative activist X complaining that they're not represented in our coverage, and then refusing to be represented in our coverage, claiming that we're afraid to bring you're their point of view, and then refusing to share their point of view with us.
You might remember what happened earlier this year with Republican Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts.
Would you, Scott Brown, like to push your whatever-agenda on my nightly platform? Because you're very much invited to do so! You don't like what I'm doing with my nightly platform? Please, sir! Help me change it! Participate in it! Be on the show!
Every time we've asked Scott Brown to come on the show, he's said "No." Your prerogative. Complain about you not-being-here all you want. Or, refuse our invitations to be here. But you can't simultaneously complain about not-being-here, and also refuse our invitations to be here. You can't. You are, of course. But it's craven and pathetic. Come on.
Remember this scary ad from Liz Cheney's new conservative group "Keep America Safe"—
Voiceover: What are they so afraid of? Why don't they want to talk substance? Why are they panicked? Why don't they want to debate the issues?
Okay, Liz Cheney, you could totally run that ad if we here at msnbc actually were afraid to debate you. But when we ask you to come on and debate -- over and over and over again-- and you're the one saying "no," then you can't complain that we're afraid to debate!
There's also the phenomenon this year, of Republicans using either my name-- or the name of somebody else here at this network-- to raise money.
Marco Rubio ad: On Tuesday, Marco Rubio announced 12 simple ideas to grow the economy and create jobs. How can you know the plan is right? Rachel Maddow thinks it's wrong.
That was part of a fundraising ad put out by Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio of Florida-- Marco Rubio must be right, because Rachel Maddow says he's wrong!
Even if I am inherently wrong about everything, to date, Marco Rubio has declined every single one of our requests to interview him.
Likewise, Sarah Palin. We have asked Sarah Palin to come on this show I-don't-even-know-how-many-times, and she has never agreed to come on, happy to use me in one of her money-making stump speeches, unhappy to tell me why. Like, to my face.
It has been a weird year for those of us at msnbc as conservatives have tried to run against us, instead of running against their actual Democratic opponents.
Here's the deal: We have big egos, those of us in this business. We all love seeing our faces caricatured in political ads. We all love seeing our names in black-and-white in these fundraising emails. But you can't simultaneously complain that you're not being allowed access to "the media juggernaut that is msnbc Primetime airwaves," and then refuse to come on by, when we offer you that access.
So... say "yes," Christine O'Donnell! It will be fun, I promise!
Say "yes," Sharron Angle! You will get a fair shake! Pinky swear!
Say "yes," Sarah Palin! You have my number!
Ken Buck, come by any time!
Joe Miller, I'd love to talk to you!
Liz Cheney, door's always open -- to anyone in your family! Any Cheney, any time!
It will be fair. It will be fun. And then-- then, you can brag about not being afraid to actually talk to the liberals that you complain about as a means of raising money.
Come on, come on, come on.