"Lurid" sex tales, "mysterious death," many embellished scandals: BREAKING:
A major American journalist is accepting as much as $200,000 per week in cash payments from a major corporate entity.
The payouts may be intended to influence this journalist's work, driving it in a heavily tabloid direction.
Increasingly, the journalist's nightly TV show features giant amounts of wasted time; exciting reports about "lurid" sex parties; an endless array of reports about embellished "scandals;" and even one recent report about a "mysterious death."
Even as this journalist was accepting as much as $200,000 per week in payments she refuses to disclose, she complained this week about the fact that former general Michael Flynn accepted $65,000 in all from three Russian entities. Her complaints about Flynn have been driven by repeated inaccurate claims about his work last year for a Danish policy org.
Yesterday, it happened again! In the Washington Post, on the front page of Style, Monica Hesse wrote a lengthy, largely mocking profile of the ridiculous Fox News morning show, Fox & Friends.
In the course of her profile, Hesse became the latest mainstream scribe to publish previously verboten remarks such as the ones we've highlighted:
HESSE (3/17/17): We increasingly live in a choose-your-own-facts society. If you are worried about your job, your health care, your safety, you might choose whichever news source made you feel the most justified in your beliefs. If you were a president whose Gallup approval rating recently dipped to 39 percent, you might do the same thing.Hesse neatly captured the Lord-based nonsense which now infests Cooper's CNN show. But good lord! When did it become mainstream-OK to make accurate remarks about Maddow being "cynical" (Slate) or even "faux" (the Washington Post)?
If, on the other hand, you are trying to watch “Fox & Friends” merely as an anthropological exercise, then what you’ll think of it is that they are masters of tone and delivery. The show is an object lesson on how you can say the darnedest things, so long as you do so in a sunny-side-up way.
“Fox & Friends” is much more pleasant to watch than MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show,” for example, where the host’s smirking indignation wears old and starts to feel like a stress test delivered via the television. It’s also more pleasant than CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” where opposing views are lobbed back and forth like tennis balls: Kayleigh McEnany to Van Jones to Kayleigh McEnany to—oops, the ball has gone wild and Jeffrey Lord is chasing it.
If Rachel Maddow is faux outrage, then “Fox & Friends” is faux peacemaking, wondering why the other side persists in being so mean, while casually throwing frosting-coated grenades over the fence.
Granted, Hesse barely scratched the surface of the ridiculousness which characterizes Maddow's increasingly tabloidized show. Given Maddow's widely-acknowledged role as Fey High Regent of Pseudo-Progressive Sillybill Thought, the dumbing-down of her TV show is a dangerous, potentially destructive process.
That said: until this week, no mainstream scribe had ever dreamed of remarking on Maddow as Hesse has now done. We can't report the source of the permission slips which apparently went out this week. But suddenly, mainstream reporters feel safe in mocking Maddow, in ways which have always been avoided in the past.
The tabloidization of Maddow's show has been a thing to behold. In just the past two nights, viewers have been exposed to trademark time-kills at the start of the program; to endless embellished claims about an endless set of "scandals;" to a thrilling report about "lurid" sex parties, perhaps involving a corncob pipe (!); and even to talk of a recent "mysterious death."
Last night, Maddow aired a heavily-hyped "TRMS Special Report"—a special report which didn't start until twenty-six minutes had been burned off the start of her program. When the "Special Report" was finally delivered, it turned out to be just like a regular report from the night before, except a great deal less so.
Maddow hasn't yet suggested that Donald J. Trump murdered Vince Foster and maybe Bill Clinton's dog. But as her ridiculous program spirals down toward Tabloidsylvania, can that day be far off?
How silly has this TV show become? Very, very silly. Because transcripts aren't available yet, you'll have to watch this tape from last night's show to enjoy the corn cob-inflected report about those "lurid" sex parties with all the exciting fun.
(Spoiler alert: The parties didn't involve Governor Bentley touching his girl friend's breasts.)
For lurid sex talk, you can watch the tape. On Thursday night, this was the silly, stupenagel talk about that mysterious death:
MADDOW (3/16/17): ...the company that Vladimir Putin used to seal the deal in Guatemala City, the company that Putin used to show off what Russia could do, to fly this freaking ice rink from Russia to Central America to make a good impression for Russia`s Olympic bid, it was a Russian air cargo company called—this is the name of it.That bullshit about Guatemala City represents the tail end of Thursday evening's opening ten minutes of time-kill. Along the way, Maddow lapsed into some standard self-reference concerning her ability to pronounce a Russian word and the celebrity she recently gained from Stephen Colbert concerning an earlier bit of clowning this week with a hard-to-pronounce Russian name.
I`m not going to pronounce this because Stephen Colbert will make fun of me if I try. I know the first word is "Volga." The second word, no idea. Pronounce it however you like that.
But that is the company Vladimir Putin picked to fly the ice rink to Guatemala. It's also a company that was at the center of one of the great modern corruption stories at the United Nations.
This year's Russian U.N. mystery is, of course, about the Russian ambassador to the U.N. dropping dead with no warning at the age of 64 last month, followed by the U.S. State Department putting out a strange statement insisting that no cause of death would be released for him because, quote, "Ambassador Churkin's diplomatic immunity survives his death."
That's—that's this year's Russia-U.N. intrigue. Before this, though, before the mysterious death of the ambassador, this year, before this intrigue, the big Russia-U.N. intrigue before that was when a bunch of their senior diplomats got nailed in a huge bribery and corruption scheme. It was a bribery scheme involving that same company, that same air cargo company that flew the ice rink to Guatemala for Vladimir Putin. A bunch of Russian diplomats, including some of the most senior diplomats they had at the U.N., were caught and arrested in conjunction with this bribery scandal.
That was standard Maddow time-kill cum standard Maddow self-reference. "I I I I I I I," our horrified analysts wailed.
Suddenly, though, we got our newest tabloid thrill concerning the "mysterious death" of the Russian ambassador, who "dropped dead with no warning" last month.
Question! How many ambassadors issue warnings before they drop dead of heart attacks? We aren't real sure, and Maddow failed to note the cause of this thrilling mysterious death, which constitutes "this year's Russian U.N. mystery," the latest case of "Russia-U.N. intrigue." Her show is getting very strange—stranger perhaps by the night.
We could go on at some length cataloguing the nonsense from this week alone. Might we note one point in closing?
Michael Flynn strikes us as a full-blown nut. That said, there is no evidence that he was "on the Turkish payroll" last year.
Simply put, that isn't what it meant when he registered as a "foreign agent" under terms of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). In its front-page news report on this matter, the New York Times specifically noted that Flynn "did not work directly for the Turkish government." But who cares about shit like that?
Night after night this week, Maddow has continued to say and imply that Flynn did work for the Turkish government, "on the Turkish government's payroll." This has led to repetitive bungled claims about what Mike Pence was surely told about this matter, with the attendant nightly claims that Pence has been lying through his teeth about the overall incident, which Maddow keeps misdescribing.
Trump keeps making claims about wiretaps; Maddow keeps making claims about this. Have massive payouts from corporate owners led to such cword-pleasing conduct?
We can't answer your question, thoughtful as it is. That said, those "lurid" sex parties must have been thrilling and fun, what with that corncob pipe and all. (Maddow had already burned nine minutes off the start of her show when she pleasured us with the pipe.)
We liberals need to get smarter, saner, savvier, wiser. BREAKING:
Is a journalist being paid large sums to dumb us way, way down?