Maddow watch: This liberal god must be crazy!


Her craziest cable rant yet: For quite some time, we’ve told you that you have to fact-check everything Rachel Maddow says. (This is too bad, because she reports on important topics.)

A few weeks ago, her ridiculous piece on the Silverdome pretty much pushed us over the edge. But boy howdy! On Night 2 of her "Darling Cory defense," Maddow really seemed semi-nuts.

On Monday night, Maddow insisted that Cory Booker had done nothing wrong on Meet the Press—that Republicans were just making you think that. At the start of last night’s show, this ridiculous, delusional claim was pimped all over again. And this time, the claim was more elaborate:

According to Maddow, the world is conspiring to make you think that Booker committed a horrible error—and that the GOP's John Sununu did not!

In this way, Sununu became the foil for Maddow’s latest absurd cherry-picking. As always, you really have to watch the tape to get the full effect of what follows—to appreciate Maddow’s air of total certainty as she pushes a ludicrous claim. (To watch this full segment, click here.)

This liberal god must think you’re crazy—or that you’re very dumb:
MADDOW (5/22/12): Republicans this year keep making this big, obvious, laugh-out-loud political errors, these unforced errors, picking exactly the wrong person to make whatever their political case of the day is. They keep making these errors and they keep not having to pay for them.

The Romney campaign did it again today, maybe worse than ever. Today, they hosted another conference call for reporters, this one with Romney surrogate John Sununu.

John Sununu, of course, the former New Hampshire governor, former White House chief of staff for the first President Bush. John Sununu may be Mitt Romney’s highest profile surrogate anywhere in the country.

This Republican call that Mr. Sununu was scheduled for today was designed to complain about the Obama campaign taking on Governor Romney’s time in the private sector. It was designed to get the world off of Mitt Romney’s back when it comes to Bain Capital. And on that call, John Sununu told reporters, quote, "I think the Bain record is fair game."

Seriously, he actually said that. Listen, it’s on tape:

SUNUNU (audiotape): I think the Bain record as a whole is fair game.

The whole message, the single unifying talking point in Republican presidential politics right now for the party, for the Romney campaign, the entire deal comes down to: Do not talk about Bain Capital! You hate free enterprise and all business if you talk about Bain Capital! Cued up by the Romney campaign to say that, to say, Do not talk about Bain Capital, and the Romney campaign’s highest profile surrogate instead says the opposite.

He says, sure. Go after Bain. It’s fair game! Dig in!

And he says it to the reporters summoned by the campaign for the purpose of hearing what he has to say. Just a disaster, right? An epic political gaffe. We’ll be hearing about that for three days, right? That will occlude all other developments in domestic politics.

Of course not. Of course not. The nation will not be hearing about John Sununu's journey to the pantheon of off-message surrogates.

And yet, this is exactly, this is exactly the kind of off-message misadventuring that has caused three straight days of heartburn for the Obama campaign and for Newark, New Jersey’s Democratic mayor, Cory Booker after he criticized both sides of the race for negative campaigning and he went off-message for the Democrats about Bain.

Cory Booker made the exact same kind of mistake that John Sununu made today, and he made it on the exact same subject. The only difference is that the Republican in this off-message duo is a much more prominent guy. They made the same face-plant, only John Sununu’s was bigger because John Sununu’s role in this campaign is bigger.

But if you heard about John Sununu's gaffe today at all, congratulations. That means you read very obscure blogs because it was nowhere else.
There’s a word for that “analysis.” That analysis is semi-insane.

We’re sorry, but Sununu did not commit a gaffe; he certainly didn't commit a disaster. His performance wasn’t “exactly like” what Booker did on Sunday. It wasn't surprising in any way when Sununu said that Bain was “as a whole, fair game.” It’s absurd to think that he could have said anything different.

Darling Rachel was cherry-picking again—and relentlessly playing her viewers. To read a report on Sununu’s full remarks, go ahead—just click this.

There was nothing surprising in Sununu's remarks. He committed nothing resembling a gaffe. This explains why no one said otherwise. Maddow’s diatribe last night was just this side of delusional.

