Rolling Stone dumbs the liberal world down!


Why does Saint Maddow dissemble: Good God.

In the past few weeks, we’ve seen one big journalist after another make baldly inaccurate statements about very basic topics. In this pitiful profile of Rachel Maddow, Ben Wallace-Wells follows suit.

The profile appears in Rolling Stone. As anyone can see, it seeks to teach us how to worship Saint Maddow even more completely.

A new group of Kool Kidz is being invented! As anyone can see, this profile bears a sad resemblance to the press corps’ past ridiculous fawning over Saints Powell, Bradley, McCain.

As a general matter, it’s sad to see the liberal world stoop to this pitiful level. But what follows is truly pathetic.

Early in his fawning profile, Wallace-Wells describes Maddow’s recent dispute with Alex Castellanos on Meet the Press. But alas! The gent’s account of that dispute is just baldly misleading/inaccurate:
WALLACE-WELLS (6/27/12): Appearing alongside her is Alex Castellanos, a Republican media consultant who served both George W. Bush and Mitt Romney, an embodiment of the clubby, insider pundit culture that Maddow abhors. When she begins to talk about gender disparity in pay–"Women in this country still make 77 cents on the dollar for what men make"–the genteel Castellanos, a master of the form, simply denies that this is true. Women in the workforce, he insists, make just as much as men; liberals are just "manufacturing a political crisis."

Maddow knows immediately that Castellanos is lying to the audience. She swivels so abruptly in her chair, trying to make sense of what he is saying, that the camera winds up fixed on a spot just behind her left ear, as if it were an assassin's scope. You can see her, in real time, coming to terms with the extent of the lie as she watches agreement flicker across the face of the other Republican on the panel. "This hasn't just been sold to Alex by someone briefing him on the subject," she thinks to herself. "This is something that has actually been sold to Republicans–this is a vision of Republican World."

The tricky part is knowing what to do about the lie. Chris Matthews would erupt in thunderous outrage; Keith Olbermann would dissolve into a knowing sneer. But Maddow's skills are different: She strives not for the expression of political anger but for its suppression, to distance herself from the partisan debate rather than engage it, to steward progressive fury into a world of certainty, of charts, graphs, statistics, a real world that matters and that the political debate can't corrupt.
That’s the kind of low-IQ hero invention we liberals once mocked and condemned.

That said, the highlighted claims in that passage are bogus. “Women in this country still make 77 cents on the dollar for what men make?” That simply isn’t what Maddow said, not by the time this discussion unfolded. And that simply isn’t the statement Castellanos challenged that day.

You know? When he told his “lie?” The “lie” Saint Maddow instantly spotted? Just before swimming the Yellow River? Holding three cubs in her mouth?

Liberals are being dumbed to the ground through this type of sanctification. But what did Maddow actually say on Meet the Press?

Sorry! As the discussion unfolded, she repeatedly said that women are paid 77 cents on the dollar for doing the same or equal work. And that claim—the thing she actually said—is just flatly inaccurate.

Perhaps for that reason, Wallace-Wells cleaned her statement up a bit. According to his account, Maddow said something much more limited—something which would have been accurate.

We discussed this flap in real time (for two examples, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 5/1/12 and 5/2/12). There’s no dispute about the basic facts:

According to federal data, women who work full time earn 77 percent as much as men who work full time. But no one claims that this disparity, or even the bulk of this disparity, stems from discrimination.

No one claims that women earn 77 cents on the dollar for doing the same or equal work. But as the discussion unfolded on Meet the Press, that’s the claim Maddow kept making.

That’s the actual claim she made—the claim Castellanos disputed. But as you may recall, Maddow’s extended performance was much, much worse than this.

Maddow made her original claim on Meet the Press. Simply put, her claim was wrong: Women are not paid 77 cents on the dollar for the same or equal work.

Maddow had made a mistake. It’s something we humans do quite often. But the following night, on her own program, Maddow tripled down on her own misstatement. In a lengthy opening segment, she claimed that she had “spent a long time going through the Republican side of this argument today just trying to understand how you could look at these very blunt numbers and come up with the opposite truth.”

She couldn’t understand what was wrong with her statement, she said—even as she avoided repeating the statement which was in error.

