PLAYING WITH DOLLS: Maddow’s selectively aching heart!

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13, 2014

Interlude—Back to the past: We’ll go ahead and admit it.

We’d prefer that our intellectual leaders not go on TV and play with dolls—or even with their toy cars.

It does make them easier to adore, if only in a dim-witted way. It may be smart to encourage such reactions, if the suits are paying you $7 million per year.

That said, the analysts were crying last month as Rachel Maddow played with her toy car one night, then with her paper dolls the next. They began to wail when she fashioned a virtual Chucky doll, which she used to assail the national press in one of the dumbest segments we’ve ever seen on TV.

For background, just click here.

Does it serve progressive interests when TV stars behave in these ways? For a further example of Maddow’s odd work, consider the botched executions.

Here at THE HOWLER, we oppose capital punishment. In fact, we always have. (This is easy for us to say. We’ve never run for office.)

To state the obvious, we also oppose botched executions, of which there have been several in the past few months. You almost surely know that fact if you watch the Maddow show, whose host has seemed to make this situation a marker of her achingly pure, perfect liberalism.

We have two main objections to her endless displays. First, though, consider what happened in the week of July 21-25, the week before Maddow played with her dolls, then headed off on vacation.

On Wednesday, July 23, the state of Arizona staged the latest botched execution. In a fairly short, 800-word front-page report, the New York Times described it:
ECKHOLM (7/24/14): In another unexpectedly prolonged execution using disputed lethal injection drugs, a condemned Arizona prisoner on Wednesday repeatedly gasped for one hour and 40 minutes, according to witnesses, before dying at an Arizona state prison.

At 1:52 p.m. Wednesday, one day after the United States Supreme Court overturned a stay of execution granted by a federal appeals court last Saturday, the execution of Joseph R. Wood III commenced.

But what would normally be a 10- to 15-minute procedure dragged on for nearly two hours, as Mr. Wood appeared repeatedly to gasp, according to witnesses including reporters and one of his federal defenders, Dale Baich.

State officials insisted that Mr. Wood had been comatose throughout the procedure and did not suffer.
We oppose this practice when it takes 10-15 minutes. We certainly oppose it when it drags on for nearly two hours.

That said, we oppose a lot of things; this is only one. Watching the Maddow Show that week, a liberal viewer might have felt encouraged to think that this unfortunate series of bungled executions is the most important topic in the world.

Maddow mentioned the execution every night that week. On Monday, she did a 9-minute preview report. This was followed by a short mention on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the botched execution occurred. That evening, Maddow opened her show with a 15-minute segment about the event, followed by a pair of segments on the same topic which totaled nine minutes more.

This set the stage for Thursday night, when she went all-botched for the bulk of her time once again. She opened with a somewhat ghoulish, long-form report which ran more than twenty minutes. She followed with a second botched execution segment which ran 9:27.

All told, the two segments burned 29 minutes and 59 seconds of Thursday’s program, almost three quarters of Maddow’s total broadcast time that night. On Friday night, we got one last segment on the topic, running more than eight minutes.

(To watch Thursday’s first segment, just click this. Warning! More than twenty minutes! To watch that evening’s second segment, click here.)

In the course of the week, Maddow spent about 71 minutes on the Arizona execution, roughly a third of her total broadcast time for the week. That said, there was nothing especially new about this remarkable emphasis. In May and June, she had devoted large chunks of time to earlier botched executions.

Let’s state the obvious. There’s nothing wrong with opposing capital punishment, though we’re not sure that Maddow ever stated that view. There’s also nothing wrong with opposing botched executions.

We oppose botched executions! We want to make that clear!

There’s nothing wrong with opposing capital punishment. Why then were the analysts crying as they watched Maddow that week, the week before they saw her play with her toy car and her dolls?

We asked the analysts that very question. They stated two objections.

Their first complaint was political. Scoldingly, they said we’re old enough to remember when Democratic candidates got massacred on a regular basis for opposing capital punishment.

According to Gallup, support for the death penalty is substantially down from its high point in the late 1980s and early 1990s. That said, we the people are still “in favor of the death penalty for a person convicted of murder” by a margin of 60 percent to 35, or so it seemed last year.

We’re in the minority on this question. But after having our memory jogged, we did remember the bad old days when Democrats got their brains beat out for opposing this ultimate punishment.

(This hasn’t happened for a long time, in part because major Democrats all say things like the following: “While the evidence tells me that the death penalty does little to deter crime, I believe there are some crimes—mass murder, the rape and murder of a child—so heinous, so beyond the pale, that the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage by meting out the ultimate punishment.” That was Senator Obama in his book, The Audacity of Hope. He was running for office.)

