Must-see TV bumped ahead to tonight!


Will Maddow correct/Continued: Yesterday afternoon, we mentioned a rather large mistake from last Thursday’s Maddow show—a grossly misleading representation which formed the basis of Maddow’s second segment with Senator James Inhofe.

We wondered if Maddow would correct her error on last night’s program. We even called it must-see TV! See THE DAILY HOWLER, 3/19/12.

Last evening, Maddow didn’t correct—but she did a special hour-long broadcast on a single subject. For that reason, must-see TV has been bumped ahead to tonight.

For what it’s worth, the videotape of that bungled segment is active again at Maddow’s site (and elsewhere). But will Maddow self-correct? Her brand is built around the claim that she loves to correct her own mistakes. (Everybody makes mistakes, though this one was rather large.)

Or does the show plan to tough it out, perhaps on the premise that Maddow’s statements last Thursday were technically accurate? That would be quite a stretch, though some of Maddow’s language in that segment may seem to be carefully crafted.

Maddow built that entire second segment around the claim that Inhofe misrepresented something she said in his new book about climate change.

Sorry, that just isn’t accurate. But will Maddow self-correct? In the name of all that is holy, must-see TV comes tonight!


  1. Don't you think it would have been better for Inhofe to correct her on the spot?

    Instead we get:

    MADDOW: December 3rd, 2009, I mentioned you on my show, and you, twice in the book, write about how I talked about you on my show. I`m wondering if you actually saw the show or somebody just gave you --

    INHOFE: Well, I`m sure I did. But, you know, this book is 320 pages of fine print. I can`t remember exactly what happened on that date. If you tell me, I`ll tell you whether or not, you know?

    By his own account Inhofe appears to not know what he's referring to in his own book!! In the real world this is a serious matter. However in Mr. Somerby's world of false equivalents the story is all about Maddow.

    The sites Mr. Somerby pulled this item from are playing him for a rube.

    In his zeal to discredit Maddow he'll seek succor from any source, even if those sources are promoting a "powerful mantra" (not lies, mind you) about other matters of importance, like Obama "promising" higher gas prices etc.

  2. Because he didn't know on the spot what happened on her show on a date over two years ago and the web sites that descibe the matter have incorrect information on other matters, Maddow has not misrepresented herself? That is some sloppy reasoning!!

    1. Sorry, but this was stuff that Inhofe had (supposedly) written quite extensively in (supposedly) his own book about the host of the show he was appearing on. He was ambushed by the question? That's the latest excuse?

      Sorry, but as this entire "debate" (the one in which Maddow was allegedly "crushed") went on with Inhofe able to do nothing more than regurgitate often repeated and long discredited right-wing talking points, it became more and more apparent to me that this was yet another tome ghost-written for a politician who simply put his name on it to sell books, and one in which the politician hadn't bothered to read himself.

  3. Wow, Bob! How dare Rachel Maddow devote an entire show to the global proliferation of weapons-grade enriched uranium rather than to do what you demand of her!

    The nerve of the woman!

  4. Anon 9:46 -

    No, that's not the latest excuse, it is your misdirection. That he didn't answer that question well, or what else those web sites say on other matters does not influence a logical argument either way about whether Maddow misrepresented herself. Are you saying Maddow can misrepresent herself if she's doing it to a bad guy?

    Oh, you seemed to have forgotten to continue the transcript:

    MADDOW: It`s the part about me, so I just wanted to -- you made it seem in your book I went after you because you had just gone to the Copenhagen summit.

    INHOFE: Oh, I see.

    MADDOW: That wasn`t what I was talking about actually on most part of the show that night.

    1. The Real AnonymousMarch 20, 2012 at 1:18 PM

      Are you really claiming its more important that a cable news talking head never make a mistake than for someone who affects public policy know what's in a book he supposedly wrote about that policy?

      If the past is any indication the mistake will be apologized for.

      Will Inhofe admit he has no clue what's in his book, that he's really not qualified to discuss this issue beyond talking points?

    2. By all means, let's ignore the fact that Inhofe, who claims to have traveled to Uganda some two dozen times, had not even heard of David Bahati until Rachel Maddow brought his name up that night.

      It was a bald-faced lie, but of course, he gets a pass on that. Why? Because we are now parsing Maddow's words for the meaning of "most."