We’ve warned you about Maddow for a long time. Last night, she really jumped the shark. Truly, the gods must be insane to send us a leader like this.

Just a thought: If Maddow would stop her absurd attempts to defend her appalling friend, maybe she could report on what Romney actually did at Bain! Maybe she could report the looting of those pension funds, in ways her viewers could grasp and pass on.

Or is she keeping her trap shut too? Despite what your lizard brain is saying, corporate-picked multimillionaires may not always be on your side!

People with access to fame and smack will often play you to keep it. At any rate, Maddow can report on that looting whenever she wants.

So far, she has demurred.


  1. "If Maddow would stop her absurd attempts to defend her appalling friend, maybe she could report on what Romney actually did at Bain!"

    And exactly who would that convince? The people who already watch her show?

    1. Yeah!

      Rachel's viewers are beneath contempt. Why should they get real reporting on "what Romney did at Bain" -- as if that mattered?

      It doesn't matter what happens on her show -- if she gives fake, phony crap or actual reporting -- it's all the same to me, Anonymous.

      Because I am an idiot.

    2. Yes, because there are other sources, it doesn't matter what happens on her show -- if she gives fake, phony crap or actual reporting -- it's all the same to me, Anonymous.

      I aim to prove my stupidity with my every post.

      I am a big success!

  2. Anonymous at May 23, 2012 12:24 PM asks:

    >>>And exactly who would that convince? The people who already watch her show?<<<

    Alas Anon, had you read on beyond the sentence you quoted to the very next one, it made clear Bob Somerby wasn't suggesting that Rachel Maddow should be reporting "on what Romney actually did at Bain" in order to convince the people watching her to vote for President Obama. Rather, he suggests that her fans might be well-served by being familiarized with the substance of this particular argument, in part, because someday some Maddow fan might find him/herself in conversation with a voter who is not a die hard Democrat.

    In such a situation the Maddow fan would find it useful to be able to state this part of the pro-Obama case, or rather the anti-Mitt Romney one, effectively. Here's that part of Somerby's post:

    >>>Maybe she could report the looting of those pension funds, in ways her viewers could grasp and pass on.<<<

    1. Ah, right. We all know that Rachel Maddow fans are obviously incapable from getting information from anywhere other than the Rachel Maddow Show.

      I do not know what bubble you live in, but I happen to be "in conversation with a voter who is not a die hard Democrat" practically on a daily basis.

      And let me assure you, no matter how polite you are, the people who have been led to think that Obama is the next Stalin aren't all that interested in things you might be able to "pass on" from the Rachel Maddow Show.

    2. In other words, there's someone I know whose mind I can't change. Therefore, I conclude that it's a waste of time trying to convince anyone. Q.E.D.

    3. ...someday some Maddow fan might find him/herself in conversation with a voter who is not a die hard Democrat.

      Pfft, shyeah right! Don't know what Bizarroworld universe you live in where that's even a remote possibility...

      I do not know what bubble you live in, but I happen to be "in conversation with a voter who is not a die hard Democrat" practically on a daily basis.


      I conclude that it's a waste of time trying to convince anyone. Q.E.D.

      Correct, fellow tribesman!

    4. Exactly what bubble do you live in where you only interact with die-hard Democrats?

  3. But Bob, she wrote a book!!

    1. Why didn't someone mention that before?

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Ah, here's the comment you've been waiting for.
      Yes, Maddow did indeed write a book, and quite a good one, on the important and ignored issue of Military Spending. I'm sure The Daily Howler has it in his "to read" pile, under a few more books about JFK's sex life.
      In a fairer and more mentally balanced time in the life of TDH, he would occasionally admit that Maddows better work was eclipsed by her shoddier stuff; a fair observation to say the least. But that doesn't really enter into this, because today The Daily Howler plays his readers for rubes, by failing to point out that Maddow's "cherry picking" concerned a story that is itself pure plucked maraschino, a Republican talking point puffed up into a story by a suspiciously cooperative "liberal media." Maddow's work is overwrought, not incorrect.
      This would seem to be justified because TDH, when not preaching MLK inspired forbearance, LOVES to get his hate on. The part about Booker and Maddow's prior friendship is especially sad, as some used Somerby's
      college acquaintance with Al Gore as a way of dismissing his important work on the 2000 election.

