Rachel Maddow’s very long, rather strange presentation!


Whose kids do we care about: Thirteen minutes into the show, the analysts were still completely puzzled.

Rachel Maddow had gone on and on, discussing a long succession of cases in which her beloved news industry had shown good editorial judgment—good taste.

She started with “a series of violent attacks in the south of France” this past March (text below). Roughly ten minutes into her lecture, she was giving us the examples shown below.

We still had no idea why she was saying these things:
MADDOW (12/3/13): The press in this country is a free press. The press can do whatever we want. We can publish whatever we want. We can broadcast whatever we want.

But with that freedom comes great responsibility. The press is not just an amplifying system for raw information. We’re not just a means of disseminating information that we get access to by virtue of us being the press.

The press makes decisions all the time about what is right to publish and what is wrong to publish. What is a value to the public’s understanding of our world and news events, and what is not of value and would only cause unnecessary pain or harm if it were broadcast.

The name of the rape victim does not need to be part of the story, right? The bodies at the crash site do not need to be shown on the 6 o’clock news in order for you to understand that people were killed in that crash. The death of Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, it can be described and not shown, even though his killers so desperately wanted it to be shown and shown again and shown again. It can be described. It does not have to be shown, particularly because that is what they wanted.

And these calls are not always simple. When Saddam Hussein was executed in Iraq, was the particular brutality of that execution just an obscenity that was beside the point of his death? Or was the sectarian screaming and the chaos and the brutality of that execution and his last moments actually an important part of the story? And for what his death would mean in an ongoing way both for Iraq and for us?
It’s no wonder they get paid so much, making those tough judgment calls!

By now, the analysts were twisting their heads like the RCA Victor dog. At 9:13, we glanced at the clock. We’ll admit it:

We still had no idea why we were being lectured this way. And then, at last, we were finally permitted to know! It had to do with the kinds of children Maddow cares about:
MADDOW: It is a very, very uncomfortable thing, but it is part of why the job of a free and responsible press is not just an important thing in a democracy, it’s a hard thing, and it’s a hard job, and it is hard to do well. You want the people who do it to be worthy of the responsibility that they have.

Tomorrow morning in a law office in Danbury, Connecticut, the news media will get access to the tapes of the 911 phone calls that were made in Newtown, Connecticut on the morning of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shootings. The state of the Connecticut and the prosecutor’s office and representatives of the victims’ families say they did not want those tapes to ever become available to the public. But the Associated Press sued to get access to the tapes, and a judge was ruled in the favor and appeals were dropped.

And so, tomorrow morning in Connecticut, the media for the first time will get those tapes. And then what?

Now, it’s up to the good judgment of the media to decide whether those tapes should be publicly broadcast. Whether what they will add to the public understanding of the massacre outweighs the additional, pointless trauma that playing those tapes publicly will undoubtedly cause to the families and the survivors in Newtown. Again, it was an Associated Press lawsuit that brought about the access to the tapes. It’s going to happen tomorrow morning.
Maddow thinks the press should withhold the tapes of the 911 calls made on that terrible day in Newtown. She may be right about that. We don’t have a strong opinion.

That said, she devoted the first twenty-one minutes of last night’s program to this topic. Thirteen minutes into the program, we still didn’t know what topic we were being lectured about.

To watch the tape of this segment, click here, then click again.

Rachel cares about the children of Newtown, as of course everyone should. She also cares about their parents. We’ve heard her discuss the problem posed by these tapes before.

Let us tell you who Maddow’s channel doesn’t care about. Her channel doesn’t care about our country’s “black” kids, or about their parents.

Yesterday, new international test scores were released. According to the Nexis archives, they were widely discussed on TV—on the ABC in Australia.

They weren’t widely discussed over here. Simply put, the liberal world doesn’t care about this topic, or about the kids whose lives are involved in this topic.

The liberal world, or the corporate cable version of same, doesn’t care about those children’s parents.

Last evening, the PBS Newshour devoted a segment to the new test scores. They even interviewed Andreas Schleicher, the PISA’s semi-cult-like “Andreas the Giant.”

We haven’t had the heart to review what was said. But a full segment was devoted to the topic.

Judging from the Nexis archives, the PISA wasn’t mentioned at all on The One True Liberal Channel last night. This topic isn’t on the playlist at the pseudo-liberal answer to Fox.

As we’ll start to show you tomorrow, the interests of black kids are deeply involved in this particular topic. But so what? At MSNBC, no one cares about these kids, or about their parents.

This point has been made abundantly clear time after time after time.

They care about the beautiful children of Newtown, as of course everyone should. But when it comes to those “other” kids, our corporate multimillionaire TV stars just flat-out don’t respond.

