Still dumbest show after all these years!

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2017

Abby on Fox & Friends:
We did something today we hadn't done in some time. We watched maybe forty minutes of the cable news show, Fox & Friends Weekend.

Near the start of the century, we described Fox & Friends as the dumbest show in TV news history. Today, with Abby Huntsman cast as the conventionally good-looking youngish woman positioned between the pair of male chimps, the show presented a truly impressive array of propaganda and dumbness.

Was that [Name Withheld] to Huntsman's right? Good God, he was egregious! That said, Huntsman's willingness to play the fool seemed especially striking.

Abby Huntsman arrived on the planet blessed with every advantage. Her family is extremely wealthy. Her father, the former governor Jon Huntsman, is neither crazy nor stupid.

Despite these advantages, Huntsman is willing to stoop and grovel. There are lessons to learn from that.

During an earlier regime, Huntsman was cast in the role of the outnumbered conservative co-host on MSNBC's copy-cat show, The Cycle. On that gruesome 3 PM program, Huntsman was cast as the lone conservative overwhelmed by three liberal co-hosts.

The show was a fairly obvious knock-off of Fox's 5 PM gonger, The Five, on which one liberal co-host is "balanced" by four conservatives.

The Cycle aired during the period when MSNBC was trying to score through a blend of fatuous youth, conventional types of "diversity" and high telegenicity. As a business proposition, the approach didn't work, and most of the stars from the era are gone.

Toure is gone, as is Ronan Farrow. Krystal Ball, Alex Wagner and Huntsman herself are all gone.

(Big Ed, the working-stiff outlier during that era, now works for the Russkies. What type of "diversity" did Farrow bring? Gullibles, please! Son of big movie stars!)

When she appeared on The Cycle, Huntsman was cast the role of a not-crazy conservative. Most of the time, the other co-hosts even pretended to like her.

This morning, there was no level of The Dumb to which Huntsman didn't descend. Granted, the chimps were somewhat worse. But what is Huntsman's excuse?

Watching Huntsman degrade herself while conning her viewers, we were struck by a basic old concept. People are willing to do and say anything to acquire the cash and fame which come with cable success.

Meanwhile, the rise of partisan cable and Internet have illustrated a troubling problem:

As it turns out, we the people will believe whatever we're told, so long as 1) it reinforces our prejudices and 2) it's fed to us with a big smile, or perhaps with constant weird grinning and consultant-directed laughter.

It's hard to know how our political system can survive diets of agitprop nonsense like we saw this morning. Decades into this brave new arrangement, with our own hacks mugging and clowning, a certain conclusion suggests itself:

How can our system survive such nonsense? Increasingly, it seems that it can't!

Donald J. Trump speaks out: At Thursday's presser, Chief TV Critic Donald J. Trump issued his own correct-for-all-time review of this particular cable news program.

He spoke with CNN's Jim Acosta, who's no walk in the park himself. He began by critiquing CNN, then discussed the obvious greatness of his favorite show, Fox & Friends:
TRUMP (2/16/17): Here's the thing. The public isn't—you know, they read newspapers, they see television, they watch. They don't know if it's true or false because they're not involved.

I'm involved. I've been involved with this stuff all my life. But I'm involved. So I know when you're telling the truth or when you're not. I just see many, many untruthful things [on CNN].

And I'll tell you what else I see. I see tone. You know the word "tone." The tone is such hatred. I'm really not a bad person, by the way. No, but the tone is such—I do get good ratings, you have to admit that—the tone is such hatred.

I watched this morning a couple of the networks. And I have to say, Fox & Friends in the morning, they're very honorable people. They're very—not because they're good, because they hit me also when I do something wrong. But they have the most honest morning show. That's all I can say. It's the most honest.
Based on that review, we'll guess that Trump caught the show on a day when the friends were unusually good.

Trump was certainly right on one score. As a general matter, we the people really don't "know if it's true or false" when we see claims made on TV.

That's why Fox & Friends is dangerous. As is the mugging and clowning provided each night Over Here.

New rule emerges on Lemon's show!

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2017

Please don't touch Charles Blow:
We're going to call it must-see TV. We refer to the new cable rule from Charles Blow:

You must not touch Charles Blow!

Kayleigh McEnany got out of line. To see Blow tell her how it works, you can just click here.

(The whole tape runs 2:42. You can skip the first minute.)

Final note: When CNN books Betsy McCaughey, the channel's approaching rock bottom.

