A genuine crackpot gets off: Governor Ultrasound was indicted yesterday. So was his wife.
Personally, we’re pretty much sorry they were. We don’t root for people to get their lives turned upside down in these ways.
Their conduct seems to have been ridiculous, but it seems that little harm was done. Little harm, or perhaps none.
There’s a problem with the scandal culture which has lurked about since the Watergate days. Last night, Rachel Maddow—a genuine nutcase in this area—helped the world see what it is.
McDonnell is a minor figure at this point. His career was already pretty much shot due to his ridiculous, money-grubbing behavior—the type of conduct which should seem familiar to a cable “news” host.
McDonnell simply doesn’t matter. But to a genuine nut like Maddow, he matters very much. Nothing else really does.
Maddow devoted the first two segments of last night’s program to McDonnell’s indictment. Given the length of her opening segment, roughly sixty percent of her program was devoted to this topic.
When the McDonnell scandal coverage ended, she turned to the Christie scandal coverage. Nothing got discussed all night except the thrill of scandal.
Rachel loves it when The Others get in trouble. Stroking herself and seeming to groan, she started off like this:
MADDOW (1/21/14): When it rains, it pours. Former Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia and his wife, the first lady of Virginia, Maureen McDonnell, have today been indicted by federal prosecutors on more than a dozen felony charges. If they are convicted of those charges and they face the maximum penalties allowed by law, they could be looking at decades in jail and fines of over $1 million.Exactly! To anyone even slightly sane, the highlighted passage is the obvious problem here. But in matters like this, it never enters Maddow’s head that prosecutors can sometimes perhaps get carried away, just as governors can.
Maddow devoted a 23-minute opening segment to her joy at this news. And when she returned from commercial break, good God! She started all over again!
How crazy is Maddow in these affairs? Below, you see the lunacy with which she started her second segment.
“One of the things about a criminal indictment is that you get a lot of specifics,” this full-blown crackpot said. After that, she proved her point.
Remember, she had already spent 23 minutes on this topic. Then this:
MADDOW: One of the things about a criminal indictment is that you get a lot of specifics. So for example, in the Bob McDonnell corruption scandal in Virginia, there’s been a lot of reporting over the last nine months or so about the kinds of gifts that the governor and his family took from the CEO of the Virginia company who figured in the scandal.Not since Hephaestus forged Achilles' shield have we heard such an endless narration. Start at graf 478.
Before today, though, before the actual indictment came out, including this forfeiture list of items that Governor McDonnell and his wife will be expected to hand over if they are convicted, this forfeiture list, we’ve never had this kind of detail about what they took.
But now we know, if convicted, they will have to hand over the sum of not less than $140,805.46.
Black Rebecca Minkoff shoes, a black Louis Vuitton shoes, white Louis Vuitton shoes, a cream Louis Vuitton purse, a cream Louis Vuitton wallet, a silver Rolex watch, engraved with "71st governor of Virginia," a yellow Peter Som dress, a blue Armani jacket, and two matching dresses, two gold Oscar de la Renta dresses, a black Louis Vuitton raincoat, a gold Oscar de la Renta sweater, one pair of Emilio Rose earrings, one Gear sweatshirt, two pairs of Footjoy golf shoes, one button down Ralph Lauren shirt, one white Peter Miller golf shirt, one baby blue striped Peter Miller golf shirt, one royal blue Peter Miller golf shirt, one aqua fairway green tech golf shirt, one white striped Ralph Lauren golf shirt, one ping University of Virginia golf bag, one ping Kinloch golf bag, one Sun Mountain Notre Dame golf bag, two sets of golf clubs, one Heather McKenzie watercolor and frame, two iPhones, and 30 boxes of Anatabloc.
All of which the governor and his wife and family reportedly took as gifts from the CEO of the company that makes Anatabloc.
This was the start of Maddow’s second segment on this topic. On and on and on she went, stroking herself and reading the list, not failing to mention the one white Peter Miller golf shirt and the several golf bags.
If Governor Ultrasound is convicted, all must be given back!
After this, Maddow spoke with Kendall Coffey about how “very, very detailed” the indictment is. After Coffey slithered away, Maddow returned to her abundant self-stroking.