Once our memory was prodded, we were a bit annoyed with Maddow’s achingly pure liberalism, but that was just a political matter.

On a substantive basis, this is why our gorge has occasionally risen as she stages these pleasing if occasionally ghoulish exhibitions of her strange moral greatness:

We oppose capital punishment. Then too, we sometimes flip to CNN and to Fox News, where viewers are allowed to hear statements by relatives of the people who got murdered in the cases in question.

In the case of the botched execution in Arizona, this involved statements by Jeanne Brown, whose sister and father were murdered in August 1989.

For transcripts, see below. In all the time Maddow devoted to this topic, she never let us liberal viewers hear a word from Brown that week.

This helps us recall the way achingly pure liberal TV stars can get Republicans elected. But on the substance, our objection is different from that.

Why do we sometimes get annoyed when Maddow burns the airwaves with concern for convicted murderers? Because it makes us recall the many other people for whom she has no apparent concern.

We oppose capital punishment and botched executions. When Maddow lets her heart break over this topic, she shows her achingly pure concern for a relative handful of people who have been convicted of murder.

Do you know who Maddow never discusses? Like almost everyone else on her network, Maddow never discusses the interests of black kids, at least until someone gets shot and killed.

There are millions of deserving low-income kids in this country. Until someone is shot and killed, their interests never get discussed on Rachel Maddow’s program.

Maddow aches for convicted murders, scorns our deserving kids. And please don’t tell us she doesn’t!

Maddow doesn’t deign to tell viewers that our black and Hispanic kids seem to be doing much better in school. For whatever reason, NBC News has been up to its ears in “education reform” in recent years. Like all the other stars on her channel, Maddow refuses to rock the boat on behalf of our wonderful black kids, or on behalf of their much-maligned public school teachers.

By way of contrast, Maddow’s heart has been breaking of late on behalf of convicted murderers. Given the context we’ve just outlined, this will sometimes make our gorge rise, though we oppose capital punishment too.

Was Rachel Maddow playing with dolls in those botched execution segments? You can judge that as you will.

But good God! We remember the days when people like Maddow were expert at getting The Others elected! We’ll draw a single hopeful thought from her spate of botched execution coverage:

Rachel Maddow’s sluggish ratings may offer a hopeful sign. They may suggest that other liberals are tired of her fakey heart too.

Tomorrow: Rick Perlstein’s Nixon doll

As heard that week on Fox: In the week of the botched execution, Jeanne Browne was allowed to speak on CBS News and CNN.

She was also heard on Fox, where she said these things:
HANNITY (7/24/14): Joining me now to react to what some are calling a botched execution is Jeanne Brown and her husband, Richard. Jeanne's sister and father were both murdered by Mr. Wood. Thank you all for being here. Jeanne, let me start with you.

One of the things that infuriates me about the American media is so much time is put in to talking about the guilty party. Let's talk about the pain that your family went through. You lost your sister, you lost your father. Tell us about that pain.

JEANNE BROWN: It's been horrific. Since the day of notification of what happened and going through ups and downs throughout the last 25 years is something that I can't even explain. It's just horrific. I know I have to continue with my life and move forward. And thank God I have my husband here to support me and our wonderful daughter who's behind us on everything. It's just—there's no words to explain what we've gone through. So many ups and downs in the appeals after appeals that he's been allowed. It seems like it's all for the victim.

HANNITY: Again, this goes back to 1989, what 25 or so years ago?

BROWN: August 7, 1989, is the time that it had happened. So it's been a long 25 years. And why—my husband and I question, why does it take this long for something like this to happen when they know he's guilty?

[...]

HANNITY: I'm very sorry, what happened to your sister and your dad. How old were you when that happened?

BROWN: I was 18.

HANNITY: You were 18 years old, 25 years ago. Tell us, do you think that the media spent enough time listening to victims' stories? Because I've met a lot of victims in my life, I've interviewed a lot of people that were victims. It seems like we ignore their stories. It seems the media wants to focus we're not being humane to murderer, to the rapist, to the pedophile. Tell us brutality of the deaths your sister and father endured.

BROWN: Well, thank you for bringing that up, I appreciate it, because it's always brought up of what he did and what he is going through and how he is suffering through the last 25 years. It's never about the victims and the family and what they have to go through and having to live the rest of their lives without their father to look up to and older sister to look up to. It's always about the other side.

