Part 5—Today we have comic relief: As we constantly tell the analysts, we’d like to teach the world to sing.
We’d also like to see robust attempts at liberal/progressive outreach. Here’s what such outreach would look like:
As the term implies, our outreach would be aimed at people who aren’t currently inclined toward the “liberal/progressive” outlook. As one of the principal rules of our outreach, we’d have to listen to what they had to say before we informed them they’re racists.
If we planned to conduct real outreach, we’d have to consider the possibility that We might even learn something from Them as we listened to The Others.
That wouldn’t be likely to happen, of course, in large part because of the various ways We are.
“Stuff happens,” Candidate Bush said last week. Our team jumped on the pair of words, rather dumbly in our view.
That said, our own team’s stuff just seems to keep happening as our nation keeps descending into the war of the all against all. As an example of our team’s stuff, consider what Rachel Maddow did again last night.
Once again, Maddow played her current favorite videotape. It’s the highlight reel where Kevin McCarthy says he visited “Hungria” while performing other remarkable malaprops.
For our money, the tape is surprising and strange. It would have been interesting to see an attempt to learn what these malapropos might mean about McCarthy in some overall sense.
That isn’t Maddow’s approach. Instead, she just keeps playing the videotape, clowning and laughing—even helplessly dropping her head on her table!—as she mocks the dumbness of Their Next Speaker.
Is Kevin McCarthy fundamentally incompetent in some way? As of yesterday, the question matters a great deal less, but that question was never Maddow’s focus.
Instead, she performed her familiar role as the clowning clown of cable news. She entertained us with her skills as a comic and flattered us with the obvious message:
Those People are very dumb.
Last night marked the fifth time in her last six appearances that Maddow has pleasured us in this way. Every night, we get to see our own clowning clown wasting our time, and dumbing us down, as she burlesques Those People.
On the bright side, we learn to adore Rachel more. But we think a large price is paid.
Just for the record, Those People often are rather dumb—but then again, so are We, over here in our own tribe! If we might borrow from Brother Foxworthy:
You may be pretty dumb if—if you swallowed Rachel’s interview with Brian Williams last week.
Back in 1999, Brian Williams kept ranting and raving, night after night, about Candidate Gore’s troubling polo shirts, which he said were somehow being used to attract female voters. Being pretty dumb, our tribe couldn’t seem to see or comprehend the con which was being played.
We still don’t discuss what Brian did, even as very similar games keep getting played this year. Instead, we sit and watch as our clowning clown, in a whole different pose, hands him perfect bullshit like this on the day when Boehner said that he would be stepping down:
MADDOW (9/25/15): The crying thing about John Boehner has given rise to a million memes, and it is something that people make fun of him for.You would have thought that Boehner had died, Rachel was faking so hard!
As a crier, it is one of the things that I have always loved about him. And to see somebody with that much power and with that much responsibility, and having to deal with that many conflicting crosscurrents all the time, to see somebody who is willing to be seen crying, even at just Hallmark moments, not just giant moments—he cries at the small stuff too. And somebody who’s willing to, you know, sing “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah,” literally, to the press corps when they’re waiting for an important pronouncement? When he’s willing to blow kisses as an ostentatious way of not making comment when he wants to deflect the press attention?
His humanity in the job has been refreshing and lovable. And there aren't that many lovable politicians, I don't think, at least on such a big stage. I hope we get somebody else who keeps in mind the human version—the human elements of the job, because I think it makes the whole practice of politics more relatable.
We know, we know—you think we’ve invented that speech! You don’t believe that Rachel told Brian that Boehner’s crying “is one of the things she has always loved about him.”
(Really? Just one of the things?)
You don’t believe that Rachel told Brian that Boehner’s “humanity in the job has been refreshing and lovable.” You don’t believe she cited his blowing of kisses as one of the lovable things she had in mind.
If you watch Rachel’s evening show, where Boehner has been a long-standing target, you don’t believe Rachel said those things to her multimillionaire host, who gained his millions in the worst way, even though our brilliant team was never quite able to notice.
Luckily, the tape exists where you can watch Rachel do this! And by the way:
If you choose to watch the tape, please note the very different persona and pose Rachel chose for this occasion.
It’s the pose of the deeply thoughtful, civic-minded, upper-end Very Serious Journalist. For whatever reason, Rachel abandoned her familiar pose as our own clowning clown, instead adopting this thoughtful persona to suit this august occasion.
“Where’s the authenticity?” a few of the analysts cried. Being young and full of ideals, they simply can’t convince themselves that they’re constantly getting played by the clowning clowns and multimillionaires who hand them their daily reams of misdirection on their TV machine thingies.
For today, we’ll merely offer the comic relief which emanates from that ludicrous tape. Sometime next week, we’ll plan to show you what Nighttime Rachel said on the occasion, some years ago, when she discussed Boehner’s crying.
Nighttime Rachel didn’t seem to [HEART] that crying so much. Speaking with Brian, Daytime Rachel chose to adopt a much more thoughtful pose.
We’d love to see liberal/progressive outreach—serious outreach to Them, the dumb and unwashed. At present, that’s rarely part of our own team’s approach.
We’re speaking about the ways We are, a topic we’ll look at next week.
The strictly from Hungria files: Rachel unveiled McCarthy’s malaprops on Wednesday evening, September 30. This followed Dana Milbank’s discovery of the phenomenon.
Since then, Rachel has clowned about the malaprops on every program but one. These are the evenings on which we’ve enjoyed the work of our own clowning clown:
Wednesday, September 30
Friday, October 2
Monday, October 5
Wednesday, October 7
Thursday, October 8
On October 6, Rachel was absent, replaced by a guest host. Why didn’t she clown on October 1?
We had the Oregon mass shooting that day! On days when a mass shooting occurs, Rachel drops her bullshit themes and adopts her Cronkite pose.