By Monday night, it’s hard to believe that Maddow was still unaware of her error. The simplest attempt at a fact-check or search would have shown her the way she’d been wrong. But despite the fawning of Wallace-Wells about his sovereign’s vast love for the truth, Maddow does this sort of thing with remarkable frequency.

We’ve puzzled about this for some time. Maddow just isn’t real truthful. Not infrequently, she makes elaborate presentations which aren’t simply wrong—they are audaciously bogus.

Before the week is done, we’ll review a few other incidents from the past few weeks. But why does Maddow dissemble so much? We have wondered for some time. As we reached the central theme of the Rolling Stone profile, we thought we might have a clue.

As we’ve seen, Wallace-Wells started by pretending that Maddow is just amazingly honest. Amazingly, he was even able to quote the words which ran through his regent’s head when Castellanos emitted his “lie.”

But that wasn’t the central point of the Rolling Stone profile. Soon, Wallace-Wells focused on Maddow’s problems with depression, a deeply painful condition:
WALLACE-WELLS: Maddow may be careful not to show her anger on-air—but that doesn't mean it isn't there. "I am as rage-filled as the next guy," she says. Off-air, the anger can turn inward. On Monday she is despondent over a monologue on Afghanistan that seemed muddled to her: "I had it so clear in my mind," she says. Tuesday goes well, the Michigan segment the star of the show, and she is gleeful. But at dinner after Wednesday's show, she is in the pits again.


I ask her why she is so hard on herself. "My reaction to that is to say, 'Oh, another bad thing about myself is that I've allowed you to see that I'm hard on myself,'" she says. "The fact that you're seeing me sweat is like, 'Ah, well, I'm failing on that, too.'"

Maddow suffers, she says, from "cyclical" depression. "One of the manifestations of depression for me is that I lose my will. And I thereby lose my ability to focus. I don't think I'll ever have the day-to-day consistency in my performance that something like This American Life has. If I'm not depressed and I'm on and I can focus and I can think through something hard and without interruption and without existential emptiness that comes from depression, that gives me–not mania. But I exalt. I exalt in not being depressed."

Over dinner, Maddow keeps talking about her career as if its end might be imminent. She says she sometimes thinks, "This show could be the last one I ever do." I ask her why that anxiety seems so present for her. What would she be losing if she lost her show? Her response is immediate. "My freedom," she says.
There’s a tremendous amount of self-drama there—but depression is a very painful condition. (Cyclical depression is defined here.) It’s a very good thing when people find successful treatment for such a condition.

That said, we were struck by Maddow’s account of what it’s like when she isn’t depressed. “That gives me—not mania,” she told Wallace-Wells. “But I exalt. I exalt in not being depressed.”

We were struck by that comment. For some time, we have wondered why Maddow engages in so much purely willful misconduct. Why she says so many things which simply aren’t true. Why she doubles down on her claims, insisting she was right all along—even as she tells us that she adores self-correction.

Depression is a painful condition. But reading Maddow’s account, we couldn’t help wondering if our question was perhaps being answered.

It isn’t mania, Maddow said. Frankly, we aren’t sure.

For his part, the thoroughly pitiful Wallace-Wells was teaching us to adore Saint Maddow even more. He throws in the types of absurd anecdotes we rubes are trained to believe.

On many occasions, our sanctified leader behaves quite oddly on the air. She behaves in ways which seem baldly dishonest. Again and again, we have wondered why that is.

We still don’t know the answer, of course. But Rolling Stone’s fawning to the side, liberals were not put on the earth to worship their Darling Saint Rachel.

Maddow is still pretending she made no mistake on Meet the Press that day! If liberals have an ounce of self-respect, we’ll rise up on our scrawny hind legs and insist that this rank conduct stop.

Coming: Two recent incidents

Twilight of the (new) elites: Is Chris Hayes following this?


  1. The Anonymous IdiotsJuly 3, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    "If liberals have an ounce of self-respect, we’ll rise up on our scrawny hind legs and insist that this rank conduct stop."


    And we'll say, with one loud clear voice, "Stop bashing Rachel Maddow, Bob!"

    The Anonymous Idiots

  2. She wrote a book, you know.

  3. A link in which the WaPo kindly shows why though the 77 percent pay gap is true it's also grossly misleading:

    1. That is a useful link for this discussion H. Braintree. It includes a link to this rebuttal in one update and finishes with another update that lays out other criticisms so I would say it is quite fair.