She told us how she’d spent the day. She told us what would be next:
MADDOW: I will say, just because I have been marinating in this indictment since it came out this afternoon, I’ve got to say, “bribery” does appear. Counts 2 through 4, “defendants, Robert F. McDonnell, Maureen McDonnell, and others, known and unknown to the grand jury, knowingly and intentionally, having devised and intended to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud the citizens of Virginia of their right to the honest services of the governor of Virginia through bribery.”Maddow’s entire program was about scandal. This is one of the obvious problems with the scandal culture and the love of same.
Also, the word "extortion" is in there two pages later.
This is absolutely—this has been a scandalous story from the beginning, but the detail that is in this indictment is, I’ve got to admit, even for just a layman, it’s almost mind bending. I almost can’t believe this isn’t a movie.
All right. Also, today was Governor Chris Christie’s inauguration day in New Jersey. And lots of activity surrounding that governor’s bridge scandal managed to transpire today, despite this other scandal and despite the inauguration and despite the huge snowstorm that is socking the East Coast in the face as I speak.
Lots ahead. Stay with us.
Beyond that, we were struck by an obvious point. Throughout last evening’s marathon, we were struck by the resemblance between the McDonnells and the people who work in cable news.
Can we talk? Bob McDonnell and his wife behaved extremely foolishly. That said, they took a very tiny pittance compared to the millions that flow to certain clowning hosts on cable news channels.
Those people have defrauded the public much more than the McDonnells seem to have done in the case of the free golf bags.
According to Coffey, the indictment says “there was an ongoing scheme to extract all kinds of personal benefits, in effect, close to $140,000 in largely cash items—the rather intriguing list of consumer items that you just detailed—in order to get favorable treatment from the governor’s office.” That’s peanuts compared to the millions of dollars people like Maddow take for their clowning and their dissembling and their acts against the public.
Good God! By the time of the Bush-Gore election, Chris Matthews was being paid $5 million per year by Jack Welch to send Bush to the White House. He earned that bribe in the most heinous ways, as Maddow of course understands.
Last October, she referred to this fraudster as “my beloved colleague and pal, Chris Matthews.” If you have a strong stomach today, you can just click here.
The McDonnells behaved very foolishly. The conduct of others is worse; their paydays are much larger.
Always include the kids: Yesterday, we mentioned the way Rachel likes to drag the children into stories of this kind.
As always, your Daily Howler was right. This is the way Maddow started last evening’s bill of attainder:
MADDOW: And if you want to know where it started, it started with the chicken dinner. The catered chicken dinner at the wedding for one of Governor Bob McDonnell’s daughters, which was hosted at the governor’s mansion back in June of 2011.The story goes on and on from there. We’ll suggest that you go to her site and watch a real crackpot at work.
A June wedding is always a nice thing. A June wedding of the governor’s daughter is the kind of thing people love to hear about. And when the wedding is hosted at the absolutely lovely governor’s mansion in Richmond, Virginia, that is the kind of thing that’s going to get a lot of adoring attention.
When people wish harm on others this much, we sometimes wonder what steers them.
Tomorrow: Was that a real correction?
" Stroking herself and seeming to groan,"ReplyDelete
and then there is the 7-figure salary.
Just BURNS the blogger up doesn't it?
Cool-Aid gallery - this obsession is bordering on the dangerous - is there any way you (all 3 of you) can get him to get help?
Who is the third? I have heard of Three Legged Pete, but never three handed Bob.Delete
I agree, 2:52. Every day, this blog reads more and more like a cry for help.ReplyDelete
Perhaps it is time to back off and hope that somebody who truly loves Bob Somerby will intervene.
The analysts tried, but he drowned them in a bathtub off campus.Delete
"Perhaps it is time to back off..."Delete
You keep saying that, and we keep hoping you'll keep your promise, but you always return. But we will admit, you ought to be a specialist in cries for help...
I'm glad Bob is taking on RM. Somebody should-- she's turned into such a lightweight.Delete
Her supporters here too are pretty shallow. 'Oh, Somerby's jealous because of her income! That's it.'
Yeah, that's it-- it's the kind of critique that's on her level.
Anonymous @ 6:28, who is this "we" to whom you refer.Delete
The only folks around here who use the Royal we is the blogster and his mimic KZ, who calls himself after Tiger nation animated royal cartoon King.
