Plan B: Break it to us gently!

MONDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2011

Rachel Maddow seems to say the Iranians made us do it: Many progressives were upset by Obama’s stance on Plan B. Even the editors at the Washington Post said he made the wrong call (click this).

Many progressives were very upset—unless they watched the Maddow Show, where Rachel broke it to us gently. We’ve been beating up Maddow too much of late, but we thought this episode was worth noting.

Rachel likes to rant and yell when "those people" intrude on choice. What follows is her full report on the Plan B decision. It came at the end of Wednesday’s show, shoehorned into a three-part goulash. If you blinked, you missed it:
MADDOW (12/7/11): Meanwhile, elsewhere in politics, Rod Blagojevich, Democratic former governor of Illinois, was sentenced today to 14 years in federal prison being found guilty on 17 felony corruption charges. Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office in 2009, but in criminal court, among other bleeping outrages, the governor was convicted of trying to sell an appointment to the United States Senate seat that was vacated when then- Senator Barack Obama became President Obama.

Mr. Blagojevich is the fourth Illinois governor, the fourth one, to get sent to prison in the last 40 years.

And also, meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to make Plan B available over the counter without a prescription has been blocked by the secretary of health and human service, by Kathleen Sebelius. Plan B is an emergency contraception you take after sex to reduce the chance of pregnancy. Plan B is available now over the counter to women over the age of 17, but if you are younger than that you need a prescription.

Since you really ought to take this within a day or two, having to get a prescription for this effectively means you can’t really use it effectively at all.

The FDA wanted to change that. They say all reputable studies and experts agree that it is safe for Plan B to be available over-the-counter to anyone, but the Obama administration has blocked that recommendation today.


And meanwhile, meanwhile, you remember yesterday, we reported that the State Department had opened a new fake or rather online embassy in Iran? We do not have an actual physical embassy in Tehran because—well, for obvious reasons. But yesterday, as we reported on this show, the State Department launched a new English and Farsi language Web site so Iranians could get information about U.S. policies and about traveling to the United States, all the sorts of things that an embassy normally does when it exists in bricks and mortar. We were just going to do it online.

So finding out about the online embassy, that was yesterday. Launched yesterday. Today, that new virtual U.S. embassy Web site was blocked inside Iran. Shocker. Still though at least we are trying to.

That does it for us tonight. We will see you again tomorrow from back home in New York City.

Now, it is time for The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. Have a great night.
As always, so wondrously cutesy with the "meanwhile meanwhile" stuff! At any rate, that was Maddow’s complete closing segment. You might have thought the Iranians made us do it, if you weren’t listening closely.

We’re not saying Maddow was wrong to play it this way. We’re just saying.

39 comments:

  1. Wow. I must have blinked, because I surely DID miss it, and I watch every night.

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  2. "You might have thought the Iranians made us do it, if you weren’t listening closely."

    Or that the Illinois ex-governor did.

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  3. Arthur Silber predicted Obama would neutralize whatever "opposition" remained and kill the Democratic Party and liberalism.

    He told you so.

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  4. Why would Rachel care about Plan B as a prescription or over the counter drug? What's the difference to her? There's no chance of her getting pregnant after all (or any).

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  5. Rachel did a clear, simple presentation of the Plan B policy as part of a news roundup. She may or may not do an extended piece on it later.

    This "We’re just saying" garbage is the kind of thing the real Bob Somerby would tear somebody 2 new ones for.

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  6. You're right, Bob. When someone in the media summarizes several unrelated stories together because none of them are worth a full TV segment I frequently conclude that one of the stories causes the next one.

    As for her "meanwhile, meanwhile" it's not nearly as irritating as her frequent exclamation of "really, really, really, really..." something or the other. But she's a gorgeous, intelligent and generally very verbally capable woman with a sense of humor she feels she can express. Where else in the media can you find all those good qualities. She's a zen work of art - always has to include a flaw.

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  7. @Downpuppy:

    I think Bob's point is that Rachel likes to scream and yell when "they" obstruct women's choices regarding reproduction, but not so much when one of "us" (i.e. Obama) does. Kind of makes her unprincipled and hypocritical, no?

    I guess we'll see if Maddow does a longer segment on it. But my crystal ball says, "Outlook is doubtful..."

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  8. What Bob doesn't like about Rachel is she trivializes important issues by mocking the people that vote the Tea Party line. She calls them stupid and ignorant.
    In many cases, they are. But when a verbally capable person on the left says it over and over, only rubes listen. Everyone else finds another channel.
    She is preaching only to the choir, and informing no one.
    If you had heard her old XM show, you would wonder where Rachel went.

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  9. Until hardindr explained it, I had no earthly idea what Bob was talking about (namely, that Rachel Maddow was _not_ fulminating about this because, he thinks, she didn't have a chance to blame it on conservatives). Even put that way, it's a dog-that-didn't-bark argument.

    If someone else had written this piece and Bob had read it, he'd be going off on how it was too opaque, too coy, pulling punches for the sake of pure careerism, etc., etc.

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  10. "Since you really ought to take this within a day or two, having to get a prescription for this effectively means you can’t really use it effectively at all," said Rachel.

    Why couldn't you call your doctor and have them phone in the prescription? Or go to your doctor's office, ask them to write it for you, and take it to the pharmacy? As long as you have a prior relationship with your doctor. I do both of these all the time for other drugs and I'm not understanding why Plan B would be different...

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  11. And yes, Bob, this post was a little too subtle...I had to read it twice to get the point you were trying to make.

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  12. To Anonymous: Many kids don't have "health insurance." Plus, two days, to get an appointment to your doctor? Good luck with that.Either one would have to be extremely poor or have mommy and daddy to back you up.

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  13. ummmmmmmmmm, ok, i guess. if your point was ms. maddow's failure to rantnrave about the plan B override, presumably because it was a democratic administration that did so, rather than a republican one, i kind of see it. sorta, maybe.

    however, i'm not quite certain there is much else to say, beyond what's already been said, about this. she was blunt and to the point. hell, who knows, maybe a brain is developing in that well coiffed skull?

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  14. You are absolutely right to note her cutesy tone.

    She is an Obot. Obama is so conservative that sometimes even she has to criticize him to maintain her "progressive" cred, but by doing it in this cutesy way she lessons the criticism.

    She would totally have sounded a different tone if this was a Republican.

    Yet another way the Daily Kos/Digby style Democrats subtly put their fingers on the Obama side of the scale so that he looks like the most progressive president since FDR (when Nixon and most Republicans presidents since FDR were to the right of Obama).

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  15. the fact that so many in Tribe Democrat can't understand Bob's criticism of Maddow tells me how utterly fooled so many Democrats are.

    This lack of understanding is what causes me give up on our democracy. It's rigged and hopeless because Democrats can't stop themselves from being abused.

    Obama has totally betrayed Democrats when it comes to choice (this is yet another example--Obamacare is another example). He's behaved as a moderate Republican would, at best.

    Yet many Democrats will cite his stance on abortion and gay rights as the sole reason for supporting him.

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  16. Oops, I made a mistake: Nixon and most Republicans presidents since FDR were to the LEFT of Obama.

    ReplyDelete
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