    2. The so-called rebuttal you refer appears to be utterly lacking in any fact-based deconstruction of such matters as the number of hours put in (men put in more hours than women and, therefore, ought to earn more per year)or the fact that men take jobs that are more dangerous or more lucrative and less existential fulfilling. Basically, it's just a lot of hot air. Her argument basically boils down to "the 77-cent wage gap is too valid!"

      This raises an interesting question: If feminists are so right why do they have to rely on this sort of willfully ignorant bupkis?

    3. Way to go, Hieronymous. Simply dismiss evidence that doesn't fit what you "already know." And do it in a completely out of hand fashion.

      One thing you should know, though. The right-wing talking point that "men put in more hours than women" has been debunked everywhere else on the planet except the right-wing circles you seem to favor.

      If you are going to participate in a thoughtful discussion, you might begin be admitting to yourself that you don't know everything and you could possibly be wrong. That's a sign of intellectual curiousity, a trait which you seem to lack.

  4. Maddow is still pretending she made no mistake on Meet the Press that day!

    Pretending? I don't know...has anyone told her that she made a misstatement? Maybe she truly believes what she said is accurate. I have no way of knowing.

    One thing that has become very clear, is that Bob is exactly right when he says that our media stars just aren't that bright. It's not that they're unintelligent. They just don't do the detail work needed to make sure they are right before they open their mouths or type on their keyboards.

    Maybe they can't. There's too much information to sift through; remember Ben Bradlee's line in All The President's Men:

    "I can't do the reporting for my reporters, which means I have to trust them. And I hate trusting anybody."

    Rachel Maddow can't do the fact-checking for her writing staff, and she can't know everything even as smart as she is. There's just too much. That said, she's being paid big bucks and being set up as a high-profile media celebrity on the expectation that she does know her stuff cold, so when she makes a mistake she needs to be open to correcting it, and do it quickly and publicly. And she needs to have a staff that is constantly working hard to make sure she is doing that.

    1. Unfortunately, the media ethos...our political ethos... our religious ethos... our cultural...zzzzz... is no different from that of Madison Ave.

      We're all salesmen now.

      The lower we're willing to go in selling the narrative we pitch, the more we congratulate ourselves for our nobility.

      That's what we value and that's what we reward.

    2. Yeah, and Joe McGinnis first wrote about that in 1969.

      You just figuring it out?

    3. Very good reply, CeciliaMc. That was not a sarcastic remark. I repeat: That was not a sarcastic remark.

      Anonymous at 5:14,

      Seeing as you have no idea how old CeceliaMc is and therefore could be at an age where she might, for the first time ever, be getting up to, aren't you being sort of an a-hole?

    4. The Real AnonymousJuly 3, 2012 at 7:24 PM


      So guess who was the Nixon media advisor McGiness wrote about packaging candidates and selling them like soap.

      Roger Ailes, the guy who put FOX News together.

    5. Oh, I"m old, HB, and have been getting up to stuff for decades...,but I would have had to be astoundingly precocious to have been getting up to it in '69.

    6. OH, NO PLEASE NO, Real!!

      The problem with selling candidates as though they are soap, is that we sell soap like it's a miracle drug and who compromises their principles for soap...

    7. Joe McGinnis was a twenty-six year old reporter when he approached members of the Nixon campaign and asked if he could be a behind-the-scenes observer of their public relations processes after the Humphrey people had denied his request for the same type of access to the Democratic campaign.

      The book jacket illustrator did not think selling candidates was like selling soap.

    8. The Real Anonymous.July 4, 2012 at 1:38 AM

      It was still Ailes, head of FOX News, over 4 decades ago.

      Mr. Somerby won't tell you that.

      Check the incomparable archives.

    9. Okay, I will. Is Somerby hiding Jimmy Hoffa's killer there too?

    10. Roger Ailes would be a nice person to devote some space to on this blog, if it weren't so obsessed with Rachel Maddow and Maureen Dowd.

      He used to rail about corporate control and Jack Welch and the Irish-Catholic gang he brought to NBC/MSNBC. But that was when this blog approached relevancy.

  5. "But Maddow's skills are different: She strives not for the expression of political anger but for its suppression, to distance herself from the partisan debate rather than engage it, to steward progressive fury into a world of certainty, of charts, graphs, statistics, a real world that matters and that the political debate can't corrupt."