So who is we. Is you?
So, people that abuse political office should not be punished. What is with the 'people wish harm on others' mean? What should happen to McDonnell?ReplyDelete
Maybe his Rolex should be crushed by a runaway Ferrari?Delete
"...prosecutors can sometimes perhaps get carried away, just as governors can"ReplyDelete
This is true. Though since Bob McDonnell was the Attorney General for the state prior to his term as Governor, one would think that he would be far more aware of this than most people.
But since this is all about Maddow...is it the recommendation offered by TDH that newsy TV shows should be built around themes like how state AGs are sometimes surprised by aggressive prosecutions...umm, but only when they find themselves the targets? Is that really one of the big problems that TDH wishes would be the focus of Maddow's show?
You know if a governor allegedly accepting bribes isn't newsworthy in the world of Bob, nor a governor's people (if not the governor himself) tying up traffic for a week in one of his towns for no good reason (and please, Bob fans, drop the "study" bullshit), then what is newsworthy.Delete
Would a bunch of guys carrying fresh $100 bills burglarizing the offices of a national party headquarters be worth poking around to see what else is there?
Cable News hosts aren't forbidden from accepting gifts of this nature. Why, then does Mr. Somersby use that as a rationale for claiming that Rachel Maddow was unduly obsessed with the story of a now-former state governor being indicted for accepting bribes?Delete
Had the New York Times made that analogy, Mr. Somersby would likely have classified it as a "howler."
Maddow has been taking money under false premises -- she doesn't behave like a journalist but like a clown. If you weren't new here you'd get that.Delete
The humor Anon 12:41 is that both Somerby and friends along with Maddow's friends seem to agree she is a journalist.Delete
She is a talking head. A pundit. She is a performer.
She is not, and has never been, a jounalist.
But she plays one on TV.Delete
Go tell our esteemed host that she is not a journalist.Delete
Just the other day, he reminded his legion of readers that this blog was about journalists, and nothing else.
And since Maddow absolutely dominates this blog, we must assume she must be the premier journalist in the entire world today.
Yes, Rachel plays a journalist on TV. So does Bill O'Reilly.Delete
Rachel's show is "The Rachel Maddow Show." Rachel gives her take on daily events selected by people employed by her show and network.
Her job is to make the program enjoyable enough to attract a sufficient amount of viewers to make the program profitable for her employer. The amount of compensation she gets depends on the amount of money the network agrees to cut her in on their take. If she is getting a lot of money, it means the network is getting even more and thinks she is key to their success.
Rachel's show is "The Rachel Maddow Show." The title is similar to programs like "The Carol Burnett Show" or "The Andy Griffith Show." It is not called "The MSNBC Evening News with Rachel Maddow."
Rachel Maddow is not Walter Cronkite. Glenn Beck is not David Brinkley. But Bob Somerby is not I.F. Stone, either.
He is a person who used to perform in front of live audiences
who now does his schtick for free on the internet.
That's a cop out. It's the same one Rush Limbaugh uses when he gets called out- "hey, I'm just an entertainer".Delete
Actually Anon. you should spend more time understanding the use of ironic self deprecation or ironic self promotion as practiced by both TDH and Limbaugh.Delete
When Limbaugh uses that phrase it is much like TDH saying "your Howler gets results" when he is joking that he doesn't. Only Limbaugh is usually pissed because somebody called him that, or recting to suggestions he not be taken seriously.
