CNN was the only network to air both the official Republican response, given by Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan, and Bachmann's speech. Speaking on Tuesday night, after the response had aired, Maddow said she was at a loss to explain CNN's choice.
"Michele Bachmann is not the national spokesperson for the Republican Party," she said. "She is unlikely anytime soon to be chosen to be the spokesperson for her party. But tonight, inexplicably, a national news network decided that they would give Michele Bachmann a job that her own party never did."
Maddow called it "a remarkable act of journalistic intervention to elevate, in effect, a group with which they are co-sponsoring a presidential debate...to the level of the major parties in this country."
CNN, Maddow said, "decided tonight not to just cover the news about the State of the Union, they decided to make their own."