Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Epic Ballad of Eric Massa

The Massa debacle is unfolding in an increasingly hilarious way. Having already invoked the names of Limbaugh and Beck in my post earlier today I think I’ll use them again now- they do a great job of exemplifying the Old School of Crazy Conservatism and the New School of Crazier Conservatism, respectively.

To recap where Massa has been: Last Friday, New York Representative Eric Massa announced that he was stepping down. His initial justification was that health issues required him to vacate the seat, but that then changed to something about vulgar language and an unusual episode where he made some inappropriate comments towards some of his male roommates. Then it changed again, to a claim that the White House and Democratic leaders were forcing him out. Then it changed once more to ethics charges related to the alleged groping of the aforementioned male roommates. There was also something in there about Rahm Emanual threatening Massa whilst he was naked in the House showers, which if true would absolutely redeem Emanual in my eyes because everything about that is hilarious.

You would assume it’s perfectly obvious that Massa is a bizarre mess, and that it would be hard for anyone to score political points off of this train wreck other than in the most general ‘hey look, another Democratic screw up’ kind of way. You would assume incorrectly.

Limbaugh and Beck, opportunists that they are, dove in the moment Massa claimed that he was forced out by a vicious cabal of corrupt Democrats. Limbaugh got right on it:
LIMBAUGH: “He was asked in this appearance: "Well, why don't you rescind your resignation?" He said, "The only way I can do that is if this becomes a national story." So Congressman Massa, we're doing our part here to make it a national story. But he then said, "But you have to understand something, if I don't quit, the ethics investigation continues and they're going to ruin me that way." They're going to ruin him anyway. He sounds ticked off enough that I would stay. This guy is as fired up as anybody I've ever heard anywhere opposed this, and the process and how they're getting it done. This guy is going to have so much support from people.”
Gotta help the guy out, make it a national story! He's just doing his job and he's being attacked by these evil Democrats. Beck scored an interview with Massa, and claimed that it was going to be a very important moment in the anti-Obama campaign:

“Tomorrow at five: congressman Massa for the full hour. I just spoke with him off air. All Americans need To hear him. Exclusive 2morrow fox”

Formatted stupidly because it was on twitter, naturally. So there you have it: this Massa guy is going to bring down the entire Obama administration with his earth-shattering revelations. Except then his story continued to evolve, and by today no element of it remained the same. Forced out? Massa proudly claims he ‘forced himself out.’ Haha ok, whatever. Cue the damage control brigade!
"LIMBAUGH: Yesterday, I had never heard of this guy. All I knew was this guy was telling great stories about Rahm Emanuel. Here we have a legitimate kook, anybody who embraces this guy is going to get caught. He's not a media hero and he's not a conservative. This guy is a loose cannon and he's a risk."
The man is backpedaling so furiously he's going to throw off the rotation of the Earth and make the Sun rise in the west! Beck was burned even worse by his interview, which featured a bizarre photo album from Massa and saw the former Representative recant pretty much every element of the story that Beck initially found attractive.
Just seven minutes into Glenn Beck's hour-long interview of Eric Massa on Tuesday evening, things had already gone very wrong.

Conservatives had hopes that the now-former Democratic congressman from Upstate New York, who resigned abruptly under an ethics cloud, would deliver the goods about corruption and strong-arm tactics in the Obama White House and Congress. But instead, Massa served up an icky new confession.

"Now they're saying I groped a male staffer," he volunteered. "Yeah, I did. Not only did I grope him, I tickled him until he couldn't breathe and then four guys jumped on top of me. It was my 50th birthday."
Hahah this is literally the opposite of what Beck wanted to hear from the man he wanted to make into an icon.
Massa... had nothing to support his hints that Democratic leaders had made corrupt bargains and used thuggish tactics. "Name names," Beck pleaded. "Show us where to throw the dirt."

But no matter how many times he was asked -- Anything new? Actionable stuff? Anything specific? -- Massa came up empty. "I don't know how to be specific," he said.
Good lord, Massa just trolled Beck harder than anything Beck has ever pulled off on anyone. So much so, in fact, that Beck cut Massa off at the end and apologized to his audience for ‘wasting their time’ over the previous hour. 

If any news story will ever top the Falcon Heene/ electric space balloon/ farting and puking at Wolf Blitzer saga for pure comedic value, this is it.


  1. This was a glorious day for absurd television. I could watch the look on Glenn Beck's face when Massa said "Campaign Finance Reform" over and over and over...

  2. It's also good to note that like most things, Rush Limbaugh can't discuss this without being a racist:

    So, David Paterson will become the massa, who gets to appoint whoever gets to take Massa's place. So, for the first time in his life, Paterson's gonna be a massa. Interesting, interesting.

    This type of thing would be much easier to brush aside as something a stupid racist would say if he wasn't the most powerful person in the republican party/conservative movement.

  3. JJ please change my Posting Name to Naked Shower Threatener, thanks.