Something I really like about The Rachel Maddow Show, is how she prods the underbelly of the big stories, digging underneath to see who the players are, and what they're up to. A lot of those players like being more anonymous, and really don't like it when she does that. In the case of FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform), a group that helped form the recent draconian immigration law in Arizona, there are some decidedly hinky characters behind the scenes. Rachel interviewed Dan Stein, the President of FAIR on Thursday's show, and it was contentious, to say the least.
Stein didn't like the fact that Rachel kept bringing up people tied to FAIR who are racist or worse, and protested vociferously. "Guilt by association!" he bellowed at one point. Really? The founder of the organization, who sits on the board of directors is not relevant? Rachel had lots and lots of research on her side. Stein didn't like where she allegedly got her information, and said it was all wrong. But he had a very difficult time pointing out how it was wrong.
I've seen people like Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly throw around "guilt by association" charges (Bill Ayers, anyone?) with far less to allege. Say what you will about Rachel, she's damned good at what she does. It's hard to say that she won the "debate" since Stein wasn't exactly playing along. But it was entertaining television.