And then until this day, yesterday, it was always about him, him, suffering, which he never did suffer. Everything revolves around the criminal or inmate. It's never for the other party. And everybody that is against the death penalty, and I say this: If you've never experienced what we have experienced, you'll never know what we're going through. And seeing what we saw, and having to go to a morgue and see your dad and your sister laying there, and there is nothing you possibly can do, it hurts you inside. It really does. And all of these anti people against the death penalty don't realize it until it would happen to them and one of their closest relatives, husband, wife, daughter, son, whatever it should be.
On CNN, Brown was shown saying this: “So everybody here [was saying] it was excruciating. You don't know what excruciating is. What's excruciating is seeing your dad lying there in a pool of blood, seeing your sister lying there in a pool of blood. That's excruciating. This man deserved it.”

In the narrow sense, none of this speaks to the issue Maddow was exploring that week at enormous length. The fact that the victims were found on pools of blood doesn’t mean that states should botch executions. (Brown and her husband disputed some descriptions of the Arizona execution.)

Brown’s subsequent suffering isn’t relevant to whatever it was that Maddow was aching about. That said, we watched Maddow and Hannity that Thursday night—and Fox viewers were plainly being given a fuller human picture.

How do Democrats lose elections? Playing with dolls, the achingly pure multimillionaire Maddow seems all too happy to show you.

90 comments:

  1. We're not forever stuck in 1988. And, oh, Democrats have been winning elections.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1988? Wasn't that the year Al Gore alerted the Lee Atwater crowd to the Dukakis program for furloughed murderers of which Willie Horton was the most prominent alumnus?

      I have read countless posts here at the Howler about Gore, Dukakis, and Willie Horton. You would think the false charge of Al Gore introducing us to Willie Horton was, next to Love Story, Love Canal, Internet Invention, and doggie Rx's, almost as important as Chris Matthews was in electing Bush.

      Never have I read a word here in the Howler about the family of Joey Fournier and the pools of blood he was found in. Nary a peep here about the suffering of Cliff Barnes or his fiancee, who Horton beat and raped on his vacation from the Massachusettes state pen. Ann Coulter gave a fuller view, detailing the suffering of all three in Godless.

      Delete
  2. Was inventing, and repeating the Chucky metaphor as oiften as Maddow giggles the analysts's idea, or yours?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ignoring the main issue, of course. Should people on the left empathize with convicted murderers to the exclusion of the pain inflicted by them on the families of the murdered? Hard to disagree that Maddow and others should balance their reports by acknowledging that pain too. Somerby is right, but lets nitpick his extraneous remarks.

    In other news, Michelle Rhee is giving up on education reform, according to the NYT. Time to cash in.

    In yet other news, Dowd has heartlessly used the death of Robin Williams to promote her own favorite cause, Hillary bashing. Somerby's other point, that Maddow is becoming as creepy as Dowd, seems to be on target too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "Maddow doesn’t deign to tell viewers that our black and Hispanic kids seem to be doing much better in school."

    Is Somerby having doubts about their progress?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He is expressing doubts about the adequacy of tests as a measurement of academic progress.

      Delete
    2. He's finally abandoning his "rough rule of thumb"? Since when?

      Delete
    3. The rule of thumb is for interpreting test results, not testing the kids.

      Delete
    4. Test results are the sole measure Bob ever proffers for his claim of seeming progress. Unless you are a singularly remarkable girl who can't get in a four year college. Then your test results are evidence that something other than resegregation is at work. Like years of liberal scorn and neglect.

      Delete
    5. I don't mind if you find TDH unconvincing, but howsabout you represent his argument accurately? Test scores are the current measure of educational progress, like it or not. If you are singularly remarkable girl who can't break 16 on the ACT, then your routes to progress are vastly reduced. Perhaps our society ought not wait for a cure for resegregation before we do something about that.

      Delete
    6. Bob is the one who said the superb young lady could not get into a four year college after she had accepted a scholarship offer from one. You are the one who suggested she couldn't break 16 on the ACT when she scored a 17. Fortunately your sentence structure allows you to say "I could have been talking about anyone who can't break 16."

      Bob's alternative to fighting further resegregation and undoing that which has occured depends, as best I can tell, largely on decades of low income mothers speaking to their
      babies with more positive phrases and larger vocabularies.
      This is based on one study in one city with a tiny sample.

      You and Bob are quite the pair.

      Delete
    7. TDH and I are "a pair" only in the sense that for trolls, anybody who notes the trollery in this commentariat must be a "Bobfan." And thanks so much for making my point for me: yup, I got it wrong. Dent broke 16 when she scored a 17. Of course, as the top student in her class and enrollee in advanced placement courses, she's still only in college because there's a school that has a policy (and a mission) of open enrollment.