"I'm not saying this to be critical. I'm trying to be helpful. But I'm just an entertainer, never forget that, and I'm just trying to, you know, pied piper you, 'cause I really don't mean anything I'm saying. You'll hear that in the sound bites." Rush 10/22/2013
The idea that any politician's career is over because of an embarassing scandal is wrong. It has been demonstrably wrong since one of the Keating 5 was nominated for President, and it's particularly wrong during the same month that David Vitter announces a run for Governor of Louisiana.ReplyDelete
Would Wilbur Mills, Harrison Williams, John Ensign, Jesse Jackson Jr., Rod Blagojevich, Tom Delay, Randy Cunningham, William Jefferson, Robert Toricelli, Dan Rostenkowski, Jim Traficant, Spiro Agnew, count as "any politician"?Delete
The name of this blog ought to be changed to Daily Howling about Maddow. I have had enough of the daily rants on Maddow, who I don't even watch. I used to look forward to reading this blog, but now its more howling about Maddow than anything else. Sad to see what had been an insightful and analytical blog turn into what it has become.ReplyDelete
I quit watching Maddow until Bob began picking on her. I find many of his criticisms to be valid. I just didn't know she perspired before. Stroking herself moaning into a puddle of perspiring piddle, the young Rhodes scholar could go on all night.Delete
It's become a car wreak! Bob, should only watch FoxNews 24/7.Delete
He focuses on her because she's a clear example of everything that's wrong with the news media these days.Delete
Even she's good she manages to blow it. I got real tired of her way-too-easy misstatements a while back, and am glad that someone is calling her out.
And btw, doesn't her constant preening and mincing and acting cute make everybody else sick? It's really unprofessional, and worse, it no longer fits her chronological age.
I, for one, am shocked and dismayed that you're being forced to read a blog that has entries about Rachel Maddow when you don't want to read about Rachel Maddow. Have you tried calling the police? Or Social Services?
"Bob McDonnell and his wife behaved extremely foolishly. That said, they took a very tiny pittance compared to the millions that flow to certain clowning hosts on cable news channels."ReplyDelete
Has there ever been a stupider observation? It is sad to watch this. TDH once took on the establishment media for their scripts that typically damaged progressive interests. Some were legitimate targets, like Maureen Dowd, who nominally was seen as being somewhat on the liberal side. Now he focuses his attack on people who have been let in the side door to present a more agreeable point of view. Despite her imperfections and compromises, Maddow does present information that mainstream news does not, and lots of it. Since when does NPR or NBC or Mett the Press focus on stories like the assault on unions or voter suppression? When she fails, fine, call her out -- as in her tongue-tied silence on the true Susan Rice story or her buddy-buddy relationship with Wall Street-friendly Corey Booker -- but this daily, all-out assault is disgusting.
And TDH still has not apologized for making a completely false statement on January 17 about what Maddow had said the day before. This is DAY 5 in the TDH honesty watch.
That second sentence above should read, "Some seen as somewhat on the liberal side, like Maureen Dowd, were legitimate targets." In fact, I would say that most targets were fully deserving, but the critique was always anchored to some genuine grievance. Railing against a press for loving scandals is a worthless exercise. It has been ever thus, and always will be.Delete
Instead of blowing this off as no big deal really so he can whack Maddow with that, Bob should really take an hour or so to read and digest the indictments before he clings to his narrative.Delete
In short, it is bad enough for a politician to accept a "quid pro quo" bribe. It is even worse to solicit them.
But it's not a more agreeable POV. Most of the time it's lightweight, and underpinned by false representations. Does that satisfy her fans?.Delete
Did you arrive at that conclusion independently or did you get that from Bob?Delete
I ask that rhetorically knowing full well that if you watched Maddow last night then read Somerby, you'd also wonder what planet Somerby had just come from.
Anonymous @4:02P, I've skimmed the indictment, and it contains quite a bit of quid (as Darlin' Rachel noted) but precious little quo. It's hard to figure out what McDonnell did for his loot.Delete
I've read the federal statute too, and this actually doesn't matter much, given the definition of attempt and conspiracy. Plus the McDonnells lied to a bank about a loan, practically the most heinous crime in Title 18 of the United States Code.
Your claim that you even skimmed it is rather dubious. The quid pro quo is there in glorious detail.Delete
But gee whiz, you "skimmed" it and the conclusion you reached? Surprise, surprise.
Do I mind when anonymous assholes call me a liar. A little, but not much.Delete
Sorry that my reading wasn't intensive enough for you. The quid is laid out in excruciating detail -- loans, money, dresses, etc. The quo, not so much. What did McDonnell actually do in return for his loot? Whatever he did, his wife surely did less. For purposes of "honest services" fraud, this doesn't matter all that much.
But go ahead, since you're obviously a more assiduous reader than I am. Lay it out in all that glorious detail.
