Here’s what it doesn’t look like: How would it look if the liberal world conducted real press criticism? Not just of the Fox News Channel, but of the mainstream press?
Here’s what it wouldn’t look like. Last night, Rachel Maddow was criticizing “the Beltway media” again—or at least, she was pretending to do so:
MADDOW (2/5/13): The accusation that President Obama has grown the deficit giantly since he has been in office is a very politically potent accusation. And when Republicans say it, the Beltway media tends to write it down as if it was true.According to Maddow, Republicans have been saying that Obama “has grown the deficit giantly since he has been in office.” And when Republicans make that claim, Maddow says “the Beltway media” tend to write it down as if it’s true.
It is not true. It has not been true for a very long time, and there’s really no excuse anymore for not knowing that.
Like everything else, that’s possible! But Maddow didn’t quote any Republican actually making that (bogus) claim. More significantly, she didn’t cite any mainstream journalist or mainstream news org which had advanced such a claim.
(To watch the whole segment, click this.)
Gullible liberals may hear such a statement and think Maddow's playing it tough. In fact, she is basically clowning. In the process, she’s making her liberal viewers dumber while avoiding a fight with a powerful mainstream press corps—the cultural sea within which she swims for her millions of dollars per year.
Did Maddow ever explain who she was talking about in this segment? Was it ever clear who she meant by “the Beltway media?”
Did she ever name the person who has said that Obama “has grown the deficit giantly since he has been in office?” Did she ever cite a Beltway news org which has made that (bogus) claim?
Predictably, no. During the segment, she discussed Obama’s appeal to the Congress to delay the imposition of next month’s scheduled budget cuts. (We think that’s good advice.) Earlier in her presentation, this is the spot where she first mentioned those wascally Republicans—and one major national news org:
MADDOW: The Republicans, of course, want another round of harried negotiations. Speaker John Boehner, second-place vice presidential finisher Paul Ryan, they say they do not want out of this latest self-imposed crisis in Washington. They want to use the threat of that crisis, they want to use the threat of this sequester thing, the threat of a self-imposed recessionary force, to force the president into spending cuts he otherwise would not make.Maddow was snarking about Boehner in that last statement. But in this passage, she doesn’t cite any Republican making the claim she would later describe. Nor is the Wall Street Journal shown to have made such a claim.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month on why they feel that way. Quote, "The driving passion for Mr. Boehner in these fiscal debates is his conviction that trillion-dollar deficits are sapping the country of its energy and prosperity."
Trillion-dollar deficits, his driving passion. Everybody loves John Boehner’s passion.
As she continued, Maddow hoisted a chart and made these (accurate) statements:
MADDOW (continuing directly): But this is supposedly what he feels so passionate about. This is a chart of the country’s budget deficit levels every year. Red bars are President Bush’s deficits from 2008 and 2009. Blue bars are President Obama’s deficits. Those really big bars are when the whole world economy crashed, including ours. Remember that?Indeed, Maddow’s chart showed the deficits getting smaller in the Obama years. But it also showed four straight annual deficits which were, in fact, over one trillion dollars each year.
You notice how the deficit gets smaller when the bars are blue over time? See how they’re getting shorter as you go to the right?
As she continued, she made another accurate statement. She then moved to the bogus claim which still had no named author:
MADDOW (continuing directly): Today, the Congressional Budget Office released their deficit projection for 2013. So for this upcoming year, the nonpartisan CBO, their projection, and according to them, under President Obama, the deficit is slated to continue to shrink, as it has been under President Obama.That highlighted statement is true. The 2013 deficit is projected to be just $854 billion—assuming those spending cuts are made, the cuts Obama wants to halt. (We agree with Obama’s judgment.)
But the supposedly gigantic growth of those deficits is why congressional Republicans are committed to us lurching from self-imposed crisis to self-imposed crisis instead of us working this stuff out like adults.
At this point, Maddow moved to her key accusation—her unsupported key accusation. She referred to “the supposedly gigantic growth of those deficits.”
From the chart, a viewer could easily see that such an accusation would be wrong, that the deficits haven’t been growing. But Maddow has quoted no Republican making that claim, and no one in “the Beltway media.”
From there, she moved to the ringing claim with which we opened this post: Republicans say that Obama has grown the deficit giantly since he has been in offcie. And when Republicans say it, the Beltway media tends to write it down as if it was true.
We hate to be the ones to tell you, but Maddow is often a bit of a fraud. That segment last night was lazy, dumb and insulting. Its central claims were thrilling to hear—but they were unsupported.
Did we mention that this segment was presented by Rachel Maddow? As usual, Maddow was posturing for easily pleased liberal viewers while failing to challenge anyone in the actual mainstream press corps.
What would liberal press criticism really look like? Thrust us—this ongoing scam isn’t it.
Your challenge, should you choose to accept it: Can you name a major mainstream journalist or news org Maddow has ever challenged?
She constantly dings "the Beltway media." Have you ever heard anyone's name?