      Could that be a problem? Could that be a problem not associated with resegregation? Could resegregation even be a problem not solvable in our legal system? Could problems like Dent's be legion because students like Dent are already behind when they first enter public school?

      Who cares? What's important is that TDH said Dent couldn't get into a four-year school and she did. And that I said her ACT score was 16 and it was 17. And did you know that TDH had a failed career as a stand-up comedian?

      Delete
    8. I could care less about Bob's comedic history. I care about errors like your blogger, Bob. Like Miss Lewinsky was not 21, but 22. Like Ms Lewinski wasn't an intern when she Sucked POTUS. Like D'Leisha Dent's class rank has never been known.

      Could creating a school that is all minority and all low income be partly responsible for the top students being low performing?

      Delete
    9. You could care less? Really? How would you do that?

      Could creating a school that is all minority and low income be partly responsible for the top students being low performing? I don't know. What percentage of the student body of a school has to be white before the color rubs off?

      As TDH points out, given the demographics of our public schools in many places, it's going to be very hard to achieve the happy balance of the races that will lead to improved achievement for all. And suppose that children from lower-income families are already behind before the first enter a public school?

      Delete
  5. I get the general drift of Somerby's criticism of Maddow, but he neglects to mention that some convicted murderers who are executed may not have been guilty...

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/death-by-fire/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Surely then the problem is with capital punishment and not with the suffering inflicted by botched execution?

      Delete
  6. "Scoldingly, they said we’re old enough to remember when Democratic candidates got massacred on a regular basis for opposing capital punishment."

    To apply some sage advice here to the old master:

    If you are old enough to remember, your are old enough to remember you admonition to name names.

    If your first objection is political, name anyone who ever took political advice from the Rachel Maddow Show.

    If your second objection is that Maddow shows no concern for the interests of black kids, show one matter beyond performance on test scores where you have shown any interest in black kids. Or low income kids of any race.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In other words, why isn't this a blog about the needs of black kids?

      It chaps my hide when some troll here accuses Somerby of not having a sincere interest in the needs of black kids when he spent 10 years teaching in inner-city schools. That is 7 years longer than Michelle Rhee, and 8-9 years longer than most Ivy league grads. But no, he doesn't know about or care about the problems of the kids he encountered daily in his classrooms for 10 years. I don't know where he now works or lives, but I do know he has black kids as family members and he has continued his activism as an aging liberal (acting in the old sense of community service), so I think he has most likely done more than any given troll to advance the interests of black kids in his personal life. And I have no doubt whatsoever that he cares more and has done more to help black kids than Rachel Maddow has.

      Delete
    2. It chaps my hide when commenters ignore this blog is about media discourse. Bob's blog his medium. We repeat: show one matter beyond performance on test scores where you have shown any interest in black kids. Or low income kids of any race.

      You have cited his teaching, a profession I have read he selected in order to avoid being drafted. You have cited "black kids as family members." We suppose you can show that Bob arranged the marriages which produced those children?

      The issue, again, is coverage. Bob is concerned Rachel Maddow does not cover the interests of black kids. Show us one time Bob has demonstrated an interest beyond covering test scores. And on that front, show us once where his concern was more for the black kids than defense
      of his former guild, the " much-maligned public school teachers."

      Delete
    3. Well, I am so sorry your hide is so chapped. But you might try reading more than his bio on Wikipedia before you launch his sainthood cause.

      For instance, try reading his blog. It reads like it is written by an increasingly bitter old coot and drips with rage, jealousy and venom at anybody who is younger, better educated and far more successful that he is.

      In fact, the highlight of his life is this very blog, which is sad indeed.

      Yes, he taught in school in the inner city for about 10 years -- or long enough to get his old National Defense Student Loans forgiven and paid off. Then he left for the comedy stage. Failing that, he tried op-edding for the Baltimore Sun. Failing that, he turned to blogging.

      And that is a rather pathetic resume.

      Delete
    4. So, why are you here then? How does criticizing Somerby advance the interests of poor black kids?

      There were much easier ways to evade the draft than inner city school teaching that continued long after the war ended. What jerks you trolls are!

      Delete
    5. "There were much easier ways to evade the draft than inner city school teaching......"

      You are a Bob fan. Name them.

      Delete
    6. "Name them."