    That's some solid gold plated, grade-A satire right there. Bravo to you, Mr. Wallace-Wells!

    1. Yeah, if she's striving then she needs to strive harder, 'cause it ain't happening.

  6. I wonder if she was exalting in not being depressed that night when she did that hideously coy teabagger double entendre with Ana Marie Cox.

    After seeing videos of those feigning embarrassment, I went from respect to complete distrust of her.

    1. I went from watching her show to not watching it.

      I have not had occasion to regret my decision.

  7. Bob, I understand your desire to attribute Rachel's puzzling habit of dishonesty to possible mania, but may I suggest a more obvious reason, right from Mr. Wallace-Wells' article:

    "Over dinner, Maddow keeps talking about her career as if its end might be imminent. She says she sometimes thinks, 'This show could be the last one I ever do.' I ask her why that anxiety seems so present for her. What would she be losing if she lost her show? Her response is immediate. 'My freedom,' she says."

    She reaaaally, reaaaally wants to keep her show, along with the money, fame and status it provides. Thus, she is perfectly willing to cut ethical corners if she feels it necessary to provide the maximum amount of drama and pleasure for her "progressive" audience.

    1. Of course she wants to keep her show.

      I'd like to know what she meant by losing her "freedom" if she got cancelled. She's got boatloads more money than I'll ever have, that's got to buy a lot of freedom. And if she meant losing her freedom to opine on national TV, well, she hasn't been doing such a bang-up job of it lately.

    2. Well, that statement by Maddow about her "freedom" is something that I can understand and agree with her on.

      There are a plethora of women who "opine on national television", I can't think of one, who having entered the fray of polemics, has been allowed this level of gravitas and who has commanded this level of respect.

      I can well understand how she equates this to "freedom". That's a bit understanding that we of her gender can most certainly share.

    3. The Real AnonymousJuly 4, 2012 at 1:43 AM

      "I can't think of one, who having entered the fray of polemics, has been allowed this level of gravitas and who has commanded this level of respect."

      Its not Sarah Palin's fault she has neither the gravitas nor has commanded respect now is it?

      She certainly has commanded the paycheck.

    4. "Its not Sarah Palin's fault she has neither the gravitas nor has commanded respect now is it?"

      If you can think of a female pundit, conservative or liberal, who has matched Maddow for favorable press, you let me know.

      Let alone Sara Palin...

  8. "Women are not paid 77 cents on the dollar for the same or equal work."

    Okay, here we have typical Somerby. I don't believe Maddow actually said what Somerby claims she said -- the man isn't above misrepresentation, and it wouldn't be the first time -- but let's say she did, for the sake of the argument, that's she's just as dumb, partisan and incurious as Bob claims.

    One question, however, before we dismiss her inadequate IQ: what *are* the actual facts about actual male-female wage disparities, as measured by the best techniques we have? Is it 78 cents, not 77? Is it 83 cents? 92? 54? Are there any disparities at all? Do women actually get paid more than men? Does Bob know? Does he care?

    In other words, is the problem that Maddow misstated the amount, for which most folks wouldn't seek a pound of flesh, or that there's no significant wage discrimination in America? You'll never find out, reading the Howler, because it's SO much more important to find another pretext to attack an insignificant employee of corporate America, who gets Bob's goat for some own odd reason -- despite the fact that she has zero influence on the national discourse and wouldn't be allowed to promote progressive policies effectively, even she wanted to or was capable of doing so.

    So the question for the Bobettes is, is Bob attacking Rachel Maddow or the notion of wage disparity? I ask, because you'll never find out here. All you're read here is "77 cents"!

    Just as interesting, Our Bob has descended to criticizing the *interviews* these MSNBC media figures give. What they say about themselves simply doesn't pass muster with Bob! Chris Hayes used big words in an interview! That's not the way you talk to the unwashed masses! Chris and Rach need to present themselves in a way acceptable to Somerby! Otherwise, they're venal and stupid!

    Is it perfectly clear now why Somerby is beloved by the likes of David in Cal?

    1. Yep, just like the old Monty Python routine, combined with the Guiness Sout ad:

      Maddow: "Women are paid 77 cents on the dollar for equal work.

      Somerby: "No they aren't."

