Massa Documentary Airs Tonight

Reader Rich writes to remind us that the documentary "Taking the Hill", which followed five veteran/candidates, including Eric Massa, airs tonight from 9-11 on the Discovery Times channel. On Time/Warner Cable, this is channel 512. Discovery Times (not Discovery) is also available on satellite services. You can watch a preview here.


I didn't really know what to expect, but I found this
documentary truly heartbreaking.

What was so sad about it?

If I have to tell you why it was sad, then you must not have seen it. I admit I don’t know much about Rick Bolanos’ platform on the issues or the specifics of his race, but when you see the guy driving around Texas in his pickup truck with a sign on the side like a moving billboard, and a stack full of flyers in the seat beside him which he can’t afford to mail out - when you see him getting emotional when he talks about his best friend who died in Viet Nam and how that death inspired him to run for office - when you see him breaking down and being comforted by his brothers after he’s bowed out of the race, it’s hard not to feel for the guy. That is, unless you’ve got a heart of stone. One theme of the documentary is the cold, harsh reality of how money – not dedication, personality or drive - dictates who sinks and who swims in politics. Perhaps more than Bush or the Iraq War, the villain of this story is Rham Emanuel. The shining hero is Max Cleland. I’m probably too close to the story of Eric Massa to view it objectively, and it’s futile to second guess might have happened if things had been done differently. But the fact of the matter is, Eric got precious little if any support from the DNC or the DCCC, and if any candidate was worthy of support, is was Eric. To watch his passion, to see him working so hard, and ultimately come up short in the end is painful. I thought I was over the election, but watching this was like re-opening an old wound.

I don't get Discovery Times, so I didn't see the documentary.

You're right that Massa received little support from the party. It's sink or swim for unknown challengers unless you're Rahm's darling (like Duckworth).