Comic relief: The (many) errors of Maddow County!

MONDAY, JULY 25, 2016

No country for old men:
Last Thursday night, Donald J. Trump had finally finished his deathless convention speech.

If balloon drop delayed is balloon drop denied, the hopeful was being denied. Eventually, Rachel Maddow stepped into the breach. This was her first remark:
MADDOW (7/21/16): This is a, this is a landmark thing. Nobody quite like this has ever been nominated as a major party candidate for president. He will be the oldest man ever nominated for president in this countrty by either party.
"There she goes again," the analysts cried. Several tore at their hair.

Does anybody bungle trivia the way this poser does? We've told the analysts to laugh it off. Increasingly, though, they can't do so, and we're not sure they should.

Sorry, Charley! Donald J. Trump is not the oldest man ever nominated for president in this country. If we go back far enough in our history, we can find older such men.

Donald J. Trump was 70 years old as he graced that balloon-free stage. All the way back in 2008, John McCain had been 72 when he was nominated. Long before that, in 1996, Bob Dole had been 73!

Moments later, Maddow tried again. Producers had whispered in her ear. She therefore proceeded to tell us rubes what she had meant to say:
MADDOW: Speaking of reporting, I should say, I said that Donald Trump is the oldest nominee. What I meant to say was that, if he is elected, he would be the oldest man ever elected president.
That wasn't exactly right either. In 1984, Ronald Reagan was 73 when he was elected for the second time. As the poser struggled on, she finally assembled a string of words which could perhaps be called technically accurate:
MADDOW (continuing directly): There have been other people his age or older who have been nominated. But if he gets all the way, he will be the oldest man ever to ascend to the White House.
A person could say that was accurate. It all depends on what the meaning of "ascend to" is!

As a general matter, this sort of thing doesn't exactly matter. On the whole, Rachel and Them were just killing time with trivia in the wake of Trump's speech.

Plus, this trivia was off the cuff. Presumably, she hadn't been working from prompter.

That said, Maddow's regular nightly program has become more and more trivia-driven as the months have passed. And as she wastes her viewers' time this way, Maddow has more and more adopted a pose as a political/election lore expert.

Maddow isn't a political/election lore expert. Beyond that, her hapless staff seems remarkably error-prone of late. In her regular weeknight outings, this has produced a string of comical errors Sometimes, Maddow has made these errors. Sometimes, these errors have been made by her poor abused substitute hosts.

Increasingly, Maddow's errors have provided bits of comic relief. We'll review a few in the next few days, after which we'll proceed to something more important:

Maddow's errors are comical, but her constant use of propagandistic trivia is making her viewers dumb and dumber. Beyond that lies her abject refusal to fight the powers that be.

Maddow is paid millions of dollars per year. Increasingly, it shows.

Tomorrow: The very next night!

30 comments:

  1. It is good to know that in the novel in which journalist Bob Somerby dwells, Rachel Maddow now stands out as the first media personality to have her own county named after her.

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    Replies
    1. Narrative is a cognitive heuristic that aids memory by organizing information in time and place and around a central theme. We all do it.

      Somerby's point, since you have missed it, is that news events should be reported in a factually correct manner. Journalists need to make sure their own narratives do not warp the truth by forcing facts to fit a preconceived narrative. Our cognitive propensity to do that in our own lives makes it doubly important that journalists resist that tendency when reporting, so that people can at least hear what really happened before they assimilate it into their own narratives.

      When narrative takes precedence over facts, it makes life easier to understand and it makes it easier for us to form opinions and make decisions, but when that narrative deviates from reality too much, those decisions and opinions do not serve us well and can lead to costly mistakes.

      That's why it is important for journalists to make sure truth comes before narrative structure.

      Then there is Maddow. She doesn't seem to have absorbed the core values of her profession. It is right for Somerby to warn people about her because she occupies a position of trust and thus has a greater opportunity to mislead people.

      Trolls, of course, operate with an entirely different set of values. They are the Trumps of discourse, sociopaths with no interest in anything except their own entertainment, ego and a childish desire to knock things down. Sucks to be them.

      Delete
    2. Only someone totally consumed by misperception of their own intellect would ever accuse anyone commenting here of missing Somerby's point.

      Delete
    3. And the person who makes an accusation about that person... and the person who...

      And so on.

      Yep, if you comment on the trolls, you suck. So sayeth the trolls.

