Poll: Why didn’t Rachel Maddow give Rand Paul a fair shake?

Rachel Maddow had Rand Paul on her show last Wednesday, the day after his decisive victory in the Kentucky Republican primary. During the interview she asked him about his position on the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He gave an answer which has turned out to be controversial: that he supports the freedom of individuals to discriminate on the basis of race, although he personally wouldn’t (and would have held his nose and voted for the Civil Rights Act anyway).

Now, as it turns out, Maddow was engaging in ‘gotcha‘ journalism. As Sarah Palin said:

“One thing we can learn in this lesson that I have learned and Rand Paul is learning now is don’t assume that you can engage in a hypothetical discussion about constitutional impacts with a reporter or a media personality who has an agenda, who may be prejudiced before they even get into the interview in regards to what your answer may be. You know, they are looking for the gotcha moment. And that evidently appears to be what they did with Rand Paul, and I’m thankful he clarified his answer about his support for the Civil Rights Act.”

So, the question becomes: why did Rachel Maddow try to get Rand Paul to state opinions that she knew would be controversial? Why didn’t she treat him fairly? Why do you think?

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