ADVANTAGE HARARI: Who gives a fig about climate change?


Two "cable news" nets take a hike:
Greta Thunberg is 16 years old. She's also a "global climate activist" based in her native Sweden.

In this morning's New York Times, Somini Sengupta describes the attention Thunberg has been receiving for her ongoing efforts. We were struck by the following passage, in which Thunberg directs a bit of pique at some unnamed grown-ups:
SENGUPTA (2/20/19): All this attention, she said out of earshot of the others, is great. It means “people are listening.” But then, a knife-blade flash of rage revealed itself.

“It’s sometimes annoying when people say, ‘Oh you children, you young people are the hope. You will save the world’” she said, after several grown-ups had told her just that. “I think it would be helpful if you could help us just a little bit.”
Thunberg is grateful for the attention her efforts have received. That said, she also wishes that some of these admiring grown-ups would roll up their sleeves and help.

We can think of one such person Thunberg can cross off her list. That would be cable star Rachel Maddow, the multimillionaire corporate host who has just completed the ninth straight program in which she has failed to mention her own country's Green New Deal.

The climate proposal was unveiled by Senator Markey and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez on Thursday, February 7. It's never been mentioned on Maddow's show, an eponymous "ship of ghouls" which focuses on the tribal schadenfreude involved in repetitive dreams about locking The Others up.

Last Friday night's program was ludicrous even by Maddow's standards. In tomorrow's report, we'll consider some of the excesses in which Maddow indulged herself this night—a night she devoted, almost entirely, to "the lie that is going to cost Paul Manafort his last free breath" and to similar pleasing porridge.

Friend, do you want to spend your free time picturing people dying in prison? If so, the Maddow Show is the place for you to be!

That said, did we mention the fact that Maddow's performance last Friday night constituted the seventh straight program on which she told the Greta Thunbergs that, after Manafort dies in prison, they can pretty much plan on dying unpleasant deaths too? Because that's almost surely the message a killjoy like Thunberg would hear.

Rachel Maddow doesn't care about topics like climate change! Nor will you ever learn, from watching her program, about the looting of the American people, red and blue voters alike, built into the astonishing costs of our "health care system."

You don't hear about topics like those on Maddow's devolving program. The cable star is paid millions of dollars per year—you aren't allowed to know how many—to keep us liberals barefoot and clueless as we think about how great it will be when we've finished killing the pigs, when The Others are all locked up.

Maddow has yet to discuss the Green New Deal—but in fairness, she's hardly alone. In a report last Thursday, the killjoys and scolds at Media Matters studied cable coverage of the climate proposal in the first five days of its life.

Ted McDonald toted the coverage. This is what he found:
MCDONALD (2/14/19): From February 7, when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) released the Green New Deal resolution, through February 11, Fox News aired 34 segments discussing the Green New Deal on its weekday and weekend prime-time shows airing between 5 p.m. and midnight. February 7 and February 8 saw the most Fox coverage—the network aired 19 prime-time segments on those two days. Tucker Carlson Tonight and Hannity led the Fox prime-time shows in the number of Green New Deal segments, airing seven and five segments, respectively.

Across this same time period, MSNBC aired eight prime-time segments on the Green New Deal. Five of these aired on February 7, the day the resolution was introduced, including an interview with Ocasio-Cortez on MTP Daily and an interview with Markey on All In with Chris Hayes.

CNN, meanwhile, aired only three Green New Deal segments on its prime-time shows from February 7 to February 11.
It isn't just Maddow! According to McDonald, Fox aired 34 segments on the proposal in the first five days of its life. MSNBC aired eight segments on its "prime time" programs—that is, on programs which cover the seven hours between 5 PM and midnight.

As we've noted, Maddow hadn't mentioned the Green New Deal at all. Meanwhile, on all its "prime time" programs, CNN had presented just three segments on the boring new plan.

Last Friday night, Maddow told viewers, eleven times, that Manafort is now facing 19 to 24 years in prison. On one occasion, she fleshed that information out, saying that the former campaign chairman was facing 235 to 293 months in the federal hoosegow.

(There is no parole from federal prison, she was quick to add.)

She told us, several times, that it looks like Manafort will be dying in prison. But she's never found time, on the past nine programs, to tell us about the ways Thunberg and her children are likely to perish.

She just plain doesn't care about that. Neither do her owners!

MSNBC loves the nightly true crime drama widely known as The Chase. Indeed, when The One True Channel's prime time programs did squeeze in segments on the Green New Deal, hosts sometimes performed in such a way that a viewer could almost wish that they hadn't bothered.

Consider the coverage which occurred on All In with Chris Hayes on Thursday evening, February 7. The Green New Deal had been released that very day. Under the guidance of her producers, guest host Joy Reid performed a short, 6-minute segment on the proposal right at the end of the hour.

(To watch the segment, click here.)

