It always happens with Maddow, part 1 and then part 2!


Demise of a national treasure: We tend to think that Rachel Maddow is a bit on the dishonest side.

Which is strange. Because yesterday, Alex “Kid” Pareene called her a national treasure! He did this at Salon.

There’s nothing new about that, of course. On December 4, David Atkins also called Maddow a national treasure. Three weeks earlier, dude called Chris Hayes the same thing!

For ourselves, we can’t think of anyone we would call a national treasure. To our ear, the phrase is so monumentally hackneyed that it’s hard to imagine using it.

That said, Pareene’s encomium stuck in our head as the day wore on. Last night, we decided to watch the whole Maddow Show, a task we’ve been skipping of late.

Doggone it! As we watched, the same thing happened that always happens when we take in an evening of Maddow!

For about the first half hour, we thought it might be time to rethink our disgust with Maddow. She is obviously IQ-bright. For that reason, we sometimes get the feeling that we must have been wrong in our past judgments.

But then it happened, pretty much the way it always happens. First, Maddow did a ridiculous report about Susan Rice—a report which simply reeked of bad faith.

There is no way on earth that Maddow believes what she said in that segment. Or so we would have to assume. We assume she can’t be that clueless.

From there, the program moved on to a surprisingly unpleasant takedown of Robert Bork, on the very day he died. Maddow has extremely good manners within the tribe. She’s extremely cold-blooded outside it, and sometimes a bit dishonest.

That said, last evening’s real part 2 came at the end of the program, when Maddow did one of her patented self-correction segments.

The star was perched beneath her familiar DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS sign. In our view, the segment served two basic Maddow purposes:

Rather plainly, it was designed to help us learn to love Maddow even more. And it reinforced a central claim which we liberals tend to repeat in comments: Rachel Maddow always corrects her mistakes!

As usual, the mistake on which she corrected herself was totally trivial—the mispronunciation of the name of the fatuous music act, Ke$ha. Rachel went on and on about how she’s getting so old, unlike her staff.

In our view, this probably helped us learn to love her more.

This foolishness burned a whole segment. But how odd! Rachel didn’t correct herself for mispronouncing Senator Daniel Inouye’s name all through a segment on Monday night. By Tuesday night, she was pronouncing his name correctly—but she didn’t note her repeated mistake from the night before.

Just a guess: Admitting she didn’t know Inouye’s name would have made her look politically clueless. Correcting herself on Ke$ha’s name—well, it didn’t matter much. Plus, she got to play a tape of Ke$ha vapidly explaining how her name actually sounds.

To watch Maddow mispronounce “Inouye” seven times in less than two minutes, just click here. As she does, she will tell you that Inouye was “a genuine American hero.”

You can tell that she really means it.

To watch Maddow’s report on Susan Rice, click here. Tomorrow, we'll discuss what she said.

Yes, she was defending Rice. But every word was bogus.

In our view, Maddow is almost pathologically faux. For that reason, she simply isn’t a national treasure, unless you treasure a world in which clever folk get themselves on TV, then treat average people like rubes.

Extra credit: To get clear about pronouncing Ke$ha, just click this. Based on her look and her on-line back-story, Ke$ha strikes us as a moderately burned-out version of Jewel.


  1. "national treasure" = narrative
    "no spin zone" = narrative
    "Dana Milbank is smart" = narrative
    cutting taxes = increase revenue = narrative
    John McCain = "maverick" = narrative
    Collins & Dowd = funny = narrative
    Alex Perene = perceptive = narrative

    Happy Holidays!

  2. I've never understood why, if these high status anchors don't know how to pronounce something, they don't ask a producer or other intelligent staff member before they go on air. Maybe no one on her staff had ever heard "Inouye" pronounced. It does make her look like an idiot.

    I won't bother watching any video about Ke$ha, but someone tell me, do you pronounce the dollar sign?

    1. "but someone tell me, do you pronounce the dollar sign?"

      That is F#CKING funny!!!

    2. The one time I watched the television show Glee, the principal pronounced Ke$sha's name as "Key dollar sign ha." Priceless.

    3. That is a joke from one of Kesha's own videos as well.

      I saw Pareene's comment on his hack list and it made me sad- if he had the same eye for Maddow as for others on his list, he wouldn't have said that.

  3. Great take on the Maddow mistake-- although she did correct it after the break-- somebody must have said something.

    But still--- it's clueless, yes. BTW, anyone know who the longest-serving senator was?

  4. I don't and never have understood why people like Maddow. I know Bob isn't crazy about Chris Hayes either, but CH, whatever his flaws, tries to run a genuinely intelligent discussion show for two hours twice a week (four hours total, as opposed to Maddow's five) and most of the time he succeeds. I know Bob will kvetch. That's Bob. A person has to have exactly the same interests as Bob or they aren't good enough. But Chris's show is vastly superior to Maddow's. Maybe Maddow dumbs things down for ratings--maybe these TV types know what the audience will stand for, and an hour of intelligent conversation each weekday night would result in low ratings. According to that Salon article, Ed Shultz is a ratings star at MSNBC, so that tells you something.

    1. And yes, Chris himself praises Maddow. But I set that down to plain old careerism combined with loyalty. He works for MSNBC and I think he got his start with Maddow, and so for both good and bad reasons he's got to praise her.

  5. In "Chinatown" , Jake Gitties is asked if a cop he knows is honest. "Yes, but he has to swim in the same waters we all do."

    The Kid also wrote that Gail Collins is hilarious.

  6. This is what TDH does best. Beautifully done.

    Also, if Bob Dylan isn't an American Treasure I'm not sure those words do have any meaning.

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