As it turns out, Jerry Vale had it right!

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2017

Two moments from yesterday's presser:
Having watched the whole of yesterday's presser, we'd say that Donald J. Trump wasn't quite as unhinged, on the whole, as some on our own side have said.

That said, we run an amateur bookie business on the side, just as a bit of a hobby. We've received a lot of play from these thoughtful remarks:
TRUMP (2/16/17): If we could get along with Russia, that's a positive thing.

We have a very talented man, Rex Tillerson, who's going to be meeting with them shortly, and I told him. I said, "I know politically it's probably not good for me."

The greatest thing I could do is shoot that ship that's 30 miles offshore right out of the water. Everyone in this country's going to say, "Oh, it's so great."

That's not great.
That's not great. I would love to be able to get along with Russia.
Masterfully, Trump explained that starting World War III wouldn't be great. Despite what everyone else would say!

As part of our amateur betting service, we've been offering a May 1 over/under on when Donald J. Trump will use his first nuke. A lot of money moved yesterday after that comment by Trump.

Beyond that, let's consider the way we now live in two different worlds. The story starts with Trump assailing the guy who asked him about anti-Semitism.

The reporter in question was Jake Turx, an Orthodox Jew from Ami magazine. After explicitly saying that no one in his community is accusing Trump of anti-Semitism, Turx tried to ask what Trump plans to do about an alleged "uptick" in anti-Semitic incidents.

Trump interrupted Turx, insulted him in several ways and mischaracterized what he had said. Along the way, he answered a question he hadn't been asked:
TRUMP: See, he said he was gonna ask a very simple, easy question. And it's not, it's not, not—not a simple question, not a fair question.

OK sit down, I understand the rest of your question. So here's the story, folks.

Number one, I am the least anti-Semitic person that you've ever seen in your entire life. Number two, racism, the least racist person. In fact, we did very well relative to other people running as a Republican—

Quiet, quiet. Quiet!

See, he lied about—he was gonna get up and ask a very straight, simple question. So you know, welcome to the world of the media.


But let me just tell you something.

I hate the charge. I find it repulsive. I hate even the question, because people that know me—and you heard the prime minister, you heard Bibi Netanyahu yesterday, did you hear him, Bibi? He said, I've known Donald Trump for a long time. And then he said, "Forget it."

So you should take that, instead of having to get up and ask a very insulting question like that.

See, it just shows you about the press, but that's the way the press is.
At our own sites, we liberals have seen this reaction by Trump criticized. We thought you should see what conservatives saw on Fox.

Last night, conservatives saw Turx interviewed on Tucker Carlson Tonight. Ed Henry served as guest host. This is what conservatives saw Turx say:
TURX (2/16/17): I've worked with the president, his people throughout the campaign, throughout the transition.

So many times I've seen some of our colleagues in the media describe certain events as—in the way it relates to the Jewish community in a certain light that no one in our community saw it that way.

There were certain acts that were described as anti-Semitic, or certain people described as anti-Semitic. And the people in our community who know these people personally said, "That's not true." Why are people who aren't Jewish deciding what is considered anti-Semitism?

The president's relationship with the Jewish community—I've only seen it first time for the last two years, but he has done an unprecedented amount of outreach with the orthodox Jewish community. And so, we understand why this is so hurtful for him, to see himself being called anti-Semitic when this—

HENRY: You don't believe it.

TURX: Not just I don't believe it, I've seen him firsthand. I mean, there is—

HENRY: My point is, you feel it is unfair?

TURX: It is very unfair what's been done to him and I understand why he is so defensive. And I'm with him when it comes to being outraged about him being charged with this anti-Semitism.
At the presser, Trump insulted Turx in various ways and failed to address his question. We liberals have heard about that.

On Fox, Turx was bashing the media too! He praised Trump all up and down and said he understands his reaction. That's what conservative viewers saw.

As it turns out, Jerry Vale had it right.

"Two different worlds," the crooner sang. "We live in two different worlds..."

(To listen to Vale, just click here.)

Jerry Vale had a giant hit with his controversial claim. All these years later, the American people can finally see that Jerry Vale had it right.

Our newest betting line: We're now offering a May 1 over/under on Donald J. Trump's possible use of a nuclear weapon against journalist Jake Turx.

HOW WE GOT HERE: Home alone!

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2017

Part 5—The need for liberal leadership:
Have you watched yesterday's press event? If not, have you seen it described?

