A genuine crackpot gets off: Governor Ultrasound was indicted yesterday. So was his wife.
Personally, we’re pretty much sorry they were. We don’t root for people to get their lives turned upside down in these ways.
Their conduct seems to have been ridiculous, but it seems that little harm was done. Little harm, or perhaps none.
There’s a problem with the scandal culture which has lurked about since the Watergate days. Last night, Rachel Maddow—a genuine nutcase in this area—helped the world see what it is.
McDonnell is a minor figure at this point. His career was already pretty much shot due to his ridiculous, money-grubbing behavior—the type of conduct which should seem familiar to a cable “news” host.
McDonnell simply doesn’t matter. But to a genuine nut like Maddow, he matters very much. Nothing else really does.
Maddow devoted the first two segments of last night’s program to McDonnell’s indictment. Given the length of her opening segment, roughly sixty percent of her program was devoted to this topic.
When the McDonnell scandal coverage ended, she turned to the Christie scandal coverage. Nothing got discussed all night except the thrill of scandal.
Rachel loves it when The Others get in trouble. Stroking herself and seeming to groan, she started off like this:
MADDOW (1/21/14): When it rains, it pours. Former Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia and his wife, the first lady of Virginia, Maureen McDonnell, have today been indicted by federal prosecutors on more than a dozen felony charges. If they are convicted of those charges and they face the maximum penalties allowed by law, they could be looking at decades in jail and fines of over $1 million.Exactly! To anyone even slightly sane, the highlighted passage is the obvious problem here. But in matters like this, it never enters Maddow’s head that prosecutors can sometimes perhaps get carried away, just as governors can.
Maddow devoted a 23-minute opening segment to her joy at this news. And when she returned from commercial break, good God! She started all over again!
How crazy is Maddow in these affairs? Below, you see the lunacy with which she started her second segment.
“One of the things about a criminal indictment is that you get a lot of specifics,” this full-blown crackpot said. After that, she proved her point.
Remember, she had already spent 23 minutes on this topic. Then this:
MADDOW: One of the things about a criminal indictment is that you get a lot of specifics. So for example, in the Bob McDonnell corruption scandal in Virginia, there’s been a lot of reporting over the last nine months or so about the kinds of gifts that the governor and his family took from the CEO of the Virginia company who figured in the scandal.Not since Hephaestus forged Achilles' shield have we heard such an endless narration. Start at graf 478.
Before today, though, before the actual indictment came out, including this forfeiture list of items that Governor McDonnell and his wife will be expected to hand over if they are convicted, this forfeiture list, we’ve never had this kind of detail about what they took.
But now we know, if convicted, they will have to hand over the sum of not less than $140,805.46.
Black Rebecca Minkoff shoes, a black Louis Vuitton shoes, white Louis Vuitton shoes, a cream Louis Vuitton purse, a cream Louis Vuitton wallet, a silver Rolex watch, engraved with "71st governor of Virginia," a yellow Peter Som dress, a blue Armani jacket, and two matching dresses, two gold Oscar de la Renta dresses, a black Louis Vuitton raincoat, a gold Oscar de la Renta sweater, one pair of Emilio Rose earrings, one Gear sweatshirt, two pairs of Footjoy golf shoes, one button down Ralph Lauren shirt, one white Peter Miller golf shirt, one baby blue striped Peter Miller golf shirt, one royal blue Peter Miller golf shirt, one aqua fairway green tech golf shirt, one white striped Ralph Lauren golf shirt, one ping University of Virginia golf bag, one ping Kinloch golf bag, one Sun Mountain Notre Dame golf bag, two sets of golf clubs, one Heather McKenzie watercolor and frame, two iPhones, and 30 boxes of Anatabloc.
All of which the governor and his wife and family reportedly took as gifts from the CEO of the company that makes Anatabloc.
This was the start of Maddow’s second segment on this topic. On and on and on she went, stroking herself and reading the list, not failing to mention the one white Peter Miller golf shirt and the several golf bags.
If Governor Ultrasound is convicted, all must be given back!
After this, Maddow spoke with Kendall Coffey about how “very, very detailed” the indictment is. After Coffey slithered away, Maddow returned to her abundant self-stroking.
She told us how she’d spent the day. She told us what would be next:
MADDOW: I will say, just because I have been marinating in this indictment since it came out this afternoon, I’ve got to say, “bribery” does appear. Counts 2 through 4, “defendants, Robert F. McDonnell, Maureen McDonnell, and others, known and unknown to the grand jury, knowingly and intentionally, having devised and intended to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud the citizens of Virginia of their right to the honest services of the governor of Virginia through bribery.”Maddow’s entire program was about scandal. This is one of the obvious problems with the scandal culture and the love of same.
Also, the word "extortion" is in there two pages later.
This is absolutely—this has been a scandalous story from the beginning, but the detail that is in this indictment is, I’ve got to admit, even for just a layman, it’s almost mind bending. I almost can’t believe this isn’t a movie.
All right. Also, today was Governor Chris Christie’s inauguration day in New Jersey. And lots of activity surrounding that governor’s bridge scandal managed to transpire today, despite this other scandal and despite the inauguration and despite the huge snowstorm that is socking the East Coast in the face as I speak.
Lots ahead. Stay with us.
Beyond that, we were struck by an obvious point. Throughout last evening’s marathon, we were struck by the resemblance between the McDonnells and the people who work in cable news.
Can we talk? Bob McDonnell and his wife behaved extremely foolishly. That said, they took a very tiny pittance compared to the millions that flow to certain clowning hosts on cable news channels.
Those people have defrauded the public much more than the McDonnells seem to have done in the case of the free golf bags.
According to Coffey, the indictment says “there was an ongoing scheme to extract all kinds of personal benefits, in effect, close to $140,000 in largely cash items—the rather intriguing list of consumer items that you just detailed—in order to get favorable treatment from the governor’s office.” That’s peanuts compared to the millions of dollars people like Maddow take for their clowning and their dissembling and their acts against the public.
Good God! By the time of the Bush-Gore election, Chris Matthews was being paid $5 million per year by Jack Welch to send Bush to the White House. He earned that bribe in the most heinous ways, as Maddow of course understands.
Last October, she referred to this fraudster as “my beloved colleague and pal, Chris Matthews.” If you have a strong stomach today, you can just click here.
The McDonnells behaved very foolishly. The conduct of others is worse; their paydays are much larger.
Always include the kids: Yesterday, we mentioned the way Rachel likes to drag the children into stories of this kind.
As always, your Daily Howler was right. This is the way Maddow started last evening’s bill of attainder:
MADDOW: And if you want to know where it started, it started with the chicken dinner. The catered chicken dinner at the wedding for one of Governor Bob McDonnell’s daughters, which was hosted at the governor’s mansion back in June of 2011.The story goes on and on from there. We’ll suggest that you go to her site and watch a real crackpot at work.
A June wedding is always a nice thing. A June wedding of the governor’s daughter is the kind of thing people love to hear about. And when the wedding is hosted at the absolutely lovely governor’s mansion in Richmond, Virginia, that is the kind of thing that’s going to get a lot of adoring attention.
When people wish harm on others this much, we sometimes wonder what steers them.
Tomorrow: Was that a real correction?