      Bobinistas: "Brilliant!"

      And good gravy, did Heironymous actually produce a link to support the notion that the 77 percent figure might be shaky?

      That's something his guru won't do. And doesn't really have to to send thrills up the legs of what few followers he has left.


      Not only were control variables mentioned, but an amount was mentioned too.

      You seem to be arguing for "the facts" (and that somehow Somerby failed to mention them), while simultaneously suggesting that an actual dollar amount in this matter is less important than the fact that even when the variables are controlled there is still a wage discrepancy.

      The DH piece is about Maddow staunchly insisting that the fact is that it's 77 cents, and then later on her show, engaging in a disingenuous attempt to muddle that insistence with the more subjective approach of arguing that we know there's a discrepancy, what does the amount matter.

      Rather than focusing on the what ACTUALLY happened between Maddow and Castellanos, you seem to be engaged in that too.

    3. There are pay inequalities for women in most jobs, even in 2012, even in professional careers. I'm kind of agreeing with Bob's critics this time. I know the issue inside and out- being a feminist for nearly 40 years now. Bad choice of topic Bob to sneer at Maddow about, she's more correct than you are and I commend her for once standing up for a real feminist issue. She has a pretty weak history on women's issues and isn't below indulging in sexism herself, in what looks nothing so much like a typical "play along with the 'boyz' club" mindset.

    4. How is she "more correct" than someone who argues that there is a wage discrepancy, but not the number that she adamantly insisted was the case?

    5. CeceliaMc,

      I absolutely adore your intellectually-coherent, cut-the-bull approach. If more women were like you feminists would melt into their shoes for lack of something better to do. If more people were like you we'd probably have a decently functioning democracy.

      Keep up the good work and be sure to wear your asbestos panties.

    6. That's a compliment, I'll remember, HB.

    7. Ain't that sweet! Braintree patronizes Cecelia in the most preposterous and offensive manner imaginable, revealing more about himself than he apparently can conceive, and, good wench that she is, Cecelia takes it as a complement!

      Could it be you two deserve each other?

      Certainly you're among the very few left who still stomach Bob Somerby, so one wishes well of the place.

    8. "Braintree patronizes Cecelia in the most preposterous and offensive manner imaginable, revealing more about himself than he apparently can conceive,..."

      No, but you've hit the nail on the head of the tone-deaf moron who just called me a wench.

    9. Anonymous at 9:30 PM. Could you please explain to me why my compliment was patronizing and not a sincere statement of admiration? How about preposterous? And exactly why was it offensive?

      For the record, I consider myself to be a pretty articulate caller of bull shit (at least I am when I actually take the time to edit what I wrote before hitting the publish button) but I think CeceliaMc is actually better at it than I am. She certainly seems to have a talent for succinctly getting to the point.

      But please don't feel as if you have to justify anything you write by explaining why it's true. Just insult us at will. I would never be so rude as to try and cramp your pathetically empty style.

    10. The Real AnonymousJuly 4, 2012 at 1:47 AM

      Who'd have thought Mr. Somerby's blog would have devolved to the level of posters having an internet crush?

    11. I'm sure you can get over HB in time.

    12. Gee, I dunno, Real Anonymous. Why is this a crush? Why can't I admire someone who I think is really good at what they do w/o having it derided as something else?

      If I complimented a man in the same manner would you be calling me gay? Because if a guy was that good I would.

      And what have you accomplished? If you're trying to embarrass me, sorry. In order for that to work you have to say something that's true. Also, I have to have some reason to respect your intelligence. I am very happy to report that I am writing to you from what so far has proved to be a position of perfect safety. Instead of coming off as brilliantly insulting bastard you instead are coming off as an angry bore desperately trying to compensate for an abundantly apparent inability to say something thoughtful never mind witty.

      Now, please do us all a favor and find someone to change your diapers.

    13. @CeceliaMc

      "The DH piece is about Maddow staunchly insisting that the fact is that it's 77 cents, and then later on her show, engaging in a disingenuous attempt to muddle that insistence with the more subjective approach of arguing that we know there's a discrepancy, what does the amount matter.

      Rather than focusing on the what ACTUALLY happened between Maddow and Castellanos, you seem to be engaged in that too."

