And we gullibles get propagandized: What does propaganda look like? As opposed to news or reporting?
Rachel Maddow showed the world again at the end of last evening’s program. Once again, she fed us the facts—rather, she fed us the limited set of facts she felt we needed to know.
To watch the segment, click this:
MADDOW (3/25/13): Over the last couple weeks, we have been covering on the show the protesters in the city of Detroit who’ve been taking to the highways in and around the city and driving really ostentatiously slowly. They’re causing huge traffic jams on purpose, being civilly disobedient of the minimum speed laws in order to bring transportation to a halt. They are protesting the citizens of Detroit having their voting rights taken away.Rachel is certainly right on one point. She has told us this story many, many times. As she does, she uses her vast intellect to hand us rubes the most obvious fact in the world.
Michigan’s Republican governor, Rick Snyder, overruled local voting rights thus far in Flint, Michigan, in the Detroit suburb of Allen Park. He did it in school districts of Muskegon Heights and Highland Park. He did it in Benton Harbor, too, taking away the power of local elected officials there.
Rick Snyder relieved those towns of their democracy because he said they were too broken to be trusted to use it anymore. Instead of being allowed to choose their own locally elected officials, Rick Snyder instead installed a single state-appointed emergency manager who has basically unilateral, unelected power.
Then, two weeks ago, Governor Rick Snyder decided the state would take over Detroit, too, take over the state’s largest city. Democracy had to go in Detroit, just as it had in all of the other smaller places.
Darling Rachel got sold to us rubes as Our Own Rhodes Scholar. That said, a seventh-grade drop-out could understand that the normal flow of democracy has been stanched when emergency managers get appointed.
Anyone on earth can see that. But that is about as far as Rachel’s “reporting” goes.
Last night, Rachel repeated her normal claims, the claims we’re permitted to hear. Emergency managers haven’t worked anywhere else in the state, she again alleged. (Except in that one little teensy weensy town.)
As viewers, we are asked to believe this statement because our darling Rachel keeps saying it. She has never presented an outside authority to assess her glorious claim.
Every time Rachel “reports” this story, she feeds us the same set of claims, presented as if they were facts. She also buries the same set of facts. She always forgets to tell us that Democratic governor Jennifer Granholm was appointing emergency managers in Michigan before her successor started to do so. She has never tried to explain why Granholm and Snyder might do this.
From watching Maddow, you might get the impression that this practice occurs in Michigan only. That isn’t true, of course. But why should this horrible TV performer spoil a simple tale?
Is there some sort of possible reason for appointing emergency managers? You’ll never find out from watching Maddow! We were struck again by today’s New York Times, where the Detroit situation sounded somewhat different:
Bill Vlasic did the news report. This is the way he started:
VLASIC (3/26/13): The city’s new emergency manager spent his first day on the job trying to build bridges with elected officials while at the same time preparing to impose financial controls that could include pay cuts for the mayor and City Council.Mayor Bing doesn’t make Rachel’s capably Xeroxed “reports.” He isn’t cooperating with her desire to hand us cable rubes the world’s number-one dumbest story.
The emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, a Washington bankruptcy lawyer, officially took office on Monday amid a flurry of protests from residents opposed to his appointment by Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan. But Mr. Orr seemed undaunted by the controversy surrounding the state’s takeover of Detroit, and he began his tenure by extending a “sincere olive branch” to city leaders.
With Mayor Dave Bing at his side, Mr. Orr pledged to consult with elected officials on plans to improve services and bring fiscal discipline to the state’s largest city.
“We’re going to work together as best we can to do what we can for the city,” Mr. Orr said.
Later in his news report, Vlasic reported that Mayor Bing “said he respected Mr. Orr’s authority to make changes.” He also gave us some small idea of why governors like Granholm and Snyder might impose such regimes:
VLASIC: Mr. Orr arrived for his first day in office at 7 a.m. and moved into vacant office space on the same floor as the mayor in the municipal building.Do the streetlights work on the street where Rachel lives? We see very little sense that this cable multimillionaire cares if they work in Detroit. Or if the city’s emergency vehicles work:
He brought along his only outside hire so far, William Nowling, a former campaign aide to Mr. Snyder who will be Mr. Orr’s communications director.
Mr. Nowling said he expected Mr. Orr to “be transparent” in his decisions on changes in city government, particularly on issues like restoring streetlights in darkened neighborhoods.
“He definitely is not going to let any dust gather,” Mr. Nowling said. “Every decision he will make will come in the form of an official order.”
VLASIC: The donation is a timely boost for a city struggling to meet public-safety needs with many ambulances and police cars in disrepair. It also shows a growing sensitivity among hometown corporations, like General Motors and Chrysler, to Detroit’s financial troubles.What is the state of play in Detroit? You’ll never learn that from watching Maddow, a genuine pure-bred hack.
“This is a perfect example of how the business community can work with the city,” said Roger Penske, the motor-racing entrepreneur.
But the new police cars highlight the reality that the city cannot afford to hire more uniformed officers to staff them.
“With the financial straits the city is in, it’s going to be difficult to bring in additional people,” the mayor said.
Night after night, week after week, she feeds us the same simple-minded story, a story everyone pre-understands. We hear about the protests, as of course we should. But we don’t hear about the problems, or about the people who think the move may make some sort of sense.
We never hear from national or local reporters or editors. We hear from Rachel herself—and she always gifts us with the same simple-minded story.
They told us she was Our Own Rhodes Scholar. She’s something much dumber, much worse.