Rachel Maddow: Who Was Paying Bart Stupak’s C-Street Rent?

Now that Congressman Bart Stupak is back in the national conversation thanks to his announcement yesterday that he would hold up the health care bill unless stricter language regarding government funding of abortion was added, he is also back in the sights of Rachel Maddow!

Last fall, when Stupak first came to the nation’s attention, Maddow spent a not insignificant amount of time on her show investigating both the Congressman and the details of his amendment. Last night she picked up where she’d left off, doing some digging regarding Stupack’s connections to the C-Street house in D.C. — the $1.8 million house (equipped with meals and maid service!) is controversially registered as a church and reportedly affiliated with a somewhat secretive Christian organization known to some as The Family (Sen. Ensign and Gov. Sanford were also residents).

Stupak very recently moved out after living there for many years and paying only $600 rent, which, as Maddow points out, is far below market value for…just about anywhere. So who was footing the rest of the bill? Was this reported as an ‘In Kind’ donation? And if it’s not ‘The Family” (they have denied any connection to the house) than who is it. The real question Maddow is subtly getting at, of course, is that if it was ‘The Family” who was subsidizing Stupak’s lifestyle than how much influence, if any (Stupak is reasonable moderate on other social issues like Gay Rights), are they wielding over Stupak’s amendment and his current threat to kill health care. Video Below

Would You Like To Visit John King, USA?

CNN’s John King spent 2009 driving around the country and visiting every state as part of his State of the Union show.

Well the Twitter scavenger hunt is over, and King tweeted the video preview for the new program this morning – John King, USA (a road-trip-themed name) debuts March 22.

In the preview (below), King describes the name as “a little bit uncomfortable for me,” since it contains his name. Also, of the strong political focus: “I was already deep in like, and I feel in love.”

Although he’ll be anchoring primarily from D.C., the year he spent traveling the country will translate to a focus in the new 7pmET show:

We will always have people out roaming the country, we will always have people looking for good stories out there you cannot cover national politics just by being in Washington D.C.

When we interviewed King in November about his new show, he described the takeaway from his travels: “The country is a very complicated jigsaw puzzle,” he said. But will the ‘ordinary American’ focus, coupled with an objective news-focused show, bring the Everytown, USA viewers to John King, USA? We’ll see. One problem will be keeping it exciting for politics junkies while interesting for the more casual viewer.

But really, it boils down to separation from the rest of the CNN news-focused programming, which hasn’t been succeeding at the level CNN needs.

Here’s the preview (and another preview is coming March 19):

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Did Jay Leno Fake The Audience’s Response To Sarah Palin?

Maybe Sarah Palin wasn’t quite the hit on The Tonight Show the other night that everyone thought she was! A contributor over at Daily Kos — who provides some impressive sound bona fides — says he attended the Leno taping on Monday and that the audience was not nearly as welcoming as it sounded to TV viewers later on that night. Update: A reader disagrees (below).

I know sound. And it’s my opinion that audio portions of Sarah Palin’s March 2nd appearance on Jay Leno’s Tonight show were added or amplified, edited before broadcast to make it appear that Sarah Palin was more welcome than she was.

They added laughter where there was none during uncomfortable portions. Well, there was some laughter. Mine, of derision. During those pregnant pauses in her performance I was laughing long and loud, couldn’t help myself as much of what she was saying was utterly surreal, ridiculous, hypocritical – nonsense, spewed platitudes, pushed buttons. I was seriously thinking of leaving as it was getting hysterically unfunny.

After sitting through the taping of the show in the studio I can recount many portions where there was little or no laughter or response, but at the later broadcast they are smoothed over with applause and laughter that WERE NOT THERE at the taping. Groans, hoots, grumbling, or just dead silence – all missing.

Anyone else out there who can confirm this? Obviously every talk show gins its audience up before the show starts, but I’ve never heard of one adding a laugh track afterward. It should be noted the person who wrote this is (clearly) not coming from an objective place: part way through the post he admits to having penned the child’s coloring book Going Rouge: The Sarah Palin Rogue Coloring & Activity Book – so perhaps not the most, um…reliable witness. In the meantime, you can watch the segment again here, and if you were there we’d love to hear from you: tips@mediaite.com.

