WHO IS RACHEL MADDOW: A sudden change!


Part 2—Christie disappears: At least to judge from the magazine profiles, Rachel Maddow isn’t like you and me.

Blinding sunsets seem to frame her life story’s major moments. She flings tomahawks on first dates. Working with the AR-15, she is either an astonishing shot or someone who fires off into the air.

For details, see yesterday's post.

Whatever you think of Maddow’s journalistic work—we think it has been increasingly shameful, which is why we’re doing this series—her skill at self-promotion seems to be endless. A skillful cocktail of humble-bragging mixed with piteous self-deprecation allows her to portray herself as a superior being whose helplessness means that we mere mortals must learn to love and protect her.

Maddow is a skillful self-promoter. She works her various themes much as the late Tim Russert once worked his humble Buffalo childhood. That said, we can’t say we always believe what we read in profiles of Maddow.

Do you believe everything you read? Way back when, in that profile in Newsweek, Julia Baird wrote this:
BAIRD (12/1/08): She says she is not an angry person—just emotional. “I get teary a lot,” she says cheerfully, pulling one of the handkerchiefs she carries with her at all times out of her pocket and pointing out the bubble pattern on it. She believes in ghosts and is “knock on wood” superstitious. She is also anxious, often lying awake worrying about America's need for improved infrastructure and national security.
Do you believe that Maddow believes in ghosts? More momentously, do you believe she “often lies awake worrying about America's need for improved infrastructure?”

That claim by Maddow was rather common in the first year or so of her show. It’s the type of claim in which Maddow seems to set herself apart from us mere mortals.

Does Maddow often lie awake worrying about infrastructure? We don’t know if the claim is true, or if we want the claim to be true. It goes to the question of Maddow’s psychological composition, a question we’ll find ourselves forced to address before this series is through.

As the news business spirals downward, it sometimes seems you can’t get a program on cable TV if you aren’t a visible nut. Is Maddow perhaps a bit of a nut? For our money, her work had become so bad, and so morally careless, that it’s time to ask that question.

That said:

We can’t say we always believe the things Maddow says about herself. Many times, these claims tilt toward the unintentionally comic. Consider the several years of claims concerning the TV set.

When Maddow emerged on the scene, it was perhaps her principle hook, her version of Russert’s Buffalo boyhood: Maddow was the TV host who didn’t own a TV set!

In a profile for her hometown San Francisco Chronicle, she explained the situation, just as it would be explained a million times after that:
GAROFOLI (9/11/08): Armed with self-deprecating humor and an impressive intellect, Maddow is the newest marquee commentator on a network that finds itself in the middle of controversy about blurring the line between political commentary and straight reporting...

Maddow won't touch the turmoil, saying she doesn't follow media issues. She might be the only TV talk show host who doesn't own a television—she hasn't since she left her folks' house to attend Stanford University.

“It's not like 'Oh, I am too righteous for television,’” Maddow said over lunch recently during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul. She lives in western Massachusetts with her partner of nine years and maintains an apartment in New York, where her nightly (6 p.m. Pacific time) show is produced.

“I have a constitutional weakness in which I am very easily distracted by flashing lights.
If there is a TV on in the room, I can't have a conversation with you. I won't eat, I won't sleep, I'll just meld with my couch.”
Poor Rachel! Unlike you and me, she couldn’t own a TV set, due to a constitutional weakness; it seems she can’t control herself in the presence of flashing lights! This construct was quite routine in the first year or so of the Maddow profiles, with Maddow careful to explain that her choice doesn’t mean she’s “too righteous for television” or better than everyone else.

Had Maddow ever owned a TV? We’ll accept the somewhat peculiar claim that she never had.

But uh-oh! In the spring of 2009, her status suddenly changed! Do you believe her explanation of the way she came to buy her first-ever TV set?

This Q-and-A comes from an interview with Dossier magazine:
COLE (5/09): On a lighter note, people love to talk about the fact that you are on television and yet don't actually own a television.

MADDOW: Oh no, I got drunk last Thursday and ordered one on Amazon! (Laughs) Susan and I ordered takeout Chinese, and I made cocktails and then somehow it just happened. I mean, it wasn't like we were on some total bender or something—it was a weeknight—but I woke up the next morning, and there was the confirmation e-mail stating that we had indeed bought a $400 television. Of course, since we were drunk, we had it shipped to the wrong place, so now we have to get this giant box all the way to NYC from our place up in Massachusetts and figure out how to install it. Neither of us have had a TV in years and years. The last time I lived in a house with the TV was in 1990, when I moved out of my parents' house to go to college. Now there's a giant box with a TV sitting in Susan's art studio waiting for us.
In one way, it's a comically familiar story. Maddow got drunk one night and then, it just happened!