Reid interviewed Senator Markey about the new proposal. A cynical viewer could almost imagine that Reid wasn't completely "all in" on the topic or the proposal:
REID (2/7/19): Joining me now is Democratic Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, the co-architect of The Green New Deal.

All right, sir, so let's just get into the policy of it. You—

The Green New Deal, as I understand it, the bullet points I've got in front of me, 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2030, net zero global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, upgrade all existing buildings for energy efficiency, overhaul transportation systems to reduce emissions, encrypt millions of jobs with family sustaining wage.

How do you do that, and how much does it cost?
Reading from "the bullet points she had in front of her," Reid described the Green New Deal "as she understood it."

She almost seemed unprepared! Than, almost as if she'd acquired her talking points from Fox, she moved directly to the question of the cost of the various proposals.

In fact, Reid displayed a bit of a one-track mind as the short session proceeded. After trying to interrupt Markey's description of the purpose of his proposals, Reid came right back to her one talking point:
REID: So I still want to get you to sort of quantify for me how much it costs, because it sounds like you're saying federal outlays to sort of spur these jobs, sort of the way the original New Deal was, like with federal spending.

So how much spending are we talking about? Give me a ballpark figure.
Doocy couldn't have done it better! Perhaps the Thunbergs should thank their stars that Maddow hasn't bothered to pretend to discuss this plan.

We liberals! We've told ourselves, since time immemorial, that We are the very smart tribe. It's The Others who are the dumbkopfs.

Beyond that, we were told, long ago, that Maddow was hired to serve as Our Own Rhodes Scholar. She is just amazingly smart, we've been told again and again.

In truth, Maddow now devotes herself to selling the pleasures of tribal loathing. We often think of Professor Harari as she does this night after night—of the unflattering portrait he has painted of the true nature of our floundering, war-like species.

Why did our species take over the world as other human species went into extinction? We sometimes think of the following text as we watch Maddow spend hour after hour imagining The Others' demise:
HARARI (page 17): But if the Neanderthals, Denisovans and other human species didn’t merge with Sapiens, why did they vanish? One possibility is that Homo sapiens drove them to extinction...

Tolerance is not a Sapiens trademark. In modern times, a small difference in skin color, dialect or religion has been enough to prompt one group of Sapiens to set about exterminating another group. Would ancient Sapiens have been more tolerant towards an entirely different human species? It may well be that when Sapiens encountered Neanderthals, the result was the first and most significant ethnic-cleansing campaign in history.
Aristotle is said to have said that we humans are "the rational animal." In a best-selling dissent, Professor Harari has now said that our species' global supremacy is built upon our skills with "gossip" and with compelling group "fictions," with a healthy dollop of intolerance thrown into the stew.

Night after night, Our Own Rhodes Scholar keeps dumbing us down with ghoulish presentations about The Others. She devotes her inaugural podcast to Spiro T. Agnew, lets Thunberg twist in the wind.

Needless to say, the Maddows will make out fine in the end. It's the Thunbergs, and their future children, who will be desperate for help.

In the meantime, does Maddow's obsession with prison sentences strike you as a "rational" use of her very prominent platform? Night after night, her focus strikes us as the product of an increasingly disordered mind.

Tomorrow, we'll look at some of the excesses on last Friday's ridiculous program. For ourselves, as we watched Maddow engineer this latest gigantic waste of time, we turned to the analysts and uttered winged words.

In the battle of paradigms? "Advantage Harari," we said.

Tomorrow: Embellishing facts and reading whole footnotes, she finds two more to lock up


  1. I am not sure whether Bob is implying that hatred of conservatives is akin to bigotry based on race or religion, but one can make a case that it is. In "To Kill Mockingbird", a white woman makes an implausible accusation against a black man. She is immediately believed, and the black man is vilified. A few days ago, actor Jussie Smollett made an implausible accusation against two alleged Trump supporters. He was immediately believed, given fawning coverage, TV interviews, etc. Conservatives were vilified by leading media and political figures.

    1. Snowflakes be snowflaking.

    2. I think the hatred of conservatives is based in ideology and geographical bias (rural/urban). And I think they make a mistake of viewing conservative voters as idiots for being gullible enough to support a party whose leaders (in government and media) are full of outrageous lies and only pretend to represent their constituents interests. But the mistake is that the leadership of the left does the same thing and they are also lied to.

      We are all getting played by both parties.

      And we do have the power to stop it.

    3. Good theory David.
      In the context of that theory, can you explain why a media which vilifies Conservatives interviews Newt Gingrich?

    4. @11:43 - The media may interview Gingrich, but they portrayed him in a bad light. IIRC there was one week in 1994 when the covers of both Time and Newsweek Magazines featured a cartoon about how Gingrich stole Christmas. And, those were in the old days when these two magazines mattered more than they do now.

    5. They media continuously put a microphone in front of him, because the media are Conservatives.
      The idea that this next time, Newt will make a good faith argument is just an excuse for getting his bilge into the public mind.

