TUESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2022
Rachel Maddow sees Others: "I see dead people," a terrified little boy said.
He wasn't just any terrified boy; he was a fictional child. His name was Cole Sear, and he was one of the central characters in the Oscar-nominated 1999 film, The Sixth Sense.
This terrified little boy could, and did, see dead people. Worldwide, the film he anchored earned $673 million. In the United States alone, it sold more than 57 million tickets.
Little Cole Sear could see dead people. The rest of us often see Others. Sometimes the Others are actually there—but sometimes, on balance, they aren't.
It's always a matter of judgment as to whether the Others are there. But when we humans believe we see Others, we tend to respond in certain predictable ways.
When we humans believe that we're seeing Others, we tend to react with fear.
We may tend to believe that the Others all just alike. We also may tend to think that we're seeing criminal conduct—and we may give voice to this judgment, again and again and again.
So it has been with Rachel Maddow over the past five weeks. The star has been seeing Others again—and she seems to think that these Others have committed a crime.
She has been voicing this view again and again—over and over and over and over. It could be that her statement is accurate. But to our ear, this sounds like a highly unhelpful form of proselytization.
Last Tuesday, the terrified "cable news" host expressed her fear by stating the name of a certain crime. She did so again and again.
Explanations were few, or were perhaps non-existent. More on that problem tomorrow.
A certain key word dominated the evening's non-discussion discussion. In a parody of exposition, she said it again and again:
MADDOW (1/11/22): I picked these five [states] because, thanks to the watchdog group American Oversight, we now know that in all five of these states, Republicans also prepared forged, faked documents that were sent to the government, proclaiming that actually these other electors were the real electors from these states, and they were casting state electoral votes not for Biden, but for Trump.
Just watch this. Tell me—tell me if you notice something. These are the documents from Georgia. In Georgia, that's the real electoral vote document on the left, that's the forgery on the right.
In Nevada, that's the real one on the left, and the fake one on the right.
Here also is Wisconsin, where we reported on their forgery last month. That's the real one on the left, and the fake one on the right. Here's Michigan, where we reported their forgery last night. It's the real one on the left, and the forgery on the right.
And lastly, here's Arizona, the real electoral vote document on the left, and the fake one on the right. It wasn't one state. It wasn`t three states where they did this. At least five states where we've now obtained forged documents created by Republicans.
According to Maddow, the Others had prepared some "forged, fake documents." On this particular evening, she repeated variants of "forgery / forged" again and again, then again and again, without ever stopping to explain why she was using that term.
A bit later this evening, her forced march toward proselytization continued ahead as shown:
MADDOW: Now, you might remember on last night's show, we noted that the forged documents from Michigan and Wisconsin looked really similar, looked really alike. But the Arizona one actually looked a little bit different.
Here's the amazing thing we discovered today about Arizona. It looks like there were two sets of forged Electoral College documents sent in by Arizona Republicans. There was the sort of different-looking one that we showed you last night with notary stamps all over it and stuff. That was one that was obtained by Politico.com that we showed on the air here last night.
But now, as of today, thanks to American Oversight, we have obtained another one, also from Arizona, also a forgery. A whole different set of Republican impostors sent one in from Arizona, and that matches exactly all of the other forged electoral votes from the six other states that we have found. Excuse me, from the four other states that we have found.
So this is kind of nuts, right? I mean, Arizona alone. In Arizona, they`re so around the bend that two different sets of Republicans sent the National Archives and Congress two different sets of forged, fake documents purporting to be the Electoral College votes from the state of Arizona. One of those forgeries was maybe, like, freelanced. "Let's get a notary to sign every page."
But the other one from Arizona matches exactly in form, spacing, font, and language, exactly the forgeries sent in by Republicans in at least four other states. In these five states, one of the two forgeries from Arizona, and the four other states, the forged documents all match.
Forgeries, forgeries, forgeries, forgeries / forged, fake documents. The terrified adult kept saying the word, without making any attempt to explain her choice.
Let's take a look at the record. On this particular evening—on Tuesday, January 11—the terrified cable news star used some form of "forgery / forged" on 39 separate occasions!
(The companion word "fake" was given voice 14 times.)
On the previous night's show—on Monday, January 10—the star had exercised a bit more restraint. She had only voiced some form of "forgery / forged" on 21 separate occasions.
On Thursday evening, January 13, the star returned to form. She voiced some form of "forgery / forged" on 27 separate occasions. By now, delighted viewers of her TV show were having that pleasing word drummed into their heads.
Briefly, let's state the obvious. Sometimes, people do engage in some version of forgery. Sometimes, people do create "forged documents."
That said, "forgery" is often a crime, and the terrified cable news star was using the term in this way on these cable news TV programs.
She persistently suggested that the people who had signed these "forged documents" had engaged in state and federal crimes. Over the course of several weeks, occasional guests would intrude upon the solipsism of the star's uninterrupted monologues—and when they did, she would anxiously ask if the forgers would be prosecuted for their apparent crimes.
A little boy had seen dead people; a cable star could now see Others. In this case, she kept seeming to say that the Others had produced criminal forgeries—but she never explained why she was using that term, or why she had formed that apparent judgment.
Was it true? Had the Others in question really committed crimes? Aside from advancing unfounded claims—claims they may have believed to be true—had they actually produced "forgeries?"
Maddow had started making this claim on Tuesday, December 21, 2021. On that evening's program, she had used voiced some version of "forgery / forged" 18 separate times.
That's well short of 39 times, but it was still a lot of repetition. "Look, we have the paperwork they forged," she excitedly said at one point.
Maddow has been saying "forgery / "forged" again and again and again. As she does, she keeps implying that the Others she is able to see have been involved in crimes.
That said, we don't know why she's using that term. (She continued to do so last night.) We've never seen her explain her use of the term. We don't think she's ever tried.
We don't know why the terrified star has been using that deeply fraught term. Is it simply an artefact of terror—and of otherization?
Tomorrow, we'll puzzle it out.
Tomorrow: Aside from the joy of Otherization, why is she using that term?