Do you believe that account of the way Maddow bought her first set? That she got drunk, then was surprised in the morning by the email confirming the purchase?

At the time, we couldn’t help wondering if Maddow was trying to explain away her purchase of such a marker of everydayness. One year later, Maddow’s partner, Susan Mikula, was still working this tired theme in an interview with People magazine:
PEOPLE (4/6/10): Rachel Maddow doesn't bring her work home with her.

The MSNBC host, 37, and her artist girlfriend Susan Mikula spend each weekend at their quaint home three hours north of New York in Western Massachusetts, and it doesn’t have cable—or even a television.

“We realized that the two of us have the TV Disease,” explains Mikula, 52. “Rachel can't have one because she'd watch it all the time!” Instead, they enjoy the solitude and home-cooked meals Mikula prepares.

Maddow does have a small TV in their tiny New York City apartment, but Mikula only uses it “so that I can watch her on Friday nights before I come pick her up.”
Mikula seems to be above watching TV too!

In several hundred ridiculous ways, perhaps by habit and not by intention, Maddow has crafted an extremely effective song of herself. We aren’t enormously inclined to believe the story about the way she purchased her first TV set. But then, we don’t exactly believe that Maddow believes in ghosts, or that she lies awake worrying about bridge failures.

On balance, of course, it wouldn’t matter if Maddow told a silly stretcher or three about her personal life. More troubling is she the way she misstates, stretches, speculates and invents about important public matters on her national TV “news” program. For our money, the most remarkable such example involves the time she made a misstatement on Meet the Press about the wage gap between men and women, then seemed to dissemble the next night about what she had said and done.

Plainly, Maddow made a mistake on Meet the Press. When we fact-checked the dispute which occurred on the show, it took us about three minutes to see where the problem lay.

It was obvious that Maddow had been wrong in what she said, but she never stopped insisting that she had been right all along. Thirty-six hours later, on her Monday night program, she declared that she had spent hours that day trying to determine why a Republican strategist had challenged her statement on Meet the Press.

In a long, defiant opening segment, Maddow insisted that she still didn’t know why her statement had been challenged. It’s extremely hard to believe that she was telling the truth that night.

(How celebrity works: Two months later, Rolling Stone published a fawning profile in which Benjamin Wallace-Wells embarrassingly took Maddow’s side in this incident, effusively praising her for her overpowering honesty. Translation: Once you reach a level of stardom, the hacks are going to circle the wagons. From this point on, you won’t be allowed to be wrong. The hacks are going to print the legend, which you yourself may have invented.)

That was merely one event. It happened two years ago. In recent weeks, Maddow has come in for criticism concerning her coverage of the Fort Lee lane closings. Even from Bill Maher!

Last Friday night, Maddow appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher, where she acknowledged and defended her “obsession” with the case. In the back and forth which ensued, we got to see an intriguing fact about the nature of modern American discourse.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at those exchanges. Beyond that, we’ll look at some of Maddow’s recent work about Fort Lee, which we regard as hapless and irresponsible. But today, in closing, let’s note a striking fact:

A funny thing happened to Governor Christie over the past few days. Suddenly, he disappeared from the Maddow show.

Last Wednesday night, Maddow opened her program with a pair of gong show segments about the Fort Lee matter. The segments burned more than 26 minutes of broadcast time, roughly sixty percent of Maddow’s total program.

Last Thursday, Maddow did two more segments about Fort Lee, but this time they closed the program. And then, on Friday, as she chatted with Maher, a funny thing happened:

Steve Kornacki sat in as guest host on Maddow’s MSNBC show—and Christie’s name was never mentioned! Last night, with Maddow back in the chair, he went unmentioned again.

Why has Christie disappeared? We can’t answer that. But Maddow’s work last week was horrible, bad, irresponsible, dumb. As we watched, a question came to mind:

Who the heck is Rachel Maddow? How can a famous former Rhodes Scholar produce work that’s so dumb and so bad?

Tomorrow: Clueless, dumb, irresponsible, bad: Who is Rachel Maddow?


  1. "As the news business spirals downward, it sometimes seems you can’t get a program on cable TV if you aren’t a visible nut."


    Sports too.

  2. God God in Heaven! Katie, reinforce the baring of entrance. The Daily Howler seems to have made a breathless discovery! Apparently Corporate New Organizations have begun mixing up our critical News information, with that which is nothing more than lightweight entertainment, and to some degree THIS INVOLVES the marketing of TV news reporters as if they were entertainment figures!!! