THREE DAYS IN THE LIFE: And now, for the rest of the “dog pee” story!


Part 3—Also “empathize on your behind” and of course so much more:
Rachel Maddow only did three programs last week.

On Monday and Tuesday, she was fishing, a fact she forced herself to share on Friday night’s program, during the Friday Night News Dump.

Her Wednesday night program was her first of the week. Her Friday night show was her last.

That Friday program ended with the good solid fun of the News Dump. Yesterday, we showed you Maddow saying “Yay” and declaring herself ready for all the fun. Below, you see the way the fun proceeded on from there.

To enjoy all the piddle, click here:
MADDOW (7/24/15): Are you ready? I’m ready.

{Energetically clapping hands] Yaaaaaay! Friday Night News Dump time!

Producer Nick Tuths, who’s tonight’s lucky player?

TUTHS: Tonight, we have Benny Zelkowicz from Los Angeles, California. He’s an animator. He once published a neuroscience paper in a major journal and he’s co-author of a novel for young readers called "The Foundry’s Edge."
Rachel, meet Benny.

MADDOW: Benny, it’s very nice to meet you. You are a fascinating person from all I hear.

ZELKOWICZ: Thank you very much. It’s nice to be here.

MADDOW: What was the topic of your neuroscience paper?

ZELKOWICZ: It has to do with semantic memory in Alzheimer’s patients.

MADDOW: Semantic memory in Alzheimer’s patients! You’re a fascinating guy! I’m very happy that you’re here. Thank you very much for playing.

ZELKOWICZ: My pleasure.

MADDOW: Three multiple-choice questions. They’re all about this week’s news. I debated whether or not I could ask you questions about when Steve Kornacki was hosting at the beginning of the week and I was off fishing. But I decided it would only be from shows that I hosted, because that’s only fair.

So it’s a sort of condensed quiz this week. But if you get at least two of the questions right, you will win this— [ostentatiously throws to Tuths]

TUTHS: —Mini Rachel Maddow drink mixer!

MADDOW: Teeny, teeny, teeny-tiny cocktail shaker. And for extra credit or a consolation prize, we have something for you that until tonight was cluttering up our office. It’s extra-weird tonight. Go ahead, Nick.

TUTHS: We’ve got Bacon Rub!

MADDOW: It’s to create the sensation of bacon, but there is no bacon in the Bacon Rub.

ZELKOWICZ: Bacon Rub! I look forward to rubbing it on something. I’m not sure what.

MADDOW: Very good. Our friend Anthony Terrell was producing in Iowa. Apparently, Iowa is lousy with this stuff. Anyway, we’ve got it for you.

We’re also going to bring in the voice of Steve Benen from MaddowBlog. He’s the man who determines whether or not you got the right answer. Hello, Steve Benen?

BENEN: Good evening to both of you.

MADDOW: Good evening. All right! Yes, he is up there for you, too. He’s in all of our orbit.


MADDOW: OK! First question is from Wednesday’s show, Benny...
We didn’t mark all the ersatz laughter with which we viewers are conned into thinking that we the Maddowsketeers are sharing lots of fun with our friends from the Maddow show. But the ersatz laughter is liberally present, performed for us gullible viewers.

With this enjoyable News Dump segment, last week’s “three nights in the life” ended with lots of fun. The segment had been preceded by an enjoyable videotaped segment in which we got to see Rachel and Tricia McKinney select that enjoyable Bacon Rub as one of the evening’s swag gifts.

After that, but before The Dump, we had even more fun. We got to see Rachel tell the “dog pee” story again.

On this occasion, she punished us a teeny, teeny, teeny-tiny bit. As we showed you yesterday, she told the wonderful “dog pee” story “long story short.”

What did Maddow mean by that? In effect, she told a teeny, teeny, teeny-tiny version of the “dog pee” story on Friday—a shortened version of the story she likes so much she told it twice last week.

She told it last Wednesday in lengthened form. Today, we thought we’d let you enjoy all the fun from that earlier presentation.

Freshly returned from her fishing, Maddow was going to interview an actual candidate last Wednesday night.

Candidate Santorum was there on the set! He barely registers in current polls, but there were quite a few things Maddow could have asked him, especially given her incessant, improbable nightly claim that candidates like Santorum are about to see their political careers brought to an end by “our friends” at the Fox News Channel.

Maddow has pushed that tribally pleasing theory on a nightly basis for several months. There were a lot of things she could have asked her guest about.

But first, we got to have fun! In the process, we learned to appreciate the wonderfully obvious specialness of our ridiculous corporate host.

Toward that end, Maddow told the “long story long” version of her “dog pee” story. For extra credit or as a consolation prize, she discussed two other funny URLs she has wonderfully purchased.

Below, you see the bullshit we all sat through before she spoke to Santorum. Here’s the way she burned away time right at the start of this segment:
MADDOW (7/22/15): Around the time that President Obama was getting ready to nominate Sonia Sotomayor to be a Supreme Court Justice, the political right decided it was very controversial that President Obama said one of the things he was looking for in a potential Supreme Court justice was that that person should have a sense of empathy.

And our friend Michael Steele was chairman of the Republican Party at the time. And he got on the radio one day in the midst of that kerfuffle and he said this:

He said, and I quote: “Crazy nonsense empathetic. I’ll give you empathy. Empathize right on your behind.”

STEELE: I’ll give you empathy. Empathize right on your behind.

MADDOW: And so, I bought “” We bought that website. And then one day down the road, when I really did make pals with Michael Steele, I was able to offer him

I was able to offer him that website as a gift. It was very satisfying.

We also own “”
If I ever meet and make friends with Senator Fred Thompson, I look forward to give him that web address as well.

I also have one that I’ve been holding on to all of these years and hoping to give to Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

In the 2012 race for the Republican presidential nomination, Senator Santorum went to Florida and he gave a stump speech that included this anecdote, where he was talking about long days, door-knocking on the campaign trail and one particularly hot day when a nice lady not only opened her door to him, she invited him in for a glass of water.

He says this, quote:

“The lady comes back. She hands me the water. I’m patting the dog and taking a drink. The next thing I know, I have this warm sensation. And I immediately jump up, and there on my tan pants is a wet spot where you do not want a wet spot.

“So I get up and she says, ‘Let me get that.’ I said, ‘No, that`s OK. I’m fine, thank you.’ She says, ‘I can get a hair dryer.’ I said, ‘No, we’re not going to do that either.’

“Then she offered to have me take my pants off and put them in the dryer. And by that time I was almost out the door. I thanked her for the water and for the experience and said, ‘I’ll be fine.’ I get out the door and walk out on the sidewalk, I’m halfway through the neighborhood. What do you do?”

The Sarasota Union Tribune in Florida wrote up that anecdote from Rick Santorum’s 2012 stump speech. And then they put this headline on it: "Dog pee can’t stop Santorum."

That was the headline in the local paper. Which seemed both nice, like they got the point of the anecdote, resilience in the face of challenge. But it also sort of seemed sort of unfair.

And so, as a sort of gesture of protectionism, we bought “” And I’ve always wanted a chance to offer it to the senator as a gift.

I mean no harm. I have kept that URL safe as a redirect to my own page all these years...
In fairness, she only burned three minutes with this. To watch that whole segment, just click here, though standard warnings apply.

In fairness, Maddow only burned three minutes with her “long story long.” In the process, we received further instruction in how wonderfully fey and unpredictable the wonderful cable star is.

Such instruction is a very familiar part of this show. So are the types of problems which followed, some of which came into view even before she spoke with her guest, who was still sitting there waiting.

Santorum is a patient man! This was the rest of his introduction, in which we made the key transition from dog pee to man-on-dog:
MADDOW (continuing directly): Particularly, if you are on the left of the political spectrum, there are a handful of things you probably know instantly when you hear the name “Rick Santorum.”

In 2003, he became nationally famous when he was discussing homosexuality and gay rights with an Associated Press reporter. He suggested an equivalence between same-sex relationships and, in his words, quote, “You know, man on child, man on dog, whatever the case may be.”

That inspired the best AP reporter response I have ever seen transcribed ever.
This reporter said in response, quote, “I’m sorry. I didn’t think I was going to be talking about ‘man on dog’ with a United States senator. It’s sort of freaking me out.”