Update: A reader writes “I was there while visiting my sister in CA. He’s wrong, people were laughing and I didn’t notice anything strange. The sign was turned on when we were supposed to applaud and laugh.”

Update again: A number of readers point out the Twitter feeds of the couple (@jsigwart, @symbolman) do not, in fact, suggest there was no laughter, merely that they were the ones guffawing: “When you hear DERISIVE laughter while Palin is bullshitting on Leno Tonight it’s ME .” So perhaps what they were really upset about is that their laughter was toned down for the broadcast.

Anchors Cruise Chatroulette (With A Little Help From Jon Stewart)

What do Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Brian Williams and Keith Olbermann have in common with a masturbating Jason Jones? They all appeared on tonight’s hilarious Chatroulette segment on the Daily Show. Scoring an impressive Big Three hat trick, Jon Stewart took his viewers through a Chatroulette sessio — plus Olbermann, Liz Claman, some incognito Daily Show staffers and plenty of pixellated male nudity. Major props to the anchors, who all turned in hilarious moments (and biggest props to Sawyer, who was the least hammy and the most out of her element, but still gamely participated) — but the best and funniest moment belonged to Olbermann, whose pseudo-Special Comment was perfectly timed, right up to “I think one of us is supposed to take our pants off now.” Well done, sir. Couric’s setup for her piece on Chatroulette’s creeps and perverts was great, and BriWi’s deer-in-the-headlights silence was golden. Neat, sweet piece on Chatroulette, encapsulating the porn pitfalls, media frenzy, and underlying grainy awkwardness of the whole thing — not to mention the willingness of network anchors to play along with a bit that features masturbation, graphically-suggested nudity and frequent bleeped-out but unmistakable use of the word “cock.” Edward R. Murrow would totally have LOL’d.

Screengrabs of Jon Stewart & Anchors on Chatroulette [BuzzFeed]

Rachel Maddow On “Osama Bin Giuliani” And Liz Cheney’s “Al Qaeda 7″

This might be Rachel Maddow at her most Rachel Maddow-iest, so make sure you write down tonight in your e-planner or whatever for the date when our favorite MSNBC host went supernova on Liz Cheney’s “Keep America Safe” campaign.

You know, not going anywhere near the MSNBC studios may be the smartest thing Liz Cheney’s ever done…

Pentagon Press Conference On Shootings: “This Has Never Happened In Our History”

Tonight’s shootings at the Pentagon Metro station are a brutal reminder that while we may be arguing about the finer terms of the health care bill or a congressman’s lapse in judgment, in a second all of it can fall away as we join together as a nation in concern and astonishment. Pentagon police chief Richard Keevill held a press conference moments ago to tell us what little they know and are willing to divulge about the incident.

So right now we’re all still in the dark. What we do know: The wounded officers are faring better than the suspect, the Pentagon is working with the FBI and the Arlington Police Department are all working on the case, and that the shooter was identified as “an American citizen.”

UPDATE: Fox News confirms the gunman was identified as 36-year-old John Patrick Bedell

UPDATE: Department of Defense Lockdown After Metro Shooting, More Details From D.C. Resident

A shooting at the Pentagon’s metro station in D.C. has caused the headquarters of the Department of Defense to go on lock-down mode after at least 3 people were injured in the attack. Early reports on the shootings – occurring around 7 p.m. – have identified two of the victims as members of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency.

The 3rd victim is now being identified as the shooter, and has been taken into custody.

UPDATE (10:18): We have both the Pentagon press conference video, as well as a first-person report on the scene in D.C. from Mediaite contributor Michael Triplett:

I live about 2 miles away and used to use the Pentagon Metro station on a daily basis. When I went by this evening, all the entrances to the Pentagon appeared to be blocked off and buses (it is a major transportation hub) were being diverted to another station.

The shooting took place at the top of the escalators that lead down to the Subway. The whole area was rebuilt after 9/11 to eliminate direct access from Subway and to move buses further away from the building.

Workers and visitors enter the Pentagon where the shooting occurred. There is extensive security, with roaming guards carrying rifles and other non-handguns. They guard the entrances to the Metro, as well as bus bays.

The shooting occurred at the busiest public transportation hub in Suburban Virginia, with two subway lines and over 20 bus lines converging at the Pentagon.

UPDATE (11:10): Fox News confirms the gunman was identified as 36-year-old John Patrick Bedell