We'll go ahead and quote David Brooks. This is what David Brooks saw:

"I still have trouble seeing how the Trump administration survives a full term. Judging by his Thursday press conference, President Trump’s mental state is like a train that long ago left freewheeling and iconoclastic, has raced through indulgent, chaotic and unnerving, and is now careening past unhinged, unmoored and unglued."

Trump is moving past unhinged and unglued! That's what David Brooks saw!

In our view, Brooks falls short of a straightforward statement. He still doesn't say, in a straightforward way, that we need to discuss the possibility that President Trump is unfit for office, or handicapped in his performance, by issues involving his mental health.

That said, Brooks describes a dangerous situation—the same dangerous situation Paul Krugman describes in his own new column. Concerning that, we'll only say this:

We think Brooks understands the situation better than Krugman does. That may seem like a shocking statement, but it returns us to the topic of this week's reports.

According to Brooks, the person who gave yesterday's presser seems unhinged, unmoored, unglued, or perhaps something worse than that. We liberals thrill to such declarations, without considering this corollary:

We liberals just managed to lose an election to this unhinged man!

Granted, Trump lost the popular vote—though it should be said that he won the overall popular vote in the 49 states which aren't California. Our question, which our team will tend to skip past:

What does this say about us? What does it say about us that we managed to lose an election to an unhinged, unglued, unmoored man?

Does it say anything about Us? Or was November's election result just a reflection on Them?

We all know the standard reply which will emerge from our liberal tents. Unfortunately, that standard reply is in error.

Alas! The fact that we lost to a person like Trump stands as a massive indictment of us. In the main, it stands as an indictment of 25 years of self-dealing and lethargy on the part of our liberal leaders and the mainstream press.

That said, it also speaks to the shortcomings of our liberal rank and file, which is frequently quite self-impressed. We love to note the dumbness of Them. As tribal groups have always done, we blow past the dumbness of Us.

Next week, we'll look at some of the leadership groups who have so massively failed us. We'll look at the nation's professors, and at the emerging, younger group of black assistant professors.

We'll look at the lefty cohort, which can be too cool for school. We'll look at the Hollywood types, who seem to be happy only when costing Democrats votes. (Last week, were you able to spot the way Meryl Streep did it again?)

We'll look at our corporate cable stars, including our corporate liberal stars, some of whom sat out the last election, some of whom, in earlier corporate lives, created the stupid and noxious themes which sent Clinton down to defeat.

We'll look at the liberal voices within the mainstream press—the Riches, the Drums, the Chaits, the Dionnes, the Robinsons, Kristofs and even the (MVP) Krugmans.

We'll look at the mainstream press corps itself—at the jihads it invented in the 1990s. We'll look at the 20-somethings who now swarm all over that mainstream press, helping keep labor costs down while trailing their youthful cluelessness behind them.

(Where on earth did Slate ever go to find its newest, most fatuous star? What does it say about Us that there must be a cohort which wants this?)

As we roll our eyes at The Others, we tend to look past the conduct of our own leadership groups. We do so because we liberals are dumb, like all tribal groups before us.

How dumb can we the liberals get? Last November, we were shocked when Donald J. Trump drew an inside straight and won.

We were shocked because our professors and pundits told us it couldn't possibly happen—and because, left on our own, we were dumb enough to believe them. In last Sunday's Washington Post, Dana Milbank described the "collective trauma" we now experience, in which "millions of people feel powerless and out of control, which leads to anxiety, anger and despair."

Depending on how you want to score it, Milbank is one of the liberal voices within the upper-end mainstream press. How should we now respond to Trump?

Boldly, Milbank laid out of his ideas. Here's the way he began:
MILBANK (2/12/17): Until now, the response to Trump has been ad hoc: demonstrations arranged on social media or flooding the Capitol switchboard. That does some good, and the rallies are a balm for people feeling isolated. But the activities are wasted if those involved don’t join a larger movement.

“We need to shift from a reactive to a strategic response,” [Marshall] Ganz says. His solution: Join something. “To the extent it brings you into a relationship with others, it’s worth doing. Unless it has that further dividend, it gets old.”

So what to join? My friend Eric Liu, author of the forthcoming book “You’re More Powerful Than You Think,” says even a book club will do. That’s true, in the long run: The idea is to rebuild structures of civil society, the breakdown of which allowed the demagogic Trump to take root.
Has the man with the nuclear codes moved past unhinged and unglued? Friend, Dana Milbank knows what to do:

You should join a book club!