Whatever harm came and comes to the McDonnells, it doesn't come from Maddow's wishing. They'd still be up shit creek if Maddow had spent her show parsing Poetics.ReplyDelete
You have to admit, Roger, that if more people parsed poetics than pimped piddle while perspiring. we wouldn't be troubles about traffic tie-ups on tollways. And more people would be able to see how broken our intellectual culture with its rotted out values, has become.Delete
But what do I know. I may be a loser but I'm just this side of
insane. Maureen Dowd. Now she's insane.
And the really important issues such as the war on Gore, the war on Zimmerman, the war on black kids, the war on Poland, Finland,Shanghai etc. would get the attention they would deserve in an unbroken intellectual culture without rotted values.Delete
CAPTAIN AHAB: Speak not to me of blasphemy, man; I'd strike the sun if it insulted me. Look ye, Starbuck, all visible objects are but as pasteboard masks. Some inscrutable yet reasoning thing puts forth the molding of their features. The white whale tasks me; he heaps me. Yet he is but a mask. 'Tis the thing behind the mask I chiefly hate; the malignant thing that has plagued mankind since time began; the thing that maws and mutilates our race, not killing us outright but letting us live on, with half a heart and half a lung.ReplyDelete
See, trolls, this is why Bob infuriates you. An unsuspecting rube like myself (and you) might hear about the McDonnell indictment and become somewhat outraged by the unseemly laundry list of filthy graft.ReplyDelete
I even balked at Bob's characterization of the behavior as trivial. What I didn't do, and wouldn't have done, is provide the context and proportion and perspective he offered, and thus recognize that yes, relatively speaking, the gov's behavior IS trivial and much less threatening to American (and liberal) ideals than is weirdo Rachel's.
Neither would you have any such inclination, trolls. And you resent that anyone does, because you believe your ideology fares much better where there is adequate deception and obfuscation, and very little watchdog oversight. You're Stalinists at heart, not liberals. It's evident in every weak critique you attempt.
Right. Joe McCarthy really didn't do any thing all that bad, either. It was the vile Edward R. Murrow who ginned the whole thing up into a much bigger deal thatn it was.Delete
Offer valid wherever Joe McCarthy = Bob McDonnell...Delete
We expect public officials to follow rules about what gifts they may accept. This case will hinge on whether there will quid pro quos that turned it into extortion or bribery rather than just broken rules. No one has talked much about what was given to these gift-givers that has betrayed the public trust.Delete
In Maddow's case, an entire show enumerating the gifts taken instead of the favors given in exchange for those gifts constitutes major corruption on her part. She engages in vicarious envy instead of reporting what McDonnell did wrong (other than enjoy the materialism we are all encouraged to pursue). If Somerby thinks McDonnell's crimes are trivial, it isn't because the dollar amount of the gifts was insignificant, but because the favors traded were small. What were they? You won't ever know if you depend on Maddow to tell you.
Celebrities routinely get gift bags at events these days. They include very pricey items donated by sponsors who want those celebrities to be seen using their stuff. Now that journalists have become celebrities, why not politicians, such as governors? When every one goes home with swag, including first ladies in their designer clothes and their vacations at loaned estates, how is a governor to know where to draw the line? Or how seriously to take that line?
Someone who is so eager to hunt down and trap a political opponent over behavior that is tolerated in others, is demonstrating a kind of bias or partisan lack of objectivity that is unfair to those who become the focus, and that warps any sense of reality. That is why Maddow is being called a crank.
"No one has talked much about what was given to these gift-givers that has betrayed the public trust."ReplyDelete
Sorry, bucko. Rachel Maddow has. And for quite some time. You know her. The "crank."
And if you bothered to do a bit of independent research, you'd also the US attorneys talk about the "quo" quite a bit. But you'd have to take 13 felony allegations seriously, rather than accept Somerby's spin that there is no "there" there.
Now I am sure that the two or three Bob fans left loved you regurgitating his utter nonsense once again. They can't seem to hear this bullshit enough.
How much time was spent itemizing the crimes compared to itemizing the gifts and who cares what they were? It is irrelevant.Delete
I am sure Rachel spent as much time on the crimes compared to the gifts as say Bob did in his recent post on pushback against charges against Wendy Davis. Who cares what those charges were or what the pushback was.Delete
Remeber what happened to Al Gore? They made fun of his farm chores.