      And now, it becomes Maddow, and only Maddow, who has made the aggregious error and must apologize and correct herself. Not Inhofe, of course, who "crushed" Maddow in this "debate."

    3. Excuse me. In my haste, the word I was looking for was of course, "egregious" not "aggregious."

      But knowing Bob and his very own "tribe", such an imperfection now means I can never be taken seriously.

  5. You'd think Bob Somerby, crusader for substantive news, would find a moment to assess an hour-long report on nuclear counter-proliferation -- rather than pouting about how some other thing _wasn't_ on the show.

    1. You mean the same Bob Somerby who used to be that lone voice, howling in the night, about how the media ignores the important for the trivial? And was especially eloquent in the wake of 9/11 wondering why we spent all that summer worrying about Gary Condit and Chandra Levy? And previous years worrying about blowjobs, dog pills and the invention of the Internet while Osama bin Laden was planning his attack?

      Sorry, but I'm afraid that Bob has left the building.

  6. This what what Inhofe wrote about Maddow referring to him on the December 3, 2009 show:

    On December 3, 2009, just days before the Copenhagen climate conference, Rachel Maddow aired a five-minute segment featuring me, the "unmovable" denier:

    ANNOUNCER: Yes, elections do have consequences. Senator Inhofe just won reelection last year. So we’ll be in the shadow of this mountain until at least January 3, 2015.

    RACHEL: Two questions for you Kent. Number one: his middle name is actually Mountain?

    KENT JONES: Yeah.

    RACHEL: Not a TMI invention?

    KENT: For real. Mountain. James Mountain Inhofe.

    RACHEL: Did he also really suggest that the Weather Channel was trying to boost its ratings?

    KENT: He said they’d like that. Yeah, that’d be great. They’d love it if we were afraid all the time.

    Rachel’s segment was one of the last major efforts to go after me just days before I landed in Copenhagen and declared vindication, but as I said at a bloggers’ luncheon at the Heritage Foundation when they asked me what I thought about the clip, “You know, I’ve really grown to like that gal. She thinks she’s saying such hateful things about me, but they’re all true”224—including the Mountain part. Mountain is my mother’s maiden name. If I was indeed a “mountain of indignation” for global warming activists, as Rachel’s segment claimed, it was only because I was a vehicle for the truth and that was an insurmountable obstacle for them. For all the time, money, and effort that they poured into their message that global warming was man-made and catastrophic, Americans were starting to see the truth: the science was not settled and their “solutions” were dead on arrival.

    * * * * *

    In her show on March 15, 2012, Maddow said:

    MADDOW: It`s the part about me, so I just wanted to -- you made it seem in your book I went after you because you had just gone to the Copenhagen summit.

    INHOFE: Oh, I see.

    MADDOW: That wasn`t what I was talking about actually on most part of the show that night.

    * * * * *

    * * * * *
    You see what she did there, honey? Inhofe did not write about Uganda in his book. He wrote about Copenhagen.

    Maddow pretends the segment that was the basis for Inhofe's criticism was Uganda, not Copenhagen.

    1. Fella, I am not your "honey" so cut the condescending crap.

      And while you are at it, wipe your (figurative) blood off the floor. You lost this one. Badly.

  7. Wrong. Maddow claimed that "on the most part" -- by the very words you cite, that 2009 segment dealt with Inhofe and his travels to Uganda and his coziness with the author of the "Kill the Gays" legislation.

    Which it did. It Which Maddow replayed on March 15. Which Inhofe first tried to ignore, then denied it ever happened.

    Only when you parse "on the most part" to mean "the entire segment was about Uganda" do you come up with Maddow making such a serious error that she MUST apologize and correct herself.

    And that, sir, is a lie.

  8. No, defenders of Maddow, listen to your failures of logic:

    Person 1 says A and B.

    Person 2 says Person 1 said A.

    Person 1 replys, "no, I didn't, I said B."

    Can you catch the lie?

    As Bob would say, your lizard brain won't let you.

  9. "That wasn`t what I was talking about actually on most part of the show that night."

    Where's the lie? Good grief, claiming that she said she never spoke about climate change that night is even worse than claiming Al Gore said he invented the Internet, and comparable to the hack job Kit Seeley and Ceci Connelly did on Gore's words to conclude that he "discovered Love Canal."

    Oh, and let's completely ignore Inhofe's lie that he never even heard of David Bahati until March 15, 2012.