In fairness, Milbank moved on from there. He went on to offer suggestions which are slightly less unglued—though as he ended, he also suggested that you might consider the Elks Club.

To the extent that he makes any good suggestions, Milbank's ideas have arrived just in time to be completely too late. At his worst, his suggestions make him seem about as moored, hinged and glued as Trump currently is.

Join a book club! Milbank's suggestion appeared in an especially comical Sunday edition of the Washington Post.

Possibly for the first time, the Outlook section offered an informative "Five Myths" feature in which none of the myths the authors "corrected" could sensibly be described as myths. Meanwhile, Outlook's featured front-page report appeared beneath this eye-catching hard-copy headline:

"Why do we still let 12-year-olds get married?"

It was an eye-catching headline. Unfortunately, the example with which the report began involved someone who got married at age 16—in 1986! In the course of the lengthy report's 1900 words, we were never told how many 12-year-olds have been married in recent decades.

The topic may well be very important. The journalism was bad.

Bad journalism has been par for the course in the decades of cultural / intellectual slide which led to the triumph of Trump. The strangest piece in the Outlook section concerned the liberalish world's heroic reaction to his shocking triumph.

Two nights before, a multimillionaire cable star who mugged and clowned through the last election praised us proles for the brilliant way, "all of a sudden," we are "now" learning to fight. As she did, she stuffed another bag of corporate money into her big corporate pants.

Two days later, the Washington Post went the star somewhat better. They published this ludicrous Outlook piece by a woman in Richmond, Virginia—a previously non-political woman who has now learned to fight.

We're going to call her "Name Withheld;" her piece was just that awful. It isn't her fault that the Washington Post chose to publish her ludicrous piece, in the Outlook section no less. But the utter foolishness of the piece shows us how bad the marriage can be when the rank-and-file, lacking competent leadership, interacts with the strange cluelessness of the upper-end mainstream press.

How old is Name Withheld? We have no idea. In its identity line, the Post only tells us this:

"[Name Withheld] currently resides in Richmond, Va., and works in the insurance field."

We'll assume that Name Withheld is a good, decent person. In our experience, most people are.

We'll assume she does good work in the insurance field. That said, as she starts, she identifies herself as the modern liberal nightmare, especially in a purple state like Virginia:
NAME WITHHELD (2/12/17): Like a lot of Americans, I’ve never been particularly political. I’ve never voted in a midterm election. I’ve never voted in a local race, never voted for mayor. I don’t recall voting ever, except in presidential elections. I’d read political articles and keep up with the news, but I didn’t do much research before heading to the polls every four years. My Facebook feed was mostly cat photos.

But then President Trump was elected, and he nominated Betsy DeVos
to be secretary of education.

Before DeVos, I hadn’t followed a single Cabinet nomination, which is probably true of most people. (Surveys regularly show that we aren’t particularly informed about our government.) At happy hour with my five girlfriends, we probably could have named two members of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet, and the secretary of education was not one of them. I feel bad saying it, but it’s the truth: I simply didn’t think I needed to know. Why? Because I always had a sense that things would be okay, regardless of who was in charge; if Mitt Romney had won instead of Obama, things would have been fine.

This was the first time I felt like things could not be okay. And I have found a political voice I didn’t know that I had—or that I even wanted to have.
There's nothing "wrong" with posting cat photos on Facebook. There's nothing "wrong" with discussing this or that at happy hour with friends.

There was something wrong—something badly wrong—with the Washington Post's decision to publish this ridiculous piece.

According to this lengthy piece, Name Withheld had always been apolitical. But then, along came DeVos!

More broadly, along came Trump! As a result, Name Withheld "has found a political voice I didn’t know that I had."

Name Withheld is telling a story from a dime novel, a story of personal triumph. "All of a sudden," Name Withheld is woke! For some reason, the Washington Post decided to publish this mess.

Why do we call this piece a mess? Because even in the case of DeVos, Name Withheld still seems utterly clueless. She seems to know virtually nothing about DeVos, but the Washington Post is helping Name Withheld, and us, think she's heroically woke.

Name Withheld is still uninformed. She knows that DeVos went to private schools, seems to know nothing else.

Franklin Roosevelt attended only private schools; so did John F. Kennedy. As far as we know, the same is true of Barack Obama, during the years in which he lived in the United States.