Blogger, I watch Maddow last night, and it was pretty much as you described -- unbearable. When she started reading the list of items, I was instantaneously bored and switched channels. Yet...ReplyDelete
Your obsession with her sins is manifesting as some sort of mental illness. Yes, she is usually, but not always, impossible to bear -- the sing-song chirpy delivery, the irksome repetitiveness, the wallowing in unimportant minutiae, general annoyance factor, etc. But it's just not that important. Seriously, your day-after-day jihad is just about as boring as that list of dresses and watches.
You used to do good work. Get back to it. Oh, and you've got a repetitiveness problem too. For God's sake, try to say each thing once.
The short version of that sentiment - with which I largely concur - is that Bob is punching beneath him.Delete
Rachel Maddow is, for the left, the Best of What's Left. She is the latest in a line of increasingly strident pundits on MSNBC whose main skill is an instinct for the capillary.
Just for fun I watched a couple of old Tim Russert 'Meet the Press' episode. Jeesh. Talk about a 'No Spin' zone. That willingness to research and think - not "marinate" - and ask questions which demand answers has been lost, for the very reasons Bob's been citing.
We are, each of us, tribalists now. At least according to journalists.
"Just for fun I watched a couple of old Tim Russert 'Meet the Press' episode. Jeesh. Talk about a 'No Spin' zone."Delete
You're using Tim Russert as an example of a journalist who Bob admires? Really?
I guess you haven't been around here very long.
Bob seems to have expressed a fondness for some folks who have been dead a long time. He seems OK most of the time with Kevin Drum and Krugman. Megyn Kelly has come in for praise lately.Delete
"See, trolls, this is why Bob infuriates you."
No - we are just giving him whats coming to him for being a reverse catcher-in-the-rye - mugging liberals with blinding hate, disguised as fact-checking.
People react to realization that one is a loser and a failure in life in many different ways - for the blogger it has lit a burning lava fire in his heart that he is directing on liberals with a blow torch.
Projecting again are we?Delete
Anything is possible, you have no way of knowing.Delete
People react to realization that one is a loser and a failure in life in many different ways...Delete
For me, it would be spending time reading and commenting on a blog I found wrong-headed and worthless.
But that's just me.
I see what you did there.Delete
But, subtlety is lost on the unsubtle.
Anonymous @8:07A, As long as there's one of you, it's all worthwhile.Delete
Bob. Maddow is easily mocked. But don't do it by making a mockery of yourself by defending people whose behavior is disgraceful in order to try and prove your point. You paint yourself as every bit the rouge faced clown in big shoes you want your readers to see her to be.ReplyDelete
Except he didn't defend them.Delete
True. A better choice of words would be "by trying to minimize their criminal behavior by ridiculously suggesting legal behavior is worse because you dislike it."Delete
"Except he didn't defend them."Delete
Third paragraph, this very post.
"Their conduct seems to have been ridiculous, but it seems that little harm was done. Little harm, or perhaps none."
I am at a loss at this late date as to when Somerby will begin to take allegations of bribery and extortion seriously, rather than as ginned-up non-stories cooked up by a media eager for scandal.
So, it's the "Seriousness of the Charge" rather than the 'evidence that's presented' that's the determining factor for what demands time and attention of the guy who shares his opinions (for free) on the internets - in your opinion?Delete
I guess Bob missed that class during his, what?, 15 years of incomparable opining.
We have the recently former governor and his wife formally charged with multiple felonies.Delete
And Bob is still trying to poo-poo it as no harm, no foul, because that's been his story and by gum, he's sticking to it..
And all this time, I thought this blog's mission was to expose how people in the media will cling to their own stories even in the face of a mountain of evidence to the contrary.
8:13, I certainly hope that the McDonnells and their attorneys are taking these charges more seriously than Somerby is.Delete
I think both friend and foe of Bob alike would agree heartily with the main point of Anonymous 8:13.Delete
Bob's opining is incomparable.
See how easy it is to bridge tribal differences.