After Senator Santorum lost his Senate seat in 2006 and started campaigning for the presidency, he did keep up a hard edge on social issues.

SANTORUM: One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is, I think, the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea.

Many in the Christian faith have said, “Well, that’s OK. I mean, you know, contraception’s OK.”

It’s not OK, because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to what, what, how things are supposed to be.

MADDOW: If you know just one thing about Senator Rick Santorum, that right-wing culture warrior stuff is probably what you know.

But widen the lens a little when you think about him. Because yes, he is running for president again, for a third time this year. And he is the one Republican candidate who says he is in favor of raising the minimum wage.

In my view, he is the most effective communicator, the best speaker, of all the Republican candidates running for president. And that should count for something, especially in such a large field.

He is also right, absolutely correct, on the issue of how badly the Fox News Channel is screwing up the Republican primary this year by saying they’ll only let ten candidates in the debate, even though at least sixteen are running, and they’re going to set the cut-off over who makes and it who doesn’t based on national polling.

Rick Santorum was the first Republican candidate to both recognize how wrong that was and to be brave enough to say it out loud, even though that meant criticizing the Fox News Channel out loud:

SANTORUM: In January of 2012, I was at 4 percent in the national polls and I won the Iowa caucuses. I don’t know if I was last in the polls, but I was pretty close to last. And so, the idea that a national poll has any relationship as to the viability of a candidate, ask Rudy Giuliani about it. Ask Phil Gramm about it.

MADDOW: He’s right! He’s been right on that for weeks and weeks and weeks.

National polls are and should be meaningless at this point in the process. It is a perversion of the process for Fox News to say national polls are going to decide who’s allowed to debate and who isn’t. He’s right!

That said, Senator Santorum may have been polling at four percent nationally when he ran and ultimately came in second to Mitt Romney four years ago. In the national polls now, he’s barely pushing one percent.

Rick Santorum is in the fight of his political life right now just to stay in the running and be allowed to compete. How did it come to this?
And how does he plan to turn things around?

Joining us now for the interview is the former senator from Pennsylvania and now presidential candidate, Rick Santorum.
Maddow loved that AP reporter’s response! As a matter of fact, it was “the best AP reporter response [she has] ever seen transcribed ever.”

By now, six minutes were gone. Six minutes remained in the segment, at least one minute of which was burned by jocular joking around, along with Maddow’s discussion of her own past experiences with Rand Paul.

Maddow’s first question for Santorum came at the 7:15 mark. In fairness, she did a second segment with Santorum, which ran just under nine minutes.

As we learned on Friday’s program, Maddow had planned to gift Santorum with the “Dog pee can’t stop Santorum” URL during that second segment, thus burning away more time. But in all the excitement, she forgot—and so she did what anyone would have done:

She devoted a segment on Friday’s show to telling the “dog pee” story again. It was teased as an “important matter” she wanted to “finish up.”

Was Maddow’s interview with Santorum worthwhile? How useful was the session, once all the joking was done?

Tomorrow, we’ll start to make an assessment. In fairness, as everyone knows, there are no perfect interviews.

That said, you’ve already spotted a basic factual error in Maddow’s introduction. As she spoke with Santorum, she made a deeply puzzling statement about CNN’s plans for the second GOP debate.

And no! After playing that tape of Santorum, she never asked him if he still thinks that contraception is wrong, if he still plans to talk about that problem as president. After all the joking was done, she didn’t have time for that.

Maddow loves to buy URLs—and she loves to please us Maddowsketeers by discussing herself. But over the course of the past several months, she has mainly loved obsessing about the way Fox News is ruining next week’s August 6 debate, along with everything that’s good and holy about our election process.

This has been one of the dumbest cable news jihads we’ve ever seen performed. It has been performed for months, in robotic fashion, night after night after night.

Why is Maddow playing this peculiar low-IQ game? Two days are left in which we’ll discuss last week’s three days in the life.

We’ll look at her interview with Santorum, and at her months-long obsession concerning next week’s debate. On the bright side, her ratings seem to be on the rise as she clowns and performs in this manner.

