The brightest star in the MSNBC firmament, Rachel Maddow sat down with the brightest star in the NBC late-night landscape, Jimmy Fallon, to discuss “this kind of disaster” that was their company’s GOP debate last week on sister network CNBC.
Maddow visited Fallon’s Tonight Show to plug the fact she’s moderating the Dem’s so-called First in the South Candidates Forum with Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley, in South Carolina on November 6 – the night before Donald Trump hosts NBC’s Saturday Night Live.
But, the occasion also was a good one in which to try to establish a company position on the much-criticized CNBC debate, of which the RNC has said CNBC should be “ashamed,” before suspending NBC’s participation in the February GOP debate. For the candidates, meanwhile, the CNBC debate was the last straw and over the weekend they drafted a list of demands to which networks must agree before they’ll show up to debate. Among their demands: No gotcha questions, No raise-your-hand questions, No 3-hour debate, etc.
“No one’s happy with it,” said Fallon. “Republicans aren’t happy, the RNC’s not happy. The candidates were yelling at the moderators.” Setting things up for Maddow, Fallon said the general feeling is that the debate was a “kind of disaster.”
Maddow stepped in to explain CNBC’s debate was simply “a new variety of crazy” in this year’s all-around nutty presidential election cycle. The candidates “hated the Fox News one,” she said, because of the moderators and the tone of some of their questions. They also hated the CNN debate because “it was too long, and too hot,” she added.
This year’s GOP candidates “like complaining about the process,” Maddow concluded.