Rachel begged for good judgment today. How about some good judgment from her?

The start to a puzzling lecture: Rachel devoted twenty-one minutes to this topic. This is the way she began:
MADDOW: And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.

In March of this past year, there was a series of violent attacks in the south of France. On March 11th, a French soldier was killed in an unprovoked, seemingly random shooting. Then, four days later, in a town about 30 miles away, two more French soldiers were ambushed and killed, again in a totally unprovoked attack. And then, four days later it happened again.

The third attack was an attack against a Jewish school in the city of Toulouse. A young rabbi and teacher was killed. He was trying to shield his own kids from the gunman at the time. Two kids of his children were killed alongside him at that day, as well as another 8-year-old girl from the school, and then the gunman got away.

Three attacks. There were March 11th, then March 15th, and then March 19th. In all three cases, it was a single gunman with a large caliber handgun on a motorcycle. And he kept his motorcycle helmet on throughout the attacks.

It turns out the gunman had mounted on his chest a video camera. He’d mounted on his chest a Go Pro, a Go Pro camera with which he recorded himself carrying out all of these shootings. After they finally figured out who the shooter was, after a huge nationwide manhunt, and a long armed stand-off with police in which the killer finally went down in a hail of bullets, after a huge standoff, a few days after, it was all over and police were doing the investigation, trying to figure out if he acted alone.
At 9:13, we still had no idea why we were hearing an endless succession of similar topics discussed. At considerable length, we even reviewed the tasteful way the press corps handled video of people jumping to their deaths from the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Rachel really cares about this—about the children of Newtown. Concerning those “other” kids, not so much. Truth to tell, not at all.


  1. The poor will always be with us. It is their job to be invisible, so they do not disturb the comfort of others. In a society in which competition is built into our economic system, there must be losers along with winners. Losers are supposed to be "good losers," to not complain about losing even if the game is unfair. No whining. Given these realities of the way our society works, why would you expect our pundits to say anything about poverty or the way it affects children's lives?

    Our economic system is morally justified by the provision of educational opportunities to children as part of public education, because that way we can assume that everyone at least starts out with a chance in life. To the extent that is untrue, our system is immoral. People who have gained a great deal from their competition for $ should care most about giving everyone a fair chance, but they see clearly that their own profits are maximized when they have a large group of financially desperate people willing to work for low wages and docile because they accept the explanations of their employers. There cannot be a fair chance when those who profit from our economy use the educational system that is supposed to be helping everyone get ahead instead to further their own economic interests. We used to keep profit out of the schools. Now profit-makers see schools as ways to directly make money, not just ways to benefit their other enterprises. MOOCs, educational materials, computer-based instruction, even for-profit charter schools, all are ways to make money off children, with profit the main consideration and educational outcomes a distant second.

    We should be complaining about this, but it takes considerable education to know how to address such wrongs -- an irony that has not escaped those who control access to information in the media -- like Rachel.

    1. proudcodpiecewearingamericanDecember 4, 2013 at 11:51 AM

      i dont know exactly where youre coming from anon 10:26, but anyway,

      "The poor will always be with us. It is their job to be invisible, so they do not disturb the comfort of others."

      >>> in america everybody is supposed to have equal rights as citizens and there are a lot more poor than rich and they theoretically can band together to change the economic system. its been done before in this country.

      "In a society in which competition is built into our economic system, there must be losers along with winners."

      >>> over time, the more losers there are, the lower the aggregate demand is. lower demand hurts the winners as well. in other words, its in the winners interest to minimize the losers. those winners who are not dependent on domestic demand and or labor should be dealt more harshly in the tax code.

    2. American business has never been able to place long term gain ahead of short term gain. Maybe it is because we are an ahistorical people. I think the window for banding together is rapidly closing because we are becoming a surveillance state in which basic civil liberties are no longer guaranteed (because terrorism).

    3. proudcodpiecewearingamericanDecember 4, 2013 at 3:31 PM

      "I think the window for banding together is rapidly closing because we are becoming a surveillance state in which basic civil liberties are no longer guaranteed (because terrorism)."

      >>> im more optimistic on that score. i think the american people are more and more seeing thru the greed based american government (directly sponsored or just undefended against) false flag operations and the folly of warring on a thing such as a tactic like terrorism.

      by way of example, god forbid it happens, but my guess is that if a nuclear bomb were detonated in a major american city outside of the media center of new york (not fired from another countries military) it would occasion less angst in the people generally than 9/11. even if there were 100 times the casualties.

