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The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Eric Massa, Conservative Icon

John Bresnahan’s story this morning explores the praise former Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) has been soaking up on the right -- accolades from Rush Limbaugh, a spot

Luqman Jackson
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Mar 09, 2010

John Bresnahan’s story this morning explores the praise former Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) has been soaking up on the right — accolades from Rush Limbaugh, a spot today on Glenn Beck’s Fox News show. And as Bresnahan hints, the plaudits are coming from right-wing entertainers and media stars more than from anyone else.

Massa’s incredible radio meltdown over the weekend was tailor-made for talk radio and TV. It led the Drudge Report for much of Monday — today, Drudge is focusing on the not-so-subtle gay innuendo that Rahm Emanuel “thugs around gym showers.” And on the snippets I heard of talk radio yesterday, hosts delighted in how Massa validated their narrative of the Obama administration as a thuggish (always that word) Chicago mob that had the power to, say, initiate bipartisan ethics committee investigations of political enemies. Mark Levin, whose shtick is that of a brainy conservative lawyer who’s had enough, played clips of Massa bellyaching about the conspiracies against him — Levin, back in the studio, darkly intoned what this proved about the “Chicago machine.”

Fox News has had some trouble making this narrative stick. Last night’s episode of Greta Van Susteren’s show began with the host breathlessly reporting that Massa claimed to have been offered a “bribe” by unions — his word for union offers of electoral support if he voted for health care. When Van Susteren and guest Rick Santorum tried to delve deeper, they… well, here’s what happened:

SANTORUM: I — it’s — it’s irrational behavior. I don’t understand why he’s doing it. If he was as angry as he was at being forced out, he should have stayed. I mean…

VAN SUSTEREN: But was he really forced out? They’re having an investigation. I mean, his behavior — I mean…

SANTORUM: Yes. Investigating someone is not forcing someone out. I mean…

VAN SUSTEREN: Right. He was being investigated.

SANTORUM: He was being investigated. And I understand, you know, he’s obviously under a lot of pressure. There’s all these bizarre stories about Rahm Emanuel and — and what — you know — I don’t know. I don’t know…

VAN SUSTEREN: The nakedness in the shower. We got that on “”

SANTORUM: Yes, OK, good. I…

VAN SUSTEREN: We don’t have to do the naked shower one.

This probably won’t end with a lot of glory for Massa or his short-term allies.

Luqman Jackson | Luqman Jackson is an entrepreneur, blogger and traveler. He teaches copywriting, creative discipline, and ethical marketing. For business owners who want to learn the basics of persuasive writing, she has a weekly column, a podcast, and a copywriting course.


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