By comparison, Chris Hayes doesn't: We're always pleased to note the occasions when Rachel Maddow gets something right.
Last night was one of those occasions. Maddow, a punishment lover, is sometimes unfairly mocked as "The Nun." Last night, her instinct for punishment actually served her well.
After some earlier silly piddle, Maddow denounced the violence in San Jose without recourse to tribal excuses. To her credit, this is the way the corporate star started her second segment:
MADDOW (6/3/16): There was a time this year when protests at Donald Trump for president events, those protests generally happened inside those events.To watch this whole segment, click here.
Demonstrators would show up, sometimes they would protest against Mr. Trump silently, sometimes they would stand and up hold a sign, sometimes they'd stand up and yell. And then those protesters would be escorted out by security, and sometimes those protesters would be confronted by angry Trump supporters, and sometimes there would be violence, and Donald Trump would incorporate these disturbances into his stump speech.
He'd yell, "Get 'em out!" "Get 'em out!" That became a regular thing he would scream from the podium.
We sort of almost got used to that as a Trump phenomenon. But over the past few weeks something different has started happening. The totally inappropriate, scary violence we used to see inside Trump events, sometimes egged on by the candidate himself, now that is happening with some regularity outside Trump events, and particularly after Trump events have ended, when some anti-Trump protesters are basically sticking around at the site of Trump events, outside those events, and then they are behaving abominably.
For the record, we probably wouldn't use language that strong with regard to those who misbehaved in San Jose. But then, we aren't the punishment-loving faux prude who's sometimes mocked as "The Nun."
(As we've said before: we assume that nickname, which plays on a stereotype, is unfair to the vast bulk of nuns.)
Maddow chastised the anti-Trump forces in San Jose (and elsewhere) for "behaving abominably," for engaging in "totally inappropriate, scary violence." She played videotape of similar recent conduct in several other locations, then played tape from San Jose, "which was the worst yet."
After playing the videotape, she offered this further assessment:
MADDOW: As far as we can tell, those protests, and that violence, which is not a form of right to protest, that stuff at this Trump event last night in San Jose, it doesn't appear these were coordinated actions. It doesn't appear they were centrally led or directed in any way.According to Rascon, the anti-Trump forces in San Jose went beyond previous acts of misconduct.
But this violence outside Trump rallies, this violence by anti-Trump demonstrators, this is now getting to be a regular occurrence. These clashes and these protests are in danger of becoming a new normal thing in this election landscape, which cannot stand.
This is a new political reality that is new, and that is scary. And we have a lot of weeks to go and many, many, many more political events until November. I want to know how this tide is going to turn.
Joining us is NBC News correspondent Jacob Rascon, who's been following the Trump campaign and has been at a bunch of these protests where violence has broken out, including yesterday in the thick of it in San Jose.
"Usually it doesn't happen like this where the protesters actually just walk up and beat somebody up," the fresh-faced reporter convincingly said. "It happened time after time [in San Jose]. "We saw it more than a dozen times, I think."
After a technical screw-up by her increasingly unprofessional, clown-inflected staff, Maddow played tape of "a strong statement tonight from Bernie Sanders speaking off the cuff, asked by reporters to respond to these ugly incidents that happened last night with anti-Trump protesters chasing down Trump supporters in the streets of San Jose outside that Trump event."
Maddow got it right! She offered no excuses for "the violence at the San Jose rally." As she has done in the past, she implied that this conduct is politically unconstructive. She said it "cannot stand."
Maddow offered no excuses for the violence in San Joe. One hour earlier, her colleague Chris Hayes took a markedly different approach to these same events.
Midway through his show, Hayes referred to the previous night's "assaults." Below, you see where he went next.
We apologize for the jumbled transcript. Because the Hayes show didn't post the videotape of this segment, we aren't able to proofread the official corporate transcript which is, as always, a bit of a corporate mess:
HAYES (6/3/16): Last night, we saw disturbing images out of Donald Trump's rally in San Jose, California, where some protesters gathered outside the event, assaulted Trump supporters.This is classic tribal conduct. Rather than show you what happened in San Jose the night before, Hayes treated you to familiar old tape of familiar old incidents—familiar old incidents in which the misconduct came from The Other Tribe.
