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!