However, I am sure Bob's analysts are running through the campus tearing their hair out at his losing a year of Bob's unique contributions to cultural salvation. He has been a piece of work for 16 years. Fortunately you used the Maddow/Bobesque "weasel" phrase "what?" to make your error seem unintentional.
i saw the show and it was riveting.ReplyDelete
for extremely large values of "rivets"Delete
Would anyone want to look at our broken culture?ReplyDelete
Look at this post headline: The Very Large Problem with Scandal Culture
Now read the lede: "A genuine crackpot gets off: Governor Ultrasound was indicted yesterday. So was his wife.
Personally, we’re pretty much sorry they were. We don’t root for people to get their lives turned upside down in these ways."
Are we to assume somebody named Ultrasound is a crackpot? And that his indictment constitutes getting off?
This is poor journalism which shows little concern for readers who skim and don't get deep into articles. It is not until after we are told the crackpot and wife did little or no harm with their ridiculous acts that we find out the article is about someone else.
No, Maddow is the crackpot and the headline refers to her "getting off" on the prosecution of this governor. It refers to her inordinate enjoyment in reading that list of swag and her evident glee that he will not get away with it.Delete
You want to hold an author accountable for your lack of comprehension after only skimming what was written? Very silly troll.
Bob's got this one wrong.ReplyDelete
Yes, Rachel Maddow can be a boor. And too often she's not as "bright" in her presentations and discussion as her educational pedigree (Stanford, Rhodes Scholar, doctorate) might suggest.
But Bob McDonnell's "giftgate" is not trivial, especially because he presented himself as honorable and decent and above reproach. Reading the indictment, it's clear just how greedy and indecent he and his wife were. As The Post put it, "It is impossible to read the indictment — with its repeated examples of cash, vacations, gifts, loans, private jets, vacation houses and baubles swapped for official access and favors — without seeing that Mr. McDonnell debased the office he held and that Mrs. McDonnell was complicit in that tawdry work."
We cannot expect politicians to be "perfect" people. We can and should, however, expect them to obey the law. And we should hold them accountable when they do not.
McDonnell has been an advocate of "accountability" for others....so let him (and his wife) walk the talk.
You'd think from this comment that their crime was greed and not corruption (selling influence). That implies that our feelings about character are complicating the issue. An emotional presentation, like Maddow tends to provide, tends to whip up negative feeling beyond what the simple facts of a case are. It shouldn't be that a list of material items in an indictment would create an impression of a worse crime than one that omitted such a list. The crime is not what was received but what was given by the governor in return.Delete
This illustrates why Maddow's style of presentation is wrong. It obscures important issues instead of clarifying them -- her purpose as a journalist.
Talk about stuffing bucks in trousers.ReplyDelete
We have a strongly held belief that the punishment should fit the crime. This is so ingrained and widespread across cultures than some philosophers have suggested that a sense of reciprocity in innate to humanity. That is what is wrong in Maddow's presentation and that is why Somerby is calling these crimes trivial.ReplyDelete
This governor and his wife saw the office as a chance to receive gifts and services, to live large. It is a very human desire, one shared by people who overcharged their credit cards or who used the equity on their homes to improve their lifestyles before the housing crash. Now they are being charged with felonies that may put them in jail for many years. Somerby saw that as too harsh a penalty for what they did. I agree, because the punishment way exceeds the magnitude of the crime, especially as described in the indictment. He is not excusing them, he is complaining that the glee with which political opponents greet their downfall is unseemly and the desire for vengeance against him disproportionate, and perhaps fueled by something beyond what he did.
He uses ugly language to describe Maddow's presentation because she is ugly in her desire for retribution against a sad couple. What the governor and his wife did was wrong, but it doesn't justify Maddow's outrage. It is just very very sad. It is also sad that so many have apparently lost any empathy for flawed human beings of the other party.
So if I too succumb to the "very human desire" to live large, and since I am not a governor with people ready and willing to lavish money and gifts on me, so instead I rob a bank, that's no big deal, right?Delete
Any prison time for (almost) any crime is too harsh a penalty for what they did, in light of the fact that those who crashed the world's economy through fraud haven't done a day of prison time.ReplyDelete
The critical question is how much Rachel raises her eyebrows when she reports on this.ReplyDelete
Too bad Rachel wasn't around when Mrs. Lincoln was spending a fortune on flubdubs for that old barn when the President couldn't get blankets for his soldiers.ReplyDelete
Yeah, too bad. Cause young Bob would have let her have it then as well.Delete
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