The fact that DeVos went to private schools just isn't hugely important. But it seems to be all that Name Withheld knows. This has led her to think that she's now politically active in a way that's likely to help.

Name Withheld, a good decent person, is in need of political and intellectual leadership—as are we all, of course. Will such leadership come from within our own liberal tribe?

As you ponder that question, consider this next ridiculous piece. For unknown reasons, it turned up in The Atlantic, three days ago.

The piece was written by Elizabeth Limbach, "editor in chief of the bimonthly surf lifestyle magazine Santa Cruz Waves." In her own ridiculous piece, Limbach catches the most recent wave of push-back against Tyrant Trump:

All of a sudden, liberals and progressives are agreeing that we shouldn't say his name! And no, we really aren't kidding about that. Limbach has even consulted an ethical theorist and assistant professor of philosophy concerning this emerging act of resistance:
LIMBACH (2/14/17): Like the Obamas, many of Trump’s critics have become rather skilled at speaking about him without ever saying his name. In his January State of the State address, California Governor Jerry Brown didn’t utter “Trump” once, even though the politician had been vocal and explicit about his opposition in the past. Nor was the name said by Representative John Lewis when the civil-rights leader responded to attacks Trump lobbed at him via Twitter. Meryl Streep’s viral Golden Globes speech took aim at the new president while never acknowledging him by name, and “a coarse blowhard who has boasted about assaulting women” was the closest the humorist Calvin Trillin came to naming the man in a recent piece in The New Yorker. Last week, Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter Bernice King shared a widely circulated list to her Facebook page offering tips for resisting Trump. The top suggestion: “Use his name sparingly so as not to detract from the issues.”

In all of these instances, it’s what’s missing that is loudest. “Absences can be significant,” James Sias, an ethical theorist and assistant professor of philosophy at Dickinson College, told me. “What stood out to most people about Michelle Obama’s speech is what she didn’t say.”

For some, the refusal to name Trump amounts to denial or dissociation. But for many of the tactic’s adoptees, it’s a signal of resistance...
It's sad that such nonsense exists. It should be astounding that The Atlantic would decide to publish such crap.

"Join a book club," Milbank says. Don't say his name," adds Limbach. Name Withheld has learned one fact.

Let's set aside the peculiar fact that the Post and The Atlantic have chosen to publish such manifest crap. Will we liberals ever be willing to see what this pitiful state of affairs says about self-impressed Us?

Next week: Our own unfaithful servants

Why would Flynn favor Russia so much?

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017

An actual answer exists:
In our view, the Trump administration seems to be in the grip of apparent madness.

In our view, we need to learn how to discuss the administration's peculiar behaviors in terms of possible mental health issues. We see few signs that major journalists are going to learn how to do that.

That said, Nicholas Kristof asks a basic question in today's New York Times column. Rather, he quotes a former general counsel to the CIA asking the question:

“The bigger issue here is why Trump and people around him take such a radically different view of Russia than has been the case for decades. We don’t know the answer to that.”

Let's start with Trump himself. We have no idea why Trump would "take such a radically different view of Russia than has been the case for decades."

Many people have suggested the possibility of nefarious motives on Trump's part. Certainly, that could be the case.

We also don't know why Michael Flynn has "take[n] such a radically different view of Russia than has been the case for decades." But in Flynn's case, there's a fairly straightforward possible answer. That answer is found in David Ignatius' column in yesterday's Washington Post.

In his column, Ignatius outlined the path which led to Flynn's recent dismissal by Trump. Along the way, he described the reasons why a person with Flynn's global views would be inclined to favor friendly relations with Russia.

Below, Ignatius describes Flynn's apparent worldview. Broadly speaking, Ignatius described a person who thinks the pre-existing "east-west" split between the US and Russia should be replaced by a "north-south" split, with the US and Russia aligning against the Islamic world:
IGNATIUS (2/15/17): Along the way, Flynn became enthusiastic about improving liaison with Russia, which he saw as a natural counterterrorism partner. He visited the Russian military-intelligence agency, the GRU, in 2013, and came back advocating greater cooperation in monitoring Syrian chemical weapons. Even after Russia invaded Crimea in 2014, Flynn proposed inviting the intelligence chiefs of its various theater commands to Washington for discussions. His superiors rejected what they saw as a supremely ill-timed proposal.

After Flynn was forced out in 2014, he complained that his ouster reflected disagreements about Middle East strategy. Colleagues at the time say it was simply a story of management failure—a good officer in the wrong job.