    After all, what's a "misstatement" from a U.S. Senator in a position to affect policy compared to a "lie" you caught a TV talking head in?

    1. The Real AnonymousMarch 20, 2012 at 3:32 PM

      The more I think about it the more I realize if it were almost anybody but Maddow Mr. Somerby would be offering congratulations for getting a professional politician off his talking points.

      Instead, Mr. Somerby wants us to buy into the propaganda of a couple of right wing sites.


  10. The Real AnonymousMarch 20, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    "Person 2 says Person 1 said A."

    You're wrong!!

    Person 2 has no clue what anybody said:

    INHOFE: Well, I`m sure I did. But, you know, this book is 320 pages of fine print. I can`t remember exactly what happened on that date. If you tell me, I`ll tell you whether or not, you know?

    The print was so fine Inhofe couldn't correct Maddow on the spot. He didn't have a clue.

    1. Don't forget! It was Maddow who was "ill-prepared" and got "crushed" in that "debate."

      How could we possibly expect that a U.S. Senator who had taken the very talk show host to task in the very book they were talking about could remember what he wrote about her?

  11. By the way, since we are now looking for misogyny and denouncing it wherever it rears its ugly head, consider how a certain blogger began his column of July 2, 2008:

    "A certain gentleman’s forceful punishment just keeps getting results. On Sunday, June 22, New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt gave Maureen Dowd a good solid spanking, right smack-dab on her Irish keister! And sure enough! In this morning’s Times, Hoyt’s old-fashioned discipline just keeps working."

    Can you imagine those words being written about a male columnist/pundit?

    1. Like many of the other unhinged responses to Bob's fairly straightforward points on Rachel Maddow's error here, this one baffles me.

      Bob paints Dowd as a child getting spanked. There's no gender or sexual interplay here (which by the way is far better than the way Dowd generally treats her subjects).

      Something tells me you don't actually know the meaning of the word "mysogyny".

    2. So when was the last time Bob "painted" a male columnist/pundit as a "child being spanked"?

      Nope, no gender there. And then we get to the false equivalency. Since Dowd treats her subject far worse, it's perfectly OK for Bob to write anything he wants about her, in whatever gender-based way he wants to. After all, he's the chief of a "good tribe."

    3. It's unbelievable how disingenuous you are. Bob constantly refers to the worst actors of our discourse as children. He never uses gender-loaded terms to single out any of them (except when aping their language as parody).

      There's nothing in that depiction to suggest your interpretation over mine and the long history of Bob's treatment of the subject favors mine. I don't have to prove the negative here.

    4. Try answering the question: When was the last time Bob Somerby said that a male columnist/pundit was "a child being spanked."

      Sorry to interrupt the planet you are living on, but on earth, that is very sexual-laced and sexist language.

      So, unable to answer that question honestly, you call me disingenuous.

    5. Sigh.....

      SOMERBY, 12/12/03: "Columnist Al Kamen was lightly spanked for recent clowning concerning Al Gore"
      SOMERBY, 4/11/00: "He also spanked the corps for deciding that Bush and Gore are dreadfully boring"

      Please do a rudimentary google search before you spout off next time--

  12. [A new Anonymous] -- Holy mackeral. I'm sure that Mr. Somerby doesn't need help responding to criticisms, but the critical commenters don't get his point as I understand it. He's doing this blog to hold the media's feet to the fire, on the theory that a democracy needs an informed public. He's raising more complaints about the conduct of people like Maddow, Olbermann, etc., because instead of offering factual refutations to the right-wing propaganda, they're simply copying that same propaganda but from a liberal perspective.

    Even if you like what these liberal commenters are saying, or what they stand for, you have to admit that they're engaging in propaganda for a particular viewpoint, rather than informing the public.

    I think that you can criticize Mr. Somerby for perhaps being perhaps too hopeful that humans can rationally debate the issues. In my opinion, public discourse just doesn't work that way -- and never has, even when Walter Cronkite and David Brinkley reported the news (although I have only vague childhood memories of either of those 2 as anchormen).

  13. The error being pointed out is that Maddow clearly intended to imply a denial, no matter how artfully she words it, of the assertion Inhofe makes in his book. The assertion being that Maddow was portraying Inhofe as a nutjob global warming denier with a funny name on the occasion that he went to Copenhagen.

    She brought it up very vaguely. He forced her to clarify specifically what she was referring to. She sort of did but then claimed that she was talking about Uganda, not Copenhagen.