      Not exactly. Though it is true that, after the nth mention of 77 cents at this blog, I do care less about what "ACTUALLY" happened on any given TV show, then what, at last, the facts are. Debating the contents of TV shows -- or a single TV show, for months, as has been going on here, to prove what a reprehensible and stupid person R.M is -- does have its limits.

      Then again, facts are difficult things. Bob, as he's so careful to note, knows nothing about any number of issues, and this is apparently one of them. Note, for example, that the link you cited was either incidentally or deliberately misleading. The issue of wage is disparity is not at the 4-5% level, even assuming Bob accepts that figure, which is by no means clear.

      The $.77 preoccupation -- avoiding here the sort of language that HB and most of the other Bobettes engage in -- is silly, irrelevant, and perhaps monomaniacal. One could have also said "idiotic", "infantile", "horse-shit", ""diaper-suitable", etc., but I don't believe in that sort of discourse.

      By the way, I think "wench" was meant ironically -- something suitable for HB, with his asbestos panties and his cartoon views of "feminists", etc. But no matter.

      As for intellectual honesty, I would simply ask you to speculate on how compelling you and HB would find this blog if Somerby devoted post after post to a claimed misstatement by, say, Rush Limbaugh.

      True, such a blog *would* attract a certain kind of blinkered lefty -- the sort of person you hope you never have to sit next to on a cross-country flight. In the same way, apparently, TDH attracts a certain kind of right-winger or centrist.

      Which is perhaps the appropriate outcome: Bob gets the audience he deserves.

    14. @Anonymous 9:09 AM

      You continue to try and have it all ways.

      First, it's the point that since disparity exists, that is what matters and the specifics are not important. Next the details DO matter, a general conclusion (from Somerby) does not.

      It's okay for Maddow to make a point that is debatable (though she expressly denied that it was), it's not okay when Somerby does (though he expressly admits that he is.)

      Being a stereotyping sexist is bad, but it's understandable to use a sexist epithet toward a female poster when she's being objectified as a mere means of insulting said patronizing sexist.

      And finally, you, Anonymous, question whether I am nonpartisan enough to respect Bob's intelligence and integrity if he wasn't a liberal saying what I wish to hear, sans the slightest sense of irony that you show yourself to be completely INCAPABLE of accepting such a thing from one of your own!

      Indeed, Bob does have exactly the audience that he deserves: people of both political persuasions who respect him, and a few illogical militants who serve as living illustrations and proofs of his claims.

    15. @Celecia

      Having it all ways? I think I want it one way: an admission that these discussions are not based in disputes of the facts and are irrelevant to contemporary reality.

      One would never guess, reading your posts, that there's an external reality beyond the level of mindless discourse this blog promotes. Sort of in the same way that, day after day, Bob pretends that Rachel Maddow is the problem, and not corporate media control. Media critiques which are oblivious of this basic reality, or forget it for the convenience of thundering against some TV show host, are bound to lose touch with anything that matters.

      Then again, that's the model here: Bob doesn't know the underlying facts himself, and admits as much. Seems a strange pursuit, and as noted, I doubt you'd find it quite as interesting if he did the same to David Brooks or Rush Limbaugh.

      However, as I gather you consider yourself one of Bob's enlightened readers (unlike poor me!) and are apparently convinced that his analysis is meaningful in a world which is otherwise coming down around our ears, you are indeed Bob's ideal reader.

    16. @Cecelia

      So anyone who insists Bob has to know the facts, also has to insist Maddow has to know the facts, otherwise he's being inconsistent?

      You mean to say it's okay for Bob to be as incompetent and lazy he claims Maddow is, because he's just a self-described media critic, not a highly paid MSNBC flunkey?

      I would think that consistency demands we either dismiss or celebrate both Maddow and Somerby (and not one or the other), since neither knows anything.

      Would that satisfy you?

    17. Anyone who has lived through Duke lacrosse should know better than to call my version of feminists "cartoon." For months they insisted, in the face of absurdly mounting evidence to the contrary that the Duke lacrosse players were guilty, guilty guilty. Amanda Marcotte reaccused them AFTER they were explicitly exonerated by the NC state attorney general while stereotyping white men as thinking they have the right to force fuck black women. ("Can't a few white boys sexually assault a black woman anymore without people getting all wound up about it? So unfair.") She also called people who were correctly skeptical "rape loving scum." Rather than being ostracized as an unrepresentative twit she continues to be celebrated as one of the biggest stars in the left-wing blogosphere.