      1. Join the Texas Air National Guard, then disappear to work on republican campaigns.

      Delete
    7. I'm telling you to stop pretending you know anything at all about Somerby from reading his Wikipedia file. And I didn't say he dodged the draft by teaching in inner city schools. That wouldn't have worked back then, so he avoided military service some other way (I believe the first draft lottery was in 1969, the year he graduated Harvard, so he might have gotten a high number).

      I do know, however, that you got a certain percentage of your (then) National Defense Student Loans forgiven for teaching school.

      Am I saying that's the reason he did it? Nope. I don't know. And neither do you. And for all we both know, the Baltimore School District may have been the only place that would hire him to do anything.

      In short, he may have had high-paying job offers out the wazoo, but chose to change the world by becoming a teacher. Or, he may have had no other choice with his student loans coming due than to take the only job he could get.

      We don't know, do we? But it does seem that only one of us is honest enough to admit that.

      Delete
    8. We do know he is still writing about education issues decades later which suggests commitment not disinterest. You can tells things from behavior. Excess student debt is a modern phenomenon.

      Delete
    9. Is he writing about education, or is he venting his spleen about younger, better educated, and more successful journalists who write about education, but certainly are not nearly as knowledgeable as he is, even given that he hasn't set foot in a classroom in over 30 years.

      Delete
    10. What Bob did for the tomahawk throwing, black and white TV watching Maddow, we gladly do for Bob and his legions of fans.

      All About Bob: From the only media outlet which ever cared.

      "While Somerby didn't share his generation's fiery politics, neither did he want to go to Vietnam. He protested the war in a desultory fashion, and upon graduating in June 1969 found a desultory way out of the draft. The Selective Service had nixed graduate-school deferments, but holders of bachelor's degrees could beat the heat by teaching.

      Somerby needed a classroom, and Baltimore needed teachers. He had read Jonathan Kozol's Death at an Early Age, and was at least as eager to help bring racial justice into the classroom as to avoid getting his butt shot off. He arrived in August 1969, spent 10 weeks in the educational equivalent of basic training, and in November debuted in a fifth-grade classroom at a school in west central Baltimore.

      He hated it. War might have been hell, but at least you could shoot back. “The happiest day of my life was the night before spring vacation that year,” Somerby says. “God, to have a whole week off—it was just thrilling.”

      As the specter of the draft faded, however, teaching began to exert a pull. He logged two years, three, five. He saw flaws in the system and began to catalog them—inadequate textbooks, misdirected curricula, systemic finagling with standardized-test results. Determined to be the next Kozol, he turned to advocacy journalism. But the articles he'd so painstakingly researched and written appeared and faded without a ripple, leaving him frustrated and embarrassed.

      He was 30, an age when he had expected to know what he was doing and to be doing what he wanted. He didn't, and he wasn't. He taught two more years, this time at a junior high. One afternoon in the faculty lounge, he scanned the room and saw colleague after colleague exhibiting the symptoms of clinical depression. He felt the same.

      It was no time to be browsing the Harvard alumni magazine—former roomie Jones was a rising movie star; Gore was in the House of Representatives and angling for the Senate. Meanwhile, Somerby was living a picaresque existence in a Bolton Hill apartment, struggling to survive the school year, keeping busy with a part-time gig as a copy editor for a scientific publishing house. He needed a laugh. An article in the Baltimore Sun led him to El Brookman's in Anacostia, one of the early outposts of the comedy club era."

      We invite devoted Bob fans and critics to read the whole thing. Is it accurate. We don't know. That said, lime the Time article on Al and Tipper being the inspiration for Love Story, we can find no record of objection or correction. So I can truly only say, I didn't say Bob taught to dodge the draft. A reporter with whom he sahre his innermost biographical details did.

      http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/articles/5839/laugh-trick


      Delete
    11. As for his "commitment" to education, check out this entry from Nov. 1, 2005:

      "For the record, our future intentions: In January, we plan to start a new web site focusing on low-income education. In so doing, we hope to start a daily discussion of this forgotten but crucial concern."

      Delete
    12. Anonymous @ 1:23/1:33

      I salute you for trying to name one even though you indicated there were plural "easier ways."

      Can we talk? Enlisting in a branch of the military to avoiding being drafted into the military is certainly "avoiding the draft." Al Gore, after his service in college took the initative in avoiding the draft by enlisiting in the Army. I believe Gore and Bush juniors served about the same time on active duty during an almost overlapping period. One piloted a jet, the other a typewriter. The former required training. The latter was probably an already acquired skill.

      Delete
    13. One enlisted in the Army, was sent to Vietnam, then pulled out by the Nixon Administration who was targeting daddy's Senate seat and didn't want the kid coming home in a body bag.