An embittered Flynn continued to advocate closer cooperation with Russia—and began issuing strident denunciations of the Obama administration. He told Al Jazeera television in August 2015 that the rise of the Islamic State was a “willful Washington decision.” He told the German magazine Der Spiegel in November 2015 that U.S. military operations in Iraq and Libya had been a “mistake” and a “strategic failure.” These became major themes for Donald Trump, whose campaign Flynn informally began advising in late 2015.

Flynn did something in December 2015 that has haunted him ever since. He gave a paid speech in Moscow at the 10th-anniversary celebration of Russia Today, a global cable network described by U.S. intelligence as “the Kremlin’s principal international propaganda outlet.” The RT interviewer pushed him to say positive things about U.S.-Russian cooperation, and Flynn complied.

“Stop being like two bullies in the playground!” Flynn said in Moscow. “It’s a marriage, whether we like it or not, and that marriage is very, very rocky right now,” he said. In a separate RT interview in Moscow, he urged that the two countries share intelligence and operations centers against Islamic terrorism. Flynn sat next to President Vladimir Putin at a celebratory dinner on that 2015 trip.
For a person who thinks that "Islamic terrorism" represents an existential threat to the US, a new alignment with Russia would make an obvious type of sense. This seems to be Flynn's general view of the world.

We can't picture Donald J. Trump holding this view of the world, or any other view of the world. Presumably, though, this type of thinking may help explain Flynn's attraction to alignment with Russia.

Flynn struck us as one of the dangerous nuts within TrumpWorld. At the Republican convention, he led chants of "lock her up." He retweeted PizzaGate. His son, who was his chief of staff in the private world, seems overtly crazy.

We're in slightly better shape with Flynn gone, though the most dangerous player remains. Again, we need to find ways to discuss Donald Trump's strange behavior.

That said, Ignatius' column provides a possible answer to the question Kristof posed. In our view, Trump's motive for loving the Russkies remains completely unclear. However deranged you may judge it to be, FlynnThink may be less mysterious.

Concerning Russia Today and Big Ed: Did you know that Ed Schultz is now "the lead news anchor for RT America, the domestic network of what was once known as Russia Today?"

Shortly before Christmas, Paul Farhi profiled Schultz for the Washington Post. He focused on Schultz's denial that Russia interfered in the Trump/Clinton election. According to Farhi, Schultz dismisses the claim as fake news. He blames the BS on Clinton.

We'll recommend caution with a topic like this, but it's an interesting read.

Schultz started out as a right-wing radio talker; became a progressive host on MSNBC, now works for the Russkies. We haven't seen his work for RT, but there seem to be quite a few miles on his car.

Not to mention Schultz's private plane, with which Farhi closes his profile. Its previous owner was Arnold Palmer.

Ain't work as a newsman grand?

HOW WE GOT HERE: No one believed that Trump could win!

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017

Part 4—At long last, Maddow confesses:
Why did Rachel mug and clown her way through the Trump/Clinton campaign?

Why did she duck every serious issue? Why did she use her time to entertain us, helping us learn to adore her more fully?

Last night, the multimillionaire corporate star finally spilled concerning her own past indolence. She made her confession roughly ten minutes into her TV show as she read from a 1996 police report, and from divorce records, concerning domestic violence charges brought against Steve Bannon.

Maddow spent the first nine minutes reading from those records, which became public last August. Then, she made her confession:
MADDOW (2/15/17): The Trump campaign actually never commented as to whether or not they were aware of this stuff in Steve Bannon's past when he was brought on to run the campaign.

And you know, eventually that story just faded out of the news.

To be fair, there was a lot going on at the time. And honestly, I think part of the reason that story went away, after it was first reported in August, is because in, you know, late August, early September, nobody really believed Donald Trump could conceivably win the presidency. Right?

So whatever kind of characters he was bringing on to rescue his sinking ship of a campaign, I think everybody assumed they would all be out of the news sooner or later. Why bother going into too much depth?

But then they won. And Steve Bannon leapt from the campaign to the White House.
To watch the whole segment, click here. The confession starts around the 9:20 mark.

Last evening, Maddow spent her first nine minutes reading from the police report which became public last August. After that, she explained why "eventually, that story just faded out of the news."

You might have thought she was explaining why other news orgs let the story go. Just for the record, it might be worth recording the amount of attention the story received on her show.

Last night, Maddow spent the first ten minutes reading from the 1996 police report about Bannon. Back in August, she herself barely discussed this matter at all.