  2. "As we've noted, Maddow hadn't mentioned the Green New Deal at all."

    Which means that the 'green' thing is a loser, as far as your zombie cult is concerned, Bob.

    "Last Friday night, Maddow told viewers, eleven times, that Manafort is now facing 19 to 24 years in prison."

    Which means that gloating and hate-mongering are your zombie cult's best hope.

    See how simple it is, Bob?

    1. Nice. Conservatives are running scared of the New Green Deal.
      Onward and upward!

    2. Hoorah, dembot. Upward -- to Canada!

  3. First three pages of hits when searching TDH archives for “Maddow:”


    Since August if 2018:

    January 2019 saw the largest number of mentions as a percentage of total posts (30.4%)

    August 2018 saw the greatest number of posts mentioning Maddow in one month (11).

    Since August of 2018, 18% of Somerby’s posts mention Maddow.

    1. 8/2/2018 should also be on the list.

    2. Extrapolating out to a year, we see that the Howler reader can expect a Maddow mention on average every four and a half days when Somerby is posting, ie more than once a week.

    3. I would prefer more actually. But it's true some other progressives are finally getting around to seeing her divisive corporate tribalism for what is - an agent of divide and rule that doesn't address the bigger pictures of corruption, power, concentrated wealth etc that citizens from both sides of the savannah suffer from and are exposed to.

      (I'm not saying she does that consciously, she doesn't seem to know any better and is obviously highly neurotic and full of self loathing and probably clinically insane - so she probably clings to her position of power because anything else would confirm her nightmares of failure etc.)

    4. Some anon posted one sentence some while back: “This has become a hate site.”

      I sometimes wonder if it’s true. Hell, this may have started out as a hate site. Unfortunate that the comments are full of the same (and I admit into one or two forays).

      I can’t stand Maddow myself. Bob’s transcripts do nothing to really describe the clowning. You have to watch her perform to really achieve full loathing, which is why I decided to stop watching a long time ago.

      I wish Bob would do the same. It seems not to achieve a thing, certainly not in his essays. Have to admit, the numbers from Media Matters regarding reporting coverage of the NGD are interesting, if for no other reason that the date range surveyed included Saturday and Sunday, where you would hope to see such news broadly broadcast, and discussed intelligently. Alas.

      Fox did good though.


  4. From the All In transcript: Joy Reid asks Sen. Markey “How do you do that, and how much does it

    Seems like a reasonable question for a journalist to ask.

    What was Markey’s answer?

    Somerby won’t be bothered with that.

    “Doocy couldn't have done it better!”

    How would Somerby know? Has he even watched the coverage of this on Fox?

  5. Hey! There are other liberals out there complaining about the mainstream media. I’m shocked to realize Bob isn’t the only one. And they got to this story before Bob did. Who woulda thunk it??

  6. It isn’t about the sheer numbers.

    From Media Matters:
    “the majority of Fox News segments on the Green New Deal didn't even mention climate change, often ignoring the entire reason that Ocasio-Cortez and Markey had proposed such a sweeping plan in the first place. In contrast, MSNBC and CNN discussed climate change in most of their segments on the Green New Deal.”

    “Another segment on All In with Chris Hayes deserves mention. Hayes described the need for a dramatic response to the climate crisis and explained why right-wing criticism of the Green New Deal is so off-base:

    CHRIS HAYES (HOST): As you watch the continued right-wing caterwauling about the Green New Deal, here's what to keep in mind, particularly as all kinds of denialists and cranks talk about what is and is not serious. The bar for entry into the conversation for seriousness in said conversation is some framework, some proposal to reduce U.S. carbon emissions from human sources by almost half -- 45 percent -- from 2010 levels by 2030. That's 11 years from now. Half of emissions. That's what the international panel on climate change says has to happen globally to avoid the worst effects of climate change. And those effects of climate change, they are happening, and they are getting more visible and more present every day.”

    Typical that Somerby wouldn’t discuss Hayes’ comments. They were *in the Media Matters report he was quoting from*.

    1. "The bar for entry into the conversation for seriousness in said conversation is some framework, some proposal to reduce U.S. carbon emissions from human sources by almost half -- 45 percent -- from 2010 levels by 2030."

      Here's my VERY SERIOUS proposal, dembot: introduce various draconian business regulations, raise corporate taxes to, say, 90%, and then watch the US industries (what's left of them) leaving, relocating to Asia.

      This will definitely "reduce U.S. carbon emissions from human sources" at least by half. Hoorah!

      ...while increasing world-wide carbon emissions from human sources by perhaps 10% or so.

      How 'bout them apples, dembot?

    2. I'm 50-50 on those US industries leaving, relocating to Asia.
      On the one hand, the thought of them asking Singapore and Malaysia to use their military to protect corporate profits and patents is hilarious.
      OTOH, if they do leave, the money we save not having to use our military to protect their profits and patents can be used to actually help the people.
      Too bad, it's just one of Mao's nonsense stories.

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