      The other one had his daddy pull some strings to get him to the front of the Looooong lines trying to enlist in the Guard, thereby keeping the skies of Texas safe.

      Delete
    14. Gore did not get sent to Vietnam until after his Dad was defeated. The suspected reason is that his presence there, whether with typewriter ribbbon, toe tag, or purple heart would have helped Al, Sr. (who had to have been the model for Ray Milland's character Ollie III in Love Story).

      Delete
    15. "I believe the first draft lottery was in 1969, the year he graduated Harvard, so he might have gotten a high number."

      Anonymous @ 1:33 you are technically correct (that being Bob's favorite term for "they ain't lying but I'm going to tell you why you should consider the truth in this case to be false").

      However, young Bob (Harvard 69) graduated (or lost his 4 year undergraduate deferment) in May. The lottery was not until December 1, 1969. By that time Teacher First Class Somerby was already stationed in a fifth grade class in Baltimore.

      Delete
    16. "I salute you for trying to name one even though you indicated there were plural "easier ways.""

      Why don't you ask Dick Cheney, I'm sure he knows some ways.

      Delete
    17. It is a mistake to buy into the trollery. TDH may care about black students; he may not. TDH may have taught effectively in the Baltimore schools; he may not have. TDH may have had altruistic motives for becoming a teacher; he may not have had. None of that matters. It's a TDH thesis that there's a group that claims to champion progressive interests, but fails to on one of those, namely how well public schools serve low-income students. It's a TDH thesis that accurate, incisive reporting is necessary to inform everyone about the progress or lack thereof in education, but that reporters for major news outlets are woefully unprepared and thereby turn out murky and misleading work. It's a TDH thesis that education is filled with ideologues and charlatans who operate without fear of oversight.

      You may feel free to disagree with TDH on one or more of these claims, but he's right or wrong independent of his teaching career, his draft avoidance, or the number of black children in his family.

      Delete
    18. I think he [Somerby] has most likely done more than any given troll to advance the interests of black kids in his personal life.

      Well, since any positive number is greater than zero, you're likely right.

      Delete
    19. Gee, I don't know. I just sent two black kids to college. (my own). I think that advanced their interests.

      Meanwhile, in the past 30 years, Somerby has honed his standup act, had a brief career as an op-ed writer, then turned to blogging.

      Black kids all over America are so much better off.

      Delete
    20. deadrat sez:

      "You may feel free to disagree with TDH on one or more of these claims, but he's right or wrong independent of his teaching career, his draft avoidance, or the number of black children in his family."

      I agree with deadrat. I reiterate my original challenges which have yet to be answered but which deal directly with the thesis of this post:

      "If you are old enough to remember, you are old enough to remember your admonition to name names.

      If your first objection is political, name anyone who ever took political advice from the Rachel Maddow Show.

      If your second objection is that Maddow shows no concern for the interests of black kids, show one matter beyond performance on test scores where you have shown any interest in black kids. Or low income kids of any race."

      Delete
    21. What's your point? That no one can point out that Maddow is at the very least a waste of space unless the critic has shown interest in black kids?

      Delete
    22. Ways to evade the draft that were easier than teaching in inner-city schools:

      Claim to be gay
      Go to Canada or Mexico (less hospitable)
      Claim conscientious objector status (e.g., get religion)
      Develop psoriasis, flat feet, asthma, or some similar innocuous but chronic disease
      Claim mental illness (e.g., develop plausible symptoms)
      Commit a felony
      Cut off a toe or finger
      Get married and have a kid
      Find a job in a defense-related industry (like aerospace engineering) or work for the post office
      Go underground (e.g., off the grid)
      Volunteer for the National Guard

      Once drafted, one way to avoid going to Vietnam was to commit a crime for which you would be sentenced or dishonorably discharged. Drug charges might do if you could get someone to convict you for them. Officer status was to be avoided due to fragging.

      Delete
    23. 8:14 it is too bad Bob didn't have you for a roomie at Harvard instead of straight laced Dad pleasing Ollie Gore IV. What a chump he was to not try one of those easy ways.

      Delete
    24. All the more reason to conclude he was probably not trying to evade the draft, or did you lose track of the point?

      Delete
    25. What part of this old profile did you fail to understand?

      "He protested the war in a desultory fashion, and upon graduating in June 1969 found a desultory way out of the draft. The Selective Service had nixed graduate-school deferments, but holders of bachelor's degrees could beat the heat by teaching."