      Then there was Andrea Dworkin who told the Meese Commission on pornography that there was an entire porn genre where men masturbated to documentary footage of women being murdered on screen for their entertainment. To date, not one so-called "snuff film" has been found.

      Then there was the time feminists, including Gloria Steinem endorsed a literal witch hunt.

      No one, anonymous, has made feminists look more ridiculous than feminists themselves. And there's plenty more where that came from.

      As for my "asbestos panties" I really don't see what the problem is. CeceliaMc is obviously not shy about informing people that they're full of crap and feminists are notorious for being egregious, thin-skinned twits who habitually slime and insult critics (see Marcotte re: "rape loving scum") The obvious, implied imagery was of some angry left-wing twit attempting to roast her butt--butt roasting being an image often used to describe someone at the receiving end of intense, often unfair criticism. This may come as a shock to you but women have buttocks and generally wear panties to cover them, which, of course, is yet more powerful evidence of patriarchal oppression, instead of you being a humorless a-hole.

      Speaking of panties, why don't you go find a boy scout to see if he can untie yours?

    18. @braintree

      This isn't the place to address your views of feminism and, frankly, you're not the ideal interlocutor. In the place like this, you really have to know what people hold "as true", to assess whether any worthwhile discussion is possible. In your case, I doubt I there's any basis for useful discussion. Too many of your views are or would prove to be, to me, ludicrous, and no doubt vice versa. We could find out very quickly with a questionnaire (is global warming a left-wing hoax? do tax cuts increase revenues? were WMD found in Iraq? did life begin in the Garden of Eden? did Ronald Reagan prime the economy with borrowed money?), but that's the sort of foundational work you won't find here.

      What's more interesting to me is the apparent compulsion to employ psycho-sexual fantasies, post after post ("Speaking of panties, why don't you go find a boy scout to see if he can untie yours?", etc.) in what is nominally supposed to be political discourse. Other Bobettes go with profanity, barn-yard epithets and still others dismiss the opposition as mental defectives, too stupid to grasp their own brilliant arguments.

      There will be some of this on both sides, but it does seem to be a distinguishing feature of the Bobettes.

      Am not sure what all this means, but since Bob has apparently acquired psycho-analytic skills, I leave him to analyze his new fans with the same fervor and eagerness he analyzes Rachel Maddow.

    19. Heironymous, one sure sign that a guy is drowning in his own words and losing a discussion badly is when he tries lamely to change the subject into one he thinks he can win.

      And not even get the truth of that new subject straight.

      "Anyone who has lived through Duke lacrosse should know better than to call my version of feminists 'cartoon.'"

      You know what the sad part of that sentence is? It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Exactly what does Duke lacrosse have to do with your version of feminism?

      Sounds to me that you were ready, willing and able to believe from the outset that a stripper couldn't possibly be the victim of rape, regardless of whether this particular stripper was or was not.

      You just simply dismiss the possibility out of hand.

    20. Anonymous,

      I have just provided three examples of feminists making complete jackasses of themselves and you have said nothing to refute the validity of my examples. All you have done is attack my character.

      As for Duke lacrosse, I provided a very specific example of one prominent feminist making false clearly misandrist claims. You have apparently have failed to even notice that.

      And when the Duke lacrosse case first broke I lazilly assumed the players were guilty. However, I can't help but note the sanctimonious way you try to damn my character with your baseless charge of having been right from the outset.

      I graduated summa cum laude as a psych major. I did not follow through and enter the field because it is full of pompous jerks like you so please spare me your analysis.

      I dismiss you as a twit. Good day.

    21. Poor you, indeed, Anonymous July 4, 2012 11:33 AM!

      Someone has locked you in here and forced you to read things that are "irrelevant to contemporary reality"...

      Ah, for the good days...back when Bob railed against GE, and Jack Welch, and MSNBC hosts who criticized Clinton and Gore! How different from Bob's current unrealistic railing against corporate NBC and MSNBC hosts... (who have fulfilled their corporate overlords' business model by morphing on a dime into a leftwing counter to FNC).

