Three teases, two full segments: Remember when Camus wrote the following, if only in translation?
“Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don’t know.”
For some reason, we thought of that as we tried to summarize last evening’s Maddow program. Our reinvention would go like this:
“Rachel did two teases and three segments tonight. Or three teases and two segments maybe, we don’t know.”
We refer to the way Maddow devoted the second half of last night’s program to the Christie Bridgegate outrage and scandal. The teases started early, with the first one going like this:
MADDOW (12/16/13): The traffic jam that haunted Fort Lee, New Jersey, still haunts New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in a way that we could not have foreseen even before today. That story is getting bigger and weirder by the day.One segment later, a second tease occurred:
Stay with us.
MADDOW: The George Washington Bridge traffic jam story that started as the teeny, teeny, tiny, tiniest little political story in the entire world has just gotten enormous.The teeny, teeny, tiny, tiniest little story had gotten enormous!
Stay with us.
The confusion starts after a series of ads. When Rachel came back, she offered what follows. Was this a tease, the third of the night? Or should this transcendent waste of time be scored as an actual segment?
MADDOW: We reviewed our office expenses the other day—pens, paper, mechanical pencils for me, a remarkable number of highlighters. But also, weirdly, a lot of Web sites.At roughly 400 words, was that enormous puddle of piddle a tease or an actual segment?
One of the things that we find hardest to explain to the accountants on the 50-whateverish floor here in this building is our show’s history of benevolent domain name squatting. Over the years, we’ve had the occasion to acquire all of these different website names, all of which redirect to our show website.
Like, for example, when Tennessee passed a law that banned the condoning of gateway sexual activity, what was that all about? In the thought that the state of Tennessee and maybe Governor Bill Haslam might some day want to explain what they were thinking, we bought for them “gatewaytosexualactivity.com,” which we publicly offered to the state of Tennessee and its governor. We still have it for you guys if you want, but they never called.
There was also that time when my friend, Michael Steele, was still chairman of the National Republican Party, and he said this:
STEELE (videotape): It’s crazy nonsense and empathetic. I’ll give you empathy. Empathize right on your behind.
MADDOW: And so began “empathizerightonyourbehind.com.” Michael Steele even works here now at MSNBC, but he so far has not had use for “empathizerightonyourbehind.com.” When he does, I will be keeping it safe for him.
I still think the best one we ever bought was for former presidential candidate, former senator, former actor Fred Thompson.
When Fred Thompson started doing his very, very serious “renew the Bush tax cuts” ads, that led naturally and obviously to “fredthompsonisinherentlyfunny.com,” which would be a great thing to own if you were Fred Thompson. Come and get it, sir! It’s yours for the taking. So far, he has shown no interest.
And so, we just keep paying our eight bucks a year, whatever it is, for all of those sites, which we have to explain at the end of the year every year.
And I mean no harm. We mean no harm by holding these things. At worst, we’re just teasing, right?
But in the Chris Christie administration in New Jersey, when they do that same kind of thing, turns out, they are not teasing—and the fact that we know that means that the strangest political scandal in the country right now just got stranger.
Hold on. That very, very New Jersey story is straight ahead. Stay with us.
We’re going to say it was Maddow’s third tease. After a commercial break, she then devoted two full segments to the Christie Bridgegate story, which had somehow “just gotten enormous.”
In what way has this story “gotten enormous?” So enormous that the New York Times hasn’t reported anything on the topic for the past three days, even though it’s a local story?
If you watched Maddow last night, you already know. At any rate, Maddow devoted the second half of her program to this so far pointless story, which still doesn’t seem to involve Christie in any particular way.
Over her last six programs, Maddow has devoted six separate segments to this topic, plus that 400-word tease, in which, to be fair, she helped us learn to adore her more fully and deeply, giving us a delectable look at the secrets of her life. By way of contrast, yesterday you saw Kevin Drum laying out his point of view about a range of major national topics, including the state of our public schools.
Maddow doesn’t care about the state of our schools! She doesn’t care about the children within them. That said, she has been pimping piddle in the past week which helps define who she is.
In what way has this story “just gotten enormous?” For the background to the first of last night’s segments, you can read this peculiar news report about someone who isn’t Chris Christie.
The background for the second of last night’s segments can be found here.
Last evening, Maddow burned half her program on this topic. Had the story “just gotten enormous?”
We’d have to say no. But a certain corporate multimillionaire has a bridge to the world of Fox she seems very eager to sell you.
Questions for extra credit: According to Maddow, the expense account she submits to the accountants involves the purchase of “a remarkable number of highlighters.” Why did Rachel say that?
According to Maddow, “the Chris Christie administration”—“they”—have been buying domain names. Did Maddow provide any evidence supporting her use of the quoted words?
This person has a bridge to sell you. Are you willing to buy it?