      Delete
    26. "That no one can point out that Maddow is at the very least a waste of space unless the critic has shown interest in black kids?"

      Here's another sure cure for your and Somerby's obsession with this "at the very least waste of space."

      Don't watch her show. Spend that hour doing research on the internet about the quality of our public schools. You'll find an amazing amount of information that Somerby has told you doesn't exist anywhere.

      But of course that wouldn't be nearly as much fun as joining Somerby in his "I'm-smarter-than-everyone-else" ego trip.

      Delete
    27. 9:34 you fail to realize that 12:29 didn't fail to understand the old profile. 12:29 failed to read it.

      To them the noble Bob wanted to teach black kids. Avoiding a fight with armed kids in black pajamas had nothing to do with it.

      Delete
  7. It seems the media wants to focus we're not being humane to murderer, to the rapist, to the pedophile. Why do we sometimes get annoyed when Maddow burns the airwaves with concern for convicted murderers? When Maddow lets her heart break over this topic, she shows her achingly pure concern for a relative handful of people who have been convicted of murder.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maddow’s heart has been breaking of late on behalf of convicted murderers. Fox viewers were plainly being given a fuller human picture.

      Delete
    2. Perhaps Maddow's heart is breaking because she thinks we should be a better nation with higher principles than revenge killing.

      Delete
    3. She seems to be against slow revenge killing, mostly.

      Delete
    4. Sure she is. And so should every person with a conscience and a soul who isn't stuck in the Middle Ages.

      Delete
    5. As if anyone had a deliberate policy of screwing up an execution out of revenge.

      Delete
    6. Well, unfortunately as the number of screwed-up executions keep adding up, it's beginning to look like it's a matter of deliberate policy.

      Delete
    7. "It seems the media wants to focus we're not being humane to murderer, to the rapist, to the pedophile"

      No, it seems that people like Sean Hannity and Bob Somerby want to believe that is the sole focus of the media.

      But you go ahead and swallow without chewing whatever bone they throw your way.

      Delete
  8. We oppose a lot of things; this is only one. Reading the Howler this week, a liberal reader might have felt encouraged to think that this low rated Rachel Maddow Show is the most influential program in the world.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Somerby aches for Hannity's humanity, scorns our deserving liberal media. And please don’t tell us he doesn’t!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And don't forget the kind words he heaped upon Megyn Kelly right after her "Santa is white" screed. Why the interview she did with the poor low-grade Obama aide over "you can't keep your crummy insurance" was absolutely brilliant! Even her constant interruptions that prevented the poor sap from getting a word in edgewise were done with the utmost professionalism, to keep her guest "on point."

      Have his rubes ever heard the term, "wolf in sheep's clothing"?

      Bob is just another baby-boomer liberal when that was in fashion turned right-winger in his old age now that that is in fashion.

      Delete
    2. And you, 2:12 are just another sap who, regardless of age,
      thinks an artificially selected range of birth dates defines some commonality of behavior. Sorry, I have more respect for astrologers than lazy "thinkers" who invoke generational constructs to explain behavior. At least astrologers have to
      know a little about celestial objects.

      Delete
    3. Sorry, but the world is full of baby boomer civil rights and anti-war heroes who became Reagan and Bush voters in a a New York minute.

      The difference between most of them and Somerby is that they have the honesty to admit who and what they have become.

      Delete
    4. Sorry but the world has always full of people who have grown more conservative as they age from time immemorial. You know, way back before the generation that had no name until somebody decided to call it "Greatest."

      Nitwit.

      Delete
    5. This is also true. But not all people who grow more conservative with time also grow increasingly bitter, jealous and hate-filled at the generation coming up.

      And you can stop building your strawman and pretend that I said ALL baby boomers are sell-outs like Bob, a tea partier at heart who still pretends to hold the same "progressive" values he did in his long-ago "glory days."

      That he pretends to be a "media critic" exposing disinformation, yet so seldom turns his popguns on the single biggest source of media disinformation that exists today screams volumes about Somerby and his "principles."
      -----

      Delete
    6. Somerby seems more an old school liberal, not the newer corporate version obcessed with self promotion and self defeating "identity" politics.

      Delete
    7. Yes, 4:38. Bob never even refers to himself in the first person.

      And all those high places Bob suggests this or that liberal
      would rather jump off of rather than discuss black children indicates how little he cares about identity politics.

      Delete
    8. The former is obviously tongue-in-cheek, the later is NEVER discussed by our corporate media liberals. It's kind of nice that someone at leadt is raising this all important issue.