Tomorrow: Anatomy of a jihad


  1. Maddow is the type of person who would kill a cherished lion.

    1. And based on the evidence:

      She could do it with a single shot fired from an upside down position on horseback. or

      She would need a gattling gun and would still wipe out half a sub-Saharan nation, or

      She would scalp it with her tomahawk after she killed it.

  2. We get it. You don't like Rachel Maddow and I don't either. But aren't you becoming a little obsessive compulsive about it?

    1. You don't get it. It takes three parts to tell us three times Maddow only did three shows last week.

    2. You don't get it. Bob doesn't read comments on his blog.

      He reads and counts comments on other blogs. Sometimes he tells us about them. He even reprints a few.

    3. I get it. You are using the plural "we" to make fun of Bob. You are a troll.

  3. You go to your market and they don't have the brand of cereal you like -- what do you do? You politely ask the manager to stock it. He doesn't. Then what? Do you shrug and say "well, I tried." Maybe. It depends on how important that cereal is to you. If you care about it, you will ask every week until the manager decides to stock the cereal.

    How important is journalism to citizen participation in our democratic process? Do voters need good information in order to make their choices at the polls? How much do you care about whether democracy works or not? If you care and if you believe that journalism is part of the democratic process, what keeps politicians honest, then perhaps you will complain when journalists don't do their job. Do you complain once and then shut up? Depends on how much you care and whether you really want things to change. If you do, then you complain over and over and over, until other voices join you and things improve.

    I agree with Somerby that Maddow is a clown and we deserve better. I don't want corporations to provide us with entertainment instead of solid information that we can use to guide our choices. I don't care how repetitive Somerby is about this. I think he is right and he should keep pointing out how Maddow and others are failing our process. Maybe Maddow herself will get the point and clean up her act -- it could happen.

    1. At the very least, this is how capitalism is supposed to work, isn't it? If Maddow's show is a product presented by a corporation, shouldn't consumers complain when they don't like it, so that they can improve it -- for market competition reasons?

    2. A duck walks into a store and asks the manager, "Got any bread?"

      The manager says,"I'm sorry, we are all out of bread."

      The duck leaves. He comes back 30 minutes later and asks "Got any bread?"

      The manager, a little piqued, replies,"I told you we are out of bread right now."

      The duck leaves. He comes back in 15 minutes, finds the manager and asks, "Got any bread?"

      "I've told you three times we don't have any bread," the manager screams. "And if you come back here again and ask about bread I'm going to nail your big web feet to the damn floor!"

      The duck waddles away. Five minutes later he is back. He asks the manager, "Got any nails?"

    3. There are societies where journalists can be put in jail for investigative reporting. We have Snowden, who would have been up a creek without fearless journalists. And then we have Maddow, who wastes her chance to help accomplish change. Compare Maddow to Greenwald and maybe you'll understand why Somerby finds her so offensive.

    4. Bobby Jindal learned about the greatness of America by going to the market as a young boy and seeing the shelves lined with many choices we are free to make.

    5. What was it Hillary Clinton said about Edward Snowden?

    6. Democracy has suffered ever since the gatekeepers got too old to watch out for us. I have gotten so old myself I can only eat cereal so I know just what @ 12:15 means.

      I would fight for my favorite fiber supplement but I also have to pee so often I can't hold a sit-in or anything. Plus the restrooms at my market stink. The kids they employ don't clean very well and they don't understand when I complain in English.

      I agree with Hillary about that Snowden fellow too. He should not have gone running to Putin.

    7. Part 2.

      "Got any nails?" asks the duck. The manager gets a puzzled look on his face.

      "Why no", he responds. This is a grocery store. We don't carry nails.

      "Got any bread?" asks the duck.

      Tomorrow: Saving democracy means asking for more than crumbs.

  4. This stupid dog pee anecdote makes me feel sorry for Rick Santorum. Empathy is a double-edged sword.

    1. It would have been worse if his sweater vest was soiled.


  5. I wish Bob didn't wait until the third Dog Pee post to tell us that the Dog Pee Can't Stop Santorum line came from a stupid headline.

    I remember somebody on TV who used to do a regular bit on stupid headlines.

    Jay Leno. Y'all remember Jay Leno. He was Bob's friend. I remember because Bob dropped his name once or twice in a post or two. Bob drops names every now and again.

