Appearance Alert!
Brent Bozell talks about MRC's "Worst of the Worst 2014" on FNC's Hannity, 10:30pm ET/PT

MSNBC's Ari Melber Promotes Democratic Campaign Ad Labeled 'Mostly False'

MSNBC's Ari Melber seemed downright gleeful at the news that vulnerable Senate Democrats have started running campaign ads touting their support for ObamaCare. Filling in for host Lawrence O'Donnell on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on Monday, April 21, Melber hyped how "there are signs that President Obama's new call to run on the Affordable Care Act has gotten through to Democrats."

The regular host of MSNBC's daytime program The Cycle proceeded to hype a campaign ad by Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) that edited comments made by Thom Tillis, her potential opponent in the November general election, making it seem as though the North Carolina Republican supported ObamaCare. The fact-checking website Politifact labeled the ad "mostly false," yet Melber chose to promote the ad anyway.

Melber began by cheering that "Democrats are not all running away. They heard President Obama loud and clear when he said this last week about helping millions of people because of this law." The MSNBC host proceeded to play a clip from a Hagan radio ad:

UNKNOWN VOICE: Here's Republican Senate candidate Thom Tillis describing ObamaCare.

THOM TILLIS: It's a great idea.

UNKNOWN: That's right. Thom Tillis called ObamaCare "A Great idea." That was on the Bill Lumaye's Show just this February. You can look it up. Tillis even supported an ObamaCare exchange in North Carolina. So, Thom Tillis thinks he can attack Kay Hagan over something he calls "A great Idea?"

Here's the problem with Melber's cheerleading for Hagan: the ad isn't accurate. While Hagan misleadingly tried to claim that Tillis supports ObamaCare, here's what the Republican actually said:

I think there's a lot of things we can do if we focus on a systematic approach to eliminating the bad-and the majority of the stuff that is in Obamacare is bad, becuase it's not fiscally sustainable. It's a great idea that can't be paid for--let's focus on the net problem versus a policy that's creating as many problems as it fixes in terms of health care, and then it's also creating the most devastating problem of a deficit and debt that we can't afford.

Even North Carolina's Raleigh newspaper, the News & Observer described the Hagan ad as "arguably misleading" yet that didn't stop the MSNBC host from cheering it on. Senator Hagan actually voted for ObamaCare yet Melber doesn't find her tactic of attacking a Republican for supposedly supporting the very same law that she acutally voted for the least bit cynical.

See relevant transcript below.

MSNBC's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell

April 21, 2014

10:01 p.m. Eastern

ARI MELBER: Hello, I'm Ari Melber in for Lawrence O'Donnell. And in a developing story tonight, there are signs that President Obama's new call to run on the Affordable Care Act has gotten through to Democrats. We have an interview with a statewide candidate in studio about that in a moment. First, let's look at the context for this effort. The president's victory lap on Thursday, when he announced 8 million ACA enrollments and told Republicans to move on.

BARACK OBAMA: I know every American isn't going to agree with this law, but I think we can agree that it's well past time to move on.

MELBER: Well past time. The Republican National Committee then released this web video.

UNKNOWN VOICE: We're seeing denials of care, disruptions in care. We're seeing a great deal of confusion and at times anger and frustration on the part of these families who bought insurance thinking that their children were going to be covered, and they've in fact found that it's a false promise.

MELBER: You can see here Republicans are content with being a one-note party on this issue. Here's the RNC's Communications Director making that point yesterday.

SEAN SPICER: It's clear that-that ObamaCare's still the number one, number two, and number three issue going into this election.

MELBER: So it's also not really a surprise that the Senate Conservatives Fund launced another campaign ad here today against six Democratic senators who voted to pass the ACA. The, quote "ObamaCare Six" as they called them are Senators Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Udall of Colorado and Jean Shaheen of New Hampshire. But Democrats are not all running away. They heard President Obama loud and clear when he said this last week about helping millions of people because of this law.

OBAMA: I think that Democrats should forcefully defend and be proud of the fact--

MELBER: Over in Louisiana, Senator Mary Landrieu won a positive editorial in The Times-Picayune after advocating for Medicaid expansion in her state. In North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan is running this radio ad against her Republican opponent.

UNKNOWN VOICE: Here's Republican Senate candidate Thom Tillis describing ObamaCare.

THOM TILLIS: It's a great idea.

UNKNOWN: That's right. Thom Tillis called ObamaCare "A Great idea." That was on the Bill Lumaye's Show just this February. You can look it up. Tillis even supported an ObamaCare exchange in North Carolina. So, Thom Tillis thinks he can attack Kay Hagan over something he calls "A great Idea?"

— Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Jeffrey Meyer on Twitter.