      BTW, were you charmed when "Rach" gave voice to her dollies?

      Delete
    9. Nope. I was watching a ball game instead.

      Delete
    10. I think 5:33 may have been asking me, 6:51. I find Maddow
      sorely deficient. But I find adding "Chucky" as a means of
      criticizing her puts Bob in her shoes. I recall them to have been described as large, orange, and suitable for circus performance.

      Delete
  10. It's human to be afraid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Its human to be vengeful. Take revenge. Torture. Teach.

      Delete
  11. We oppose capital punishment . . . but not enough for our heart to break about it, nor enough to prevent us from stooping like any right winger to the cheap logic of suggesting the victim's family's desire for revenge should dictate public policy.

    Oh, and Maddow should keep her opinions to herself if they might rub off on Democratic candidates.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Trolls prove blogger's point about how dumb we are.

    Queue the sarcastic ripostes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarcasm? Hadly. Applause! "Trolls" have proven how dumb you are time and time again.

      Delete
    2. Yes, isn't this very blog neatly divided into "Bobfan" and "troll" tribes?

      What would Malala say?

      Delete
    3. What would Malala say?

      I would not shoot Bobifan. I would not shoot trolliban.

      Delete
    4. 2:36P. Trolls prove only their own cluelessness

      3:11P. This blog is neatly divided into trolls and people trolls call "Bobfans."

      3:57. Very good. Touche!

      Delete
  13. Bob's rubes who repeatedly use the excuse that it's his blog and he gets to choose his topics, please note the following:

    "Watching the Maddow Show that week, a liberal viewer might have felt encouraged to think that this unfortunate series of bungled executions is the most important topic in the world."

    You know, Maddow often chooses topics that she thinks are under-reported and deserve some more sunshine on them.

    But how dare she choose a topic Somerby doesn't like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are told that Maddow spent 71 minutes that week on the botched Arizona execution.

      How much bandwidth did Somerby spend over how many weeks on Hannah-Jones' single Tuscaloosa story before reaching the startling that if parents talked to babies, more five-year-olds would be learning Croatian.

      Delete
  14. Would anybody who believes that Sean Hannity really gives a tinker's damn about Jeanne Brown or any other victim of tragedy please raise their hand?

    ReplyDelete
  15. I don't read these comments anymore. Cold turkey!

    Nope, not even reading this thread's 51st comment, the one right above this combox -- it's there, but I ain't reading it. Oh my, that feels good!!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Has Rachel EVER discussed inner city schools or the so-called acheivement gap, just once in the years she's been on the air? If not then it's hard to suggest she even gives a damn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, write her a letter. I'm sure she'd appreciate your input on what she should be covering as much as she appreciates Somerby's.

      Delete
    2. Probably more.

      Delete
  17. I've written hundreds of comments asking the trolls here to go away. Did any of them listen, much less leave? I think Maddow would probably listen even less than any troll has ever listened to my heartfelt plea here. Trolling is a bigger waste of time than listening to Maddow.

    If I were playing with dolls, I would suggest that Somerby is providing a huge public serve by acting as flypaper to attract trolls here and keep them wriggling so that they don't bother people are other websites, or heaven forbid, in real life. Every second a troll spends here typing meaningless garbage is a troll-free moment elsewhere. I nominate Somerby for citizen of the year for his self-sacrifice. Effective troll-bait is hard to concoct day-in and day-out but judging by the persistence of the trolls here, Somerby is a master of that art. Kudos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So now, after hundreds of comments, you have decided your suggestions were wrong and it is now good that trolls ignored you and decided to stay?

      Delete
    2. I doubt it makes any difference what you do here or in your life. Do what you must.

      Delete
  18. The blogger is clearly with Hannity (as are a lot old white male failures in life).

    Hannity being Hannity nullifies the greatest aspect of civilization any modern society must have - punishment is not for vengeance it is to maintain social order. The individual victim should have nothing to say about the punishment. If they feel strongly about it they can lobby to change the law as did Sarah Brady when her husband was shot.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Blogger is a carrying out a strip-tease - before long he's going to reveal himself as a black helicopter kind of guy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you think we will see Mansions of Journalist County or the Nixon doll before or after the revelation?

      Delete
  20. anon 11:32, That would be only Mansions of "liberal" journalists - blogger has absolutely no problems with Hannity, Palin etc. raking the stuff in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If we don't get to see the bullet holes at Lou Dobb's place I will feel a pang of disappointment no matter how exciting and informative the rest of the journey.

      Surely we will see the lavatory where the old coot oils up, no?

      Delete