    Wait, Bob also wrote about name dropping before. I am trying to remember what that was about. Oh, yeah, Chris Hedges. What did Bob write?

    "We only disagree with his ridiculous name-dropping, with his ghastly air of self-importance, and with his apparent belief that his obvious moral greatness allows him to dream up and disappear facts."

    1. Somerby rarely name drops despite being in an occupation where he has met many celebrities. His references to his analysts and sprawling campus are ironic not serious. He has never claimed moral greatness but a desire to improve the world is a hallmark of liberal thought and does not require personal perfection. You understand none of this because you are a stupid troll.

      It is a symptom of brain damage or mental illness that you equate a teaspoon of sugar with a pound and that you confuse human frailty for hypocrisy. The hypocrite pretends to be perfect while criticizing others. Somerby certainly criticizes others, but I haven't heard him claim to be perfect. Nor have I seen him err to the same degree. But you can't tell an inch from a mile and have trouble with distinctions children learn when they are seven. And you never stop, no matter what anyone says to you.

    2. Did you know Ralph Nader once attended one of Bob's shows?
      I think Al Gore caught it twice.

    3. Jay Leno knew how to talk to regular people. Everyday Americans.

  6. Bob is such a prick tease.

    Three whole posts and we still didn't get to find out which prize was given away. Or if the game show participant even won the prize.

    Did Benny get to pleasure himself with Bacon Rub or not, Bob?

    What is the point of this dick grabbing story if you leave out the money shot?

  7. What is this obsession with Rachel Maddow? You claim to be a progressive, yet you use this terrible blog to destroy her incessantly, then an even more terrible rightwing Cult Of Fox blog links it for his bizarre, cultish readers. You know this, right?

    1. Got a link to Cult of Fox? Bob has been linked by so few in the Netroots/ Reality Based Community lately that it would be nice just to see TDH in print.

    2. Search Johnny Dollar's Place, then prepare for madness.

    3. Johnny Dollar's Place or Johnny's Dollar Place?

    4. Dude, type the words the way I wrote them.

    5. The problem is that Maddow represents progressives in a high profile way and she acts like a smug, jackass and even bends the truth in a Fox News way. She is like Fox News in many ways. Bob has said the motivation behind his obsession is her actions are really bad for progressive interests. She belittles and scolds the very people she should be bringing in the progressive fold! It's so dumb! I'm glad someone calls her out.

    6. Maddow last night scolded the very newspaper Bob accused her yesterday of ignoring on the very topic that earned his scorn. And none of his parrots in the comment box mentioned it. He wouldn't dare, of course.

    7. Who watches Maddow?

      Somerby's point is how much time she wastes.

    8. Somerby's accomplishment is nobody on the left could give a damn about his bleatings, yet he has fans on a terrible Fox blog because he reinforces their bizarre hatred of All Things Not Fox. Congratulations.

    9. You'll have to somehow learn to deal with his inter-party nefariousness because he ain't going to stop writing about Maddow, NYT and Salon etc. That's for sure.

    10. Joseph, I was unaware of Johnny Dollar until now, but yeah, his content seems to be nothing more than links to Fox News and Somerby. Interesting.

      But here is something else. Nobody on the right seems to give a damn about Bob's bleatings either. He used to get "Even the liberal Bob Somerby says . . ." links from them, but even that has dried up.

      Bob tried for a while to wean himself from the Maddow-Salon-Zimmerman addiction, but now we are back to "Boxcar Bob's Greatest Hits."

    11. No thanks, I'll go back to ignoring this bizarre little corner of the Internet. I knew about the Maddow obsession, but his revolting Zimmerman content was news to me. Nope. Bye.

  8. Hillary Clinton's position on the Keystone pipeline has me very excited.

  9. I might be off here but Benny Zelkowicz seems like a douchebag. Touting a paper he claims he wrote as if he were an expert or scientist. A search shows many articles on semantic memory in Alzheimer patients, but none with him as author. I don't care for his crappy animation either, but that's subjective; although, his resume is nothing to write home about.

    1. Did you ask the reference librarian for help?

  10. These posts on Maddow and animal pee are killing my brain cells. I have about three left.