Recalling previous media attention given to Sen. Hillary Clinton's laugh, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said to Air America Radio's Rachel Maddow: "[Y]ou might support Obama, but you've got the Clinton cackle down, Rachel. I'm proud of you."
On the July 3 edition of MSNBC's Race for the White House, guest host Joe Scarborough said to Air America Radio host Rachel Maddow about her laugh: "[Y]ou might support [Sen. Barack] Obama, but you've got the Clinton cackle down, Rachel. I'm proud of you."
As Media Matters for America documented, after Sen. Hillary Clinton's appearance on all five Sunday political talk shows on September 23, 2007, political reporters and other media personalities seized on Clinton's laugh as a new subject of attention, with several media figures calling Clinton's laugh a "cackle." The media, including Scarborough and others on MSNBC, have also mocked Clinton on numerous occasions for the tone and volume of her voice.
The fixation on Clinton's laugh has persisted on MSNBC. For example, during the April 22 edition of MSNBC Live, guest host David Shuster said to senior campaign correspondent Tucker Carlson: "Before we get to predictions, Tucker, I want to present you something that actually was delivered to Chris Matthews today. But he's not here, and I stole it, and I'm giving it to you. ... It's a pen. It's 'Jabber Jaw Pens.' And when you listen to it here." At this point, Shuster pressed the top of the pen -- a likeness of Clinton's head -- and the mouth began to move as the pen began audibly laughing. After the pen stopped, Shuster continued: "[I]n honor of being on the air with you for the first time in a little while, I present you with a Hillary laughing pen." In response, Carlson stated: "I can't tell you, David, how much I appreciate this, how much I appreciate your going through Chris' mail while he's gone and how much I'm really going to miss that cackle. I hope it goes on forever. It's brought light to my life."
From the July 3 edition of MSNBC's Race for the White House:
MADDOW: I think the important thing to recognize here is there's a difference between taking a centrist position because it's good for the general election and changing his position. What I'm saying about this Iraq stuff is not that Barack Obama secretly has a lefty position on Iraq that nobody else recognizes. I'm saying that his position on Iraq is very centrist and has been all along and is not -- it's not changing.
This is the position that his campaign was taking through the primaries, and we have ascribed a much more liberal policy to him. But when you go back and you look at the tape, and when you go back and look at the statements from his campaign, all the way back through the spring, all the way back when they were attacking Hillary Clinton for having a plan for withdrawal that wasn't subject --
SCARBOROUGH: All right --
MADDOW: -- to conditions on the ground, it shows you that this is where he's been all along. You can call it centrist --
SCARBOROUGH: All right --
MADDOW: -- but it's still consistent.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Show of hands, show of hands. We've got to go to break, but show of hands -- we did this last night, we're going to do it tonight. How many agree with Rachel that Barack Obama was not saying we're going to get out of Iraq in 16 months to Charlie Gibson? Raise your hand if you agree with Rachel. OK. Rachel, you're looking at it in a different way.
MADDOW: The next time it's one against four --
SCARBOROUGH: For those of you listening on Air America, everybody kept their hands up.
MADDOW: Yeah. The next time it's one against four, me with four conservatives, I won't expect to win the next vote either.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, you know, I don't know that this has anything to do with --
NOAH OPPENHEIM (NBC Today senior producer and author): I'm a centrist.
SCARBOROUGH: -- I don't know that this has anything to do with conservatives or liberals, it has to do with the English language, and it certainly sounded clear enough to me.
SCARBOROUGH: You can keep laughing all you want, but here's the exact quote again as we go to break: Will you be out of Iraq in 16 months at -- we will be out of Iraq in 16 months at the most. That's his campaign manager. And again, I would say most Americans of most ideological stripes would say that's exactly what he meant in that answer.
MADDOW: You're so wrong. I can't even hold it together. You're so wrong.
SCARBOROUGH: That's actually -- you've got the -- you might support Obama, but you've got the Clinton cackle down, Rachel. I'm proud of you. Coming up next, John McCain's running mate. What's he looking for? And is he considering an independent like Joe Lieberman for his number two? The Race returns right after this break.