  2. proudcodpiecewearingamericanDecember 4, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    “Rachel Maddow’s very long, strange presentation!” - b. somerby

    >>> didnt see her show last night, but from the times i have caught the show, ive wondered about the wisdom of this particular style for getting good ratings.

    “let us tell you who Maddow’s channel doesn’t care about. Her channel doesn’t care about our country’s “black” kids, or about their parents.” -b. somerby

    >>> youre mixing up madows show with the whole station. i havent seen enuf of her show to have a strong opinion on her level of concern for blacks, but even if she was the grand dragon of the new york kkk, that wouldnt make the whole station unconcerned about blacks or anyone else. from what ive been able to see and gather from others, the station as a whole is very concerned about black people.

    also, education topics are very boring generally and they are not mainly running a blog. they are broadcasting, not narrowcasting. did they do a story on this educational issue in their website? if not, then perhaps they should have.

    1. If education topics are boring, why do they make so many movies about them?

    2. proudcodpiecewearingamericanDecember 4, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      by education topics, i meant just that, such as the usefulness of and the comparative results of educational achievement tests disaggregated among groups and compared across time. not movies (and by movies i presume you mean fiction) which happen to find drama or comedy in a school setting or among characters who happen to be students.

  3. By comparison, Radio Rachel was an engaging free-spirited spokesman for left and leftish alike. I assumed that's why she was entrusted with her own cable show and made rich and semi-famous.

    She has since become a progressively (pun intended) crashing, hectoring, annoying bore, occasional cutsiness notwithstanding. Her show has become unwatchable owing to the interminable Block A sermons one must suffer through every night. Even if this were passable radio fare, it would be bad television. Does she understand her medium?

    She's come close to adopting Rush Limbaugh's attitude toward guests more knowledgeable, articulate, and intelligent than the host. I believe she tolerates one guest a night. The segment is called "the interview." That's big of her. True, other shows settle for the "usual gang of idiots," but at least there's an effort at a multiplicity of views.

    Who does she think she is, Edward R. Murrow? Chris Hayes has become more watchable, for crying out loud.

    1. "She has since become a progressively (pun intended) crashing, hectoring, annoying bore, occasional cutsiness notwithstanding. Her show has become unwatchable owing to the interminable Block A sermons one must suffer through every night. Even if this were passable radio fare, it would be bad television. Does she understand her medium?


    2. If I had a quibble with this, it would be that she was as insufferable on Air America as she is now. Only difference is, we were subjected to less of her on Air America than we are on MSNBC.

  4. " Thirteen minutes into the program, we still didn’t know what topic we were being lectured about."

    She **always** does this, I can't watch it anymore.

  5. I stuck around long enough to find out what her topic and argument were, but, about 10 minutes into the monologue, I said to someone that I hope I never have to take a course from Maddow. What a bore. BTW, if you watch her regularly, as I have recently, you will find that on most nights her introductory monologue is as off-putting as the one last night. Because of this, my Maddow-watching days are numbered.

  6. proudcodpiecewearingamericanDecember 4, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    too bad about the introduction of plasterboard. good to see some plasters left. a couple thought on your website. do they use the stilts over in england? would make for some intersting pics. also, do you wear any eye protection? i knew somebody who was knocked out of action for a good while who got some lime in his eye. good luck to you.

    1. proudcodpiecewearingamericanDecember 4, 2013 at 2:04 PM

      nevermind. made some sense before the other comment was removed.

    2. Actually, very little in any of your comments make sense. From here on: "...and they theoretically can band together to change the economic system. its been done before in this country." Naive or nuts.

    3. proudcodpiecewearingamericanDecember 4, 2013 at 9:40 PM

      the square deal under teddy roosevelt and the new deal under franklin roosevelt. this is elementary. care to say what other comments you disagree with me on?

  7. Rachel Maddow just loves to hear herself talk. The proper response when people with big egos prattle on and on is to change the channel...turn off the TV....ignore them.

  8. I suspect the reason Rachel Maddow doesn't talk about education and test scores on her program is because she doesn't understand the topic, and she knows it. It would embarrass her Rhodesscholarness to discuss the topic incoherently, which other TV programs are unashamed to do. She needs to maintain the masquerade of being super smart.

  9. OMB (What is thirteen minutes in a blog post?)

    Have to give BOB credit here for pointing out yet another Rachel example of failure to get to the point. Of course it took equally long for BOB to get to his, the failure of Rachel and her network to cover test scores, and not caring about black children because they don't cover the scores.

    Of course astute BOB followers could have guessed his point from the git go.


    1. Did it take you 20 minutes to read Bob's column?

    2. Is that the best you've got?


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