Ah, Mark Halperin is at it again. On Morning Joe today, he accused what he likes to call the “Left-Wing Freak Show” of progressive new media outlets of leaping on Marco Rubio’s incoherent answer to a question about the age of the Earth in an interview to “define” poor Marco before he can get a presidential campaign rolling:

[I]t’s doing this thing that Democrats failed to do in 2000, to stop George W. Bush, which is really, really early on using the left-wing Freak Show to define anyone who’s thinking of running for President, as quickly as possible, in negative terms on Twitter, on cable, on the Internet. They’re all over this Rubio thing because they want to control his image in a negative way and they did it this cycle too. They went after Romney early, it really hurt him.

Oh brother. On a slow, post-election news day, a guy who’s been getting a truck-load of bouquets from both the conservative media and the MSM as the potential savior of his anglocentric party says something very dumb, in a very dumb way, in an interview with a major magazine. So yeah, “the freak show” wrote about it. Should we ignore it? And for that matter, Halperin might want to consider that most of the nasty things us crafty lefties said about Mitt Romney early in the 2012 campaign were clearly true, at a time when Romney himself was asking people to elect him president because he was such a fine businessman.

If people are making up stuff about Rubio or anyone else, or at a minimum digging around in his part for ammunition, then maybe it’s fair to characterize such coverage as politically motivated. But when a potential POTUS drops a big fat bag of Stupid right in our laps, then yeah, we’ll write about it.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.