David Frum has been openly critical of the McCain campaign, and Maddow intended to discuss his concerns about the campaign’s turn toward negativity.
However it was clear from the beginning that David Frum had a very different agenda: to attack Rachel Maddow.
Discussing the “ugliness of tone” in American politics, he said that Maddow’s show, “unfortunately, is itself an example of that problem.” He then compared her tone to the hateful outbursts of some McCain-Palin supporters:
MADDOW: Do you think that my tone on this show is equivalent to people calling Barack Obama somebody who pals around with terrorists, people yelling from the
audience at McCain-Palin rallies, Bomb Obama. Kill him. Off with his head. Traitor. Are you accusing me of an equivalence in tone?
FRUM: I don’t think that’s an important question. I think the question is, given the small plate of responsibility that you personally have, how do you manage that responsibility? The fact that other people fail in other ways is not an excuse for you failing in your way.
MADDOW: But you did just say it’s the same thing, that you’re seeing the same thing on this show in a lot -
FRUM: I worry about that.
I'm a fan of Rachel Maddow, so I am biased, but I have no idea what Frum is talking about. I have seen just about every show since it's start a few weeks ago. What I have seen is that Rachel Maddow has consistently welcomed guests who disagree with her — including Frum himself — and has interviewed conservatives and progressives alike with dignity and poise. In contrast over the past few weeks, McCain supporters have called Senator Obama “an Arab,” “Little Hussein,” and a “terrorist.” They have declared themselves to be “scared” of an Obama presidency, have called for him to be killed, and have likened him to a monkey.
Personally I believe we saw yesterday why Rachel Maddow’s ratings continue to skyrocket.