      Delete
    4. The old troll narrative. A cognitive heuristic for the overly credentialed displaying that fact.

      And so on.

      Delete
    5. It was good that Stewart came back for a routine in Colbert. It allowed Maddow new material and delivery from which to hamfistedly ape.

      Delete
  2. Old conservative southern white guy BS trashes liberal gay female commentator while letting fellow conservative whites guys get away with their lies.

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    Replies
    1. "Old conservative southern white guy BS..."? Bob is originally from the Boston area, he then lived in California, and now lives in the Baltimore area. Bob is clearly not a conservative either if you really understood what he has written.

      Delete
    2. "Hey, wait a minute! Bob's not from the South?"

      Is that your answer?

      OK, how about the rest of it?

      "Old conservative white guy BS trashes liberal gay female commentor while letting fellow conservative white guys get away with their lies."

      Delete
    3. So if one hits all the right "identity" marks they are above and beyond criticism?!

      Delete
  3. "Maddow is paid millions of dollars per year."

    Yes and like the spoiled child that you are, your ego can't handle it. Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Joe Scarborough are paid millions a year too. But you have have a problem with them.

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    Replies
    1. What makes O'Reilly, Hannity and Scarborough different than Maddow? Those guys are all Republicans. Maddow is pretending to be a liberal Democrat.

      When a conservative serves Republican interests they are doing what is expected of them. When a liberal serves Republican interests (in exchange for $millions), they are screwing up and it is right to complain.

      Liberal chic dictates that someone chase ideological purity, not $. Maddow is a liberal in name only (LINO?). She is actually an opportunist out for the cushy lifestyle. Who envies that? It is a soul-sucking rat race.

      Delete
    2. Chasing "ideological purity" gives you only demagogues pandering to ideologues. It is the exact reason that Trump is the GOP nominee.

      Delete
    3. "Maddow is pretending to be a liberal Democrat."

      Yes, unlike the true liberal Democrat Somerby who believes:

      -- There is no gender gap in wages.

      -- Too much is being said about racism in America.

      -- Sexual assaults on campus have been overblown.

      -- Republicans aren't really trying to suppress minority voting because they've also close some registration offices and polling locations in some white areas as well.

      -- Schools in the south aren't really being re-segregated because Bob found pictures from the Tuscaloosa school district's Web site of black and white children playing together.

      -- Bridgegate still could be a "legitimate traffic study."

      Delete
    4. "Soul sucking rat race"® is a registered excuse line of those who apologize for others who tried and failed...like Showbiz Bob.

      "I coulda been a comedian..."

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    5. "I coulda been a pundit. Instead, I'm still stuck in my vanity blog."

      One thing you can say on Schwartz's behalf that you can't say about Somerby. At least Schwartz finished his book.

      Delete
    6. "I coulda been a comedian..."

      Forward to 1:50:00 and find out why he isn't.

      https://www.c-span.org/video/?194516-1/funniest-celebrity-washington


      Delete
    7. irishguy gives you the nickel tour. There's many more.

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    8. irishguy can convincingly win an argument against a strawman.

      (S)he also proves this wrong:

      "Only someone totally consumed by misperception of their own intellect would ever accuse anyone commenting here of missing Somerby's point."

      Delete
    9. "-- Republicans aren't really trying to suppress minority voting because they've also close some registration offices and polling locations in some white areas as well."

      This is like if Somerby said, "I like ice cream, but don't go around trying to convince people of the goodness of ice cream by giving them garlic flavored ice cream." Response: "SOMERBY DOESN'T LIKE ICE CREAM!!!1!"

      Delete
    10. I wonder if Somerby even goes to his Harvard Class of '69 reunions.

      "Hey, Bob! Waddaya been up to all these years?"

      "Well, I got this blog that's read by 1,500 people a month."

      Delete
    11. 4:45 - what glorious exploits do you regale your old classmates with when you go to yours? "I got new shoes today."?

      Delete
  4. Somerby is correct, Maddow will never challenge the powers that be in this country. No fight in her.

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    Replies
    1. That's why 100 cents on the dollar goes to the men who do all the real fighting.

      Delete
    2. Right you are. Don't give me all that whining about equal pay when the work is not equal.

      Delete
    3. Butthurt WhitemanJuly 26, 2016 at 12:33 AM

      @ 9:46 & 12:01 - have another glass of testosterone.

      Delete
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