    4. Greg, all kidding aside, do you disagree with Bob's observation that unfortunately "you have to fact-check everything Rachel Maddow says?"
      Is this not a huge problem, especially when she holds herself out as an important and trustworthy progressive voice in the media? Her book may be incredible, but how much of a greater influence on the masses is her TV show?

    5. I would take very little of what I hear on attack mode cable at face value. In this instance, on this issue of little import, She is correct.
      I think much of her TV work is terrible. I thought She was lousy on Radio. I extent a carrot to her good book and a Howler who really cared about issues would do the same.

    6. We don't all agree about the book.

    7. Again, the phantom "we". Supposing TDH didn't like the book, it would be interesting, and almost inevitably more substantive than the usual drivel to bat around why.

  4. Obama's attacks on Bain are so preposterous that even the liberal Washington Post is defending Romney on this issue.

    The president accepted $3.5 million in campaign donations from private equity executives in 2008, and additional dollars this time around, so it would have been awkward for him not to concede that private equity does “good work.” As for the ad’s depiction of job destruction, economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research found that firms restructured by private equity suffered net job losses over five years only 1 percent greater than other comparable companies.

    Yet the minute Mr. Obama conceded those complications — admitted, in effect, that the private equity business, like most endeavors, involves tradeoffs, and that its benefits might be shared among more than a handful of fat cats — he undercut his distinction between “maximizing profit” and the common good. He also undercut his case against Mr. Romney, since Bain had its share of success stories on the former Massachusetts governor’s watch.

    What we’re left with is a president who seems content to present an even-handed view of private equity at his news conferences while propounding a much more tendentious one in his campaign advertising. Pointing out that a business career hasn’t fully prepared Mr. Romney to be president, in other words, is a long way from suggesting that he’s a vampire.

    1. Well, if eventheliberalWashingtonPost is doing it...

      Interesting though, to me it seems not so much a defense of Romney as an attack on Obama. And please, spare us the pearl-clutching over how "tendentious" a political campaign ad is. Give me a fraggin' break. Being "tendentious" is what campaign ads are all about.

    2. The Washington Post isn't a liberal paper, at least not on economic issues. In their new pages, the reporters tend to take orthodox conservative assumptions about the economy as a given, and usually have nothing good to say about social insurance.

      Another Anonymous

    3. It can't be THAT hard to understand the easy distinction between attacking Bain for being a private equity firm, on the one hand, and attacking Bain for what it actually did to the companies it worked with. Is Obama actually saying that private equity is inherently, by nature, A Bad Thing? Or that Mitt Romney was involved in using the otherwise value-neutral concept of private equity to do actual, tangible, bad things? Republicans -- and too many Democrats -- are pretending to be too dim to understand the difference. At least I hope they're pretending.

      Here's a parallel. Imagine Romney's experience was in oil companies instead of investing. Would it be appropriate to talk about the pollution caused by "Bain Oil"? Or would there have to be a whole tedious exercise of explaining that, as a matter of fact, oil companies also provide fuel for cars, so we have to be careful not to demonize the poor downtrodden oil companies?

  5. "I think the Bain record as a whole is fair game," Sununu said. "What you have to do is do an honest evaluation. The Bain record is about 80% they were able to save jobs at companies, and 20% when they invested in companies that were in such bad shape they weren't able to save jobs."

    The virtues or otherwise of asset-stripping are probably a little too complicated for the "average voter", which probably helps Republicans.

    But Maddow is a whore, and so is Booker.

  6. Please, read your gender enlightened Daily Howler. The word is "hustler."

  7. What's really at stake is: Do we really want to ge back to the Bush era?

    1. Who is this "Bush" of whom you speak?

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