    Maddow's wording, as per usual, was clever and vague. Less informed viewers would clearly think she was denying Inhofe's portrayal of her in the book when technically she was giving a very misleading non-denial denial.

    That's my take.

    1. We're mind-readers now. We know what Maddow "clearly intended to imply" despite what she said directly, that for "most part" the segment was about Inhofe's ties to Uganda's radical fundamentalist Christian leaders.

      And of course, "less informed" readers wouldn't know as much as "more informed" you do, despite the fact that Maddow showed the segment in question before leading Inhofe into denying he ever heard of the "kill the gays" legislation in Uganda or had never heard of the guy who authored it until Maddow, last week, brought up his name.

      Bald-faced lies. Oh, excuse me. "Misstatements."

    2. Let's also play the "clearly intended to imply" game and see how Bob has handled that in the past.

      Despite what he actually said:

      -- Al Gore "clearly intended to imply" that he invented the Internet.

      -- Al Gore "clearly intended to imply" that he and Tipper were the models for the lead characters in "Love Story."

      -- Al Gore "clearly intended to imply" that he discovered Love Canal.

      All that "clearly intended to imply" crap was utter BS then, and it's utter BS now.

    3. Nothing being implied here:

      Inhofe was invited on because he just published a book: about global warming.

      In the book, Inhofe criticizes Rachel Maddow's coverage of him during the Global Warming debate and cites a specific show with excerpts showing it.

      Rachel brings up his references to her. She says that what she was really focusing on was Uganda on that show. No mention of her references on that show to global warming or to Inhofe's trip to Copenhagen.

      She says - I think you thought I was talking about your trip to Copenhagen. But really I was mostly talking about Uganda.

      How is that not a non-denial denial?

      Notice: no inferences. No mind reading.

      The fact that many of you are claiming she has nothing to correct proves Bob's point. And I rest my case.

    4. Because in that segment she WAS "mostly talking" about Uganda, which is exactly what you said she claimed, while accusing HER of bending the truth.

      Good grief, talk about ignoring the beam while calling attention to the speck? There isn't even a speck in Maddow's eye on this one.

      So now what? Since Inhofe was on the show to pimp "his" book (which it really seemed he hadn't even read, much less wrote), Maddow was rude and impolite to bring up any other topic?

      Did you think that Rachel Maddow, of all people, was going to give him a fawning pass on Uganda's Kill the Gays legislation to the senator who says he knows more about Africa than anyone in the Senate, and has traveled to Uganda repeatedly, when she's got her first opportunity to interview him?

      Good grief, try to be more concerned about a U.S. Senator trying to make believe that he who knows more about Africa than any one else in the U.S. Senate had never heard of David Bahati or the kill the gays proposals until March 15, 2012 than you are reading into what Maddow actually said only what you want it to say.

      This is the very thing Bob Somerby used to write about with great passion. Go back, if you will, and read his posts after the first Gore-Bush debate, in which he lambasted the press for concentration on Gore's sighs, while giving a free pass to Bush on his huge whoppers about his tax cut plans.

      And this is exactly what you are doing when you have to reach for what you think Maddow "clearly intended to imply" rather than her actual words, without expressing the least big of concern about Inhofe's bald-faced lies that night, and Uganda was only one of them.

    5. On a different computer so I can't identify myself again but this is too much. The misdirection Maddow employs is in the setup, not the parsed language. She did discuss Copenhagen on that show Inhofe cited. She did exactly what he said she did.

      But a casual observer of the recent show would believe she had denied it. How can you not see that?

      This is not about whether Uganda is an important topic in its own right. It most certainly is. No one here at this blog disputes that though you seem to think so.

      But this is a pattern for Rachel when it comes to addressing criticism thrown her way. She gets cute and never addresses it head on.

      Inhofe called her out in his book on her very un-serious method of disputing his assertions on global warming. Making fun of his name, portraying him as a clown.

      I think Inhofe is a moron when it comes to global warming at best, and dangerous at worst.

      But there's a productive way to challenge him and then there's the way Maddow challenges him. It allows Inhofe to play the vicitm. It allows him to show that his critics make ad hominem attacks and dodge the issue when confronted.

      That's the source of Bob's criticism of Maddow. She preens like a child and it's harmful to liberal interests because it ostracizes other points of views rather than engaging them.