      How dare Somerby criticize these MSNBC hosts now, when they're fully engaged in going after Republicans. And how dare he irrelevantly criticize leftist stalwart Rachel Maddow, unsullied by Jack Whelch


    22. Yes, AnonymousJuly 4, 2012 12:34 PM, I most certainly am suggesting that when Rachel adamantly insists that her data is indisputable that she be held to THAT standard and NOT summations of some relative principle that make her "correct" despite the actual numbers.

      Conversely, when Somerby argues that she is wrong, and that the data lies in a range that though debatable, is still much lower than Maddow's number, that HE be held to THAT standard.

      That's not unreasonable.

  9. "It isn’t mania, Maddow said. Frankly, we aren’t sure."

    Once upon a time, Bob used to rail against pundits who thought they could psychoanalyze and diagnose people they never met.

    It's just one more piece of evidence that Bob is turning into that which he claims to loathe. Or maybe he always was. Frankly, we're not sure.

    1. Somerby wasn't psychoanalyzing Maddow, he voiced doubts as to the accuracy of Wallis-Wells' analysis of Maddow's psyche.

    2. Wrong on two important counts in a single sentence, Cecelia. Pretty amazing accomplshment.

      1. It wasn't Wallis-Wells' analysis of Maddow's psyche. It was Maddow's. What part of "Maddow said" did you fail to understand.

      2. Somerby casts doubt on Maddow's self-psychoanalysis. On what basis can he do that without psychoanalyzing her himself. From a safe distance, of course.

    3. Oh, sure, AnonymousJuly 4, 2012 12:41 PM...and if you had a history of asthma and started wheezing and gasping for air, while insisting that these were the symptoms of an oncoming cold, it would be tantamount to issuing a medical diagnosis, if I were to doubt your assertion.

      Oh, sure too, that in an article where Wallis-Wells opines on Maddow's fluctuating emotions as he has observed on-air AND observed DURING the interview, we should still merely ascribe his piece as being transcription.

  10. Celeb puff pieces are often silly. They are advertising designed to sell celebrity as the product it is. Nothing shocking there. What is at least a bit surprising is that Maddow's book is pretty good, and, consistent with his odd fear of dealing with Defense issues in general, Bob pretends it simply does not exist. Again, he shuts the light and curses the darkness.

    1. Oh, but didn't you read Hieronymous's brilliant contribution? You see, Maddow is just like L. Ron Hubbard because he wrote books too.

      Such is the mind of the Bobinista.

    2. Surely, you're more subtle than that!

      The implication isn't that Maddow is "just like L. Ron Hubbard", it's that having written a book doesn't entitle Maddow to a puff-piece dissembling defense of herself by a so-called "journalist" for a national magazine.

    3. Thanks CeceliaMc, I couldn't have said it better myself.


  11. Maddow has turned into a freaking not case. She needs analysis. Now!

  12. tl;dr

    -It doesn't matter if Maddow said something wrong (and even if she did, she was very right in her wrongness) -- It's more wrong for Somerby to point it out.

    -If you don't agree with that, you are a Bobette. Or maybe a Bobinista. I haven't decided yet.

  13. The Ivy League journo Kidz making the radiac left safe fer america on cable tv. Think again.

  14. This notion that those of us who defend Bob are rightwingers or centrists isn't true in all cases. I'm probably to Bob's left. And I don't always defend him. I do get the impression that some who attack him here are just the sort of liberal tribalists that Bob correctly criticizes, but again, not all of his critics fall into that category all the time. But I would say that, since I do criticize him sometimes.

    On Maddow, I think she is vastly overrated and deserves Bob's critique, but I also think maybe he spends a little too much time on her. Not "way too much", just "a little too much". On Chris Hayes, I think the guy along with Moyers runs the only political talk show worth watching (that I've seen anyway), so I find Bob's criticisms there to be nitpicking and sometimes petty.

    There's no particular reason why people have to fall into two diametrically opposed factions on the worth of Bob's current writing. Or I can't see any good reason for this.


  15. Middle and high school students in Korea voted miss A’s Suzy and IU as two female celebrities who seem to be bad at math.

    On August 17th, K-Stem, an institute that conducts a scholastic ability test in mathematics, announced the result of the survey asking 220 students to vote for the celebrities who seem to be good/bad at math.

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    On the other hand, for celebrities who seem to be bad at math, Boom ranked first with 45.15% of votes, followed by female idols Suzy and IU who received 29.1% and 22.9% of votes respectively.

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