Those attacks, of course, become the contest of a long campaign that has featured many incidents of violence at Trump rallies, much of it prior to this, by Trump supporters against anti-Trump protesters. Students being pushed around by a self-avowed white supremacist, to a young man being punched in the face at a rally in North Carolina.
The violence at times encouraged either explicitly or tacitly from the podium by Donald Trump himself:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
TRUMP: Get him out! Get him out, troublemaker. Get him out of here!
TRUMP: I'd like to punch him in the face, I'll tell you. In the old days, they didn't come back, I can tell you that. They were gone. They were taken out, they were gone.
TRUMP: They realize that there are no consequences to protesting anymore. There used to be consequences. There are none anymore.
TRUMP: So if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. OK? Just knock the hell—I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
HAYES: Ahead, we'll show you one clip from last night that captures, I thought, the tensions running through Donald Trump's rallies.
On a program which allegedly presents the "news," he showed you tape of months-old incidents in which The Others were wrong. He withheld tape of the many new incidents in recent weeks in which We have become the miscreants.
That's a form of brainwashing too. In accord with Hard Tribal Law, we viewers were allowed to see one type of incident only—the type of incident where the misconduct came from The Other Tribe.
Let's be fair! In the closing segment of his show, Hayes finally played that "one clip from last night," the clip that somehow "captures the tensions running through Donald Trump's rallies."
In fact, that clip didn't show any conduct inside "Donald Trump's rallies." It showed violence in the street of San Jose, violence which was being conducted by anti-Trump forces.
In our view, Christopher Hayes was frameworking hard. In the passage shown below, he describes that one piece of tape, and he builds a classic tribe-friendly framework around the violent incidents which have occurred in this year's campaign.
To watch this full segment, click here:
HAYES: Last night, outside of Donald Trump's rally in San Jose, we saw some really upsetting scenes of violence. Protesters, by the hundreds, anti-Trump protesters, gathered outside Trump's campaign rally.How odd! Rascon described "more than a dozen incidents" in which anti-Trump people "actually just walk up and beat somebody up."
Most of the demonstrations were peaceful. Things at times did turn violent.
Out of all the videos and images that came out last night, there was one that stood out to me in particular for the complexity and intensity of emotion it showed:
[VIDEOTAPE OF INCIDENT]
You see a man in a Trump hat with other men surrounding him, pushing him, while female anti-Trump protesters surround him, trying to intervene, yelling, "No violence, no violence." Another man taking him from behind and escorting him away from the folks that are trying to punch him.
it was a really bad scene, and yet, oddly, becoming a familiar one at Trump's rallies, even if the violence in the past has generally gone in the other direction.
Events have become cauldrons of hatred and reaction to that hatred, and speaks to the disturbing nature of what is being built around the Trump candidacy, around his rallies in particular.
Joining me now, Bob Garfield, co-host of WNYC's On the Media.
Hayes played tape of only such incident—an incident where he can show us members of Our Team yelling, "No violence, no violence" and otherwise trying to help the man who is being attacked.
Hayes then built a wonderful framework around the relatively small number of violent incidents which have occurred in the past year.
According to Hayes, "events have become cauldrons of hatred and reaction to that hatred." Translation:
When They do it, it's "hatred." When We do it, it's "reaction to hatred." In accord with ancient tribal law, when We engage in violent conduct, complexity will be found!
Hayes played tape of several months-old events—events which make Their Team look bad.
He played tape of only one new event from the night before. In this tape, he noted the helpful members of Our Team yelling, "No violence, no violence."
This is a form of brainwashing too. On your corporate liberal channel, you're being restricted in what you can see. Hayes is helping you maintain a bogus idea, an idea that predates the human race:
The good people are all Over Here with Us. The bad people are all Over There.
That ancient belief is never true—and yes, this is a form of hypnosis. In this way, you're being dumbed way down, in service to the corporation, which exists now to please the tribe, whose members provide those good ratings and those high ad rates.
Maddow got it much more right! She actually featured the recent events. She built no dismissive frameworks.
Alas! On Monday, we'll return to her clownish behavior concerning Governor McAuliffe last week. On these occasions, the cable star's attraction to punishment and dimwitted scolding served the world very poorly.
Also this: On Hardball, Trump was blamed for the violence in San Jose in another way, a way which is getting familiar.
He shouldn't have been in San Jose at all! Because he went to San Jose, the violence was really his fault!