On August 26, she offered a perfunctory, two-minute overview of the facts which had just surfaced that day. After that, on Maddow's show, the story instantly "faded away." To all intents and purposes, she never mentioned it again.

Should Maddow have mentioned this topic more often during the campaign? Not necessarily, no. For today, we're most interested in the reason she gave for the way the story "eventually faded away."

This is what she said:

"And honestly, I think part of the reason that story went away...is because in, you know, late August, early September, nobody really believed Donald Trump could conceivably win the presidency. Right?"

We're glad to see that the cable star was being honest this time. But nobody believed that Trump could win?

We're sorry, but that isn't right. We're sorry, but that's just wrong.

Most likely, it's true! World-class flyweights—people like Maddow—may have believed there was no way Trump could possibly win. After all, our biggest stars were filling our heads with that enjoyable pap.

As late as the Friday before the election, Professor Wang was telling us, on Lawrence's show, that only a major weather event could conceivably give Trump a chance to win! True-believing bloggers had spooned this porridge on a weekly basis, endearing themselves to the liberal readers who were thus misled.

Last night, to her credit, Maddow at last confessed! Apparently, she too had been among the group who assumed there was no way Trump could win. Is that why she clowned for seventeen months during this White House election?

Next week, we'll offer a slightly more detailed review of the remarkable ways Maddow avoided the major issues which defined this election. But on November 8, Donald J. Trump pulled an inside straight and won.

Given the manifest craziness of the winner, it was one of the most embarrassing losses a political party, movement or group has ever arranged to sustain. Last night, Rachel confessed the reasons for her role in this dangerous debacle.

Will we liberals now stage an "autopsy" of last year's election? Will we examine the varying roles our cluelessness played in this embarrassing gong-show?

Not real freaking likely! As you know, we prefer to blame the debacle on Them, Those People, the ones Over There. It rarely enters our extremely thick heads that we had been paving the road to defeat for at least twenty-five years.

In Rachel Maddow's clowning clown world, we savants were shocked, just shocked, by the fact that Trump pulled that inside straight and won. In fact, it had always been possible that he could win. But, as Rachel admitted last night, corporate stars were too dumb to know that. This explains why they gamboled and played.

On November 9, we were shocked, just shocked. This Sunday, in the Washington Post, Dana Milbank described the troubled state in which some of us have found ourselves in the wake of our latest disaster:
MILBANK (2/12/17): I’ve heard it scores of times from Americans frightened, angry or depressed about President Trump: “What can I do?”

I recommend to each of them the same regimen I follow myself: Exercise regularly, spend time with family and drink a quart of Everclear every night.

But such self-care, as the mental-health practitioners call it, only goes so far. For much of America—the majority of the country that did not vote for Donald Trump—the election has brought about what’s known as a “collective trauma,” not unlike the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Then, we stockpiled duct tape, packed go bags and hatched family escape plans—giving us an illusory sense of control over the unimaginable (and, in retrospect, overblown) threats of chemical, biological and radioactive attacks. Now a majority of those on the left, as well as many moderates and conservatives, fear not some unknown terrorist cell but our own president, wary of the calamity he could unleash with his recklessness. One moment he’s attacking the federal judiciary; the next moment he’s assaulting Australia—or Nordstrom.

The erratic behavior makes millions of people feel powerless and out of control, which leads to anxiety, anger and despair.
We'll be honest—we didn't know what Everclear was, and Milbank mentioned it three times. For a full report from the leading authority, you can just click here.

We do think people have every right to feel depressed and fearful about our new President Trump. We also know who failed those people during the 25-year nap in the woods which largely explains how we got here.

Rank-and-file liberals have been badly served by their overpaid, self-dealing leadership groups. They've been badly served by cable stars who mug and clown to help us adore them. They've been badly served by other major groups too.

Next week, we'll call the roll of some of those groups. Tomorrow, we'll take a look at why we do need leaders.

As he continued, Milbank told his readers what they could do to battle their fear and depression, and to battle Trump. Some of his suggestions were strange. We've seen others which are worse.

The rank and file will always need guidance from leaders who offer good, sound advice. Tomorrow, we'll show you how true that truism is.

We'll show you several ideas which have emerged concerning the way we can battle Trump. We've started our fight exactly too late. Plus, our ideas are no good!

Tomorrow: Join a book club, Milbank says. Or possibly join the Elks!