News & Politics

Video: Dick Armey Lashes Out at Rachel Maddow After National Press Club Speech Canceled For Lack of Interest

As chairman of the astroturfing group FreedomWorks, National Press Club staff thought former House Majority Leader Dick Armey would be a draw. Turns out, not so much.

When Dick Armey lashed out at MSNBC's Rachel Maddow yesterday from the stage of a right-wing rally, he may have been exercising something the shrinks call "transference" -- training one's emotions on an individual who represents to you the thing that has caused you to feel the way you do.

For Armey, the thing that may have left him feeling a bit irritable was the media -- who failed to turn up at the National Press Club luncheon he was scheduled to keynote. In fact, the luncheon was canceled when Press Club members failed to reserve places at the luncheon. Basically, the luncheon was canceled for lack of interest -- by reporters.

As chairman of FreedomWorks, an interest group that has uses a chunk of its corporate funding to gin up opposition to health-care reform, Armey has done pretty well at getting media coverage -- from Maddow in particular, and from AlterNet, as well. But we presumably don't crank out the kind of coverage he'd like to get.

Given his latest triumph in New York's 23rd congressional district, where his efforts led to a mainstream Republican being forced from the race, Armey has proven himself to be something of a power broker, leading a movement that has swept up some of the GOP's leading players (Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty, for example) in its wake.

Yet none of that was enough to entice the reporters who belong to the Press Club -- mostly mainstream, establishment types -- to spend a few bucks to hear Armey speak. I arrived at the Press Club to find the event canceled.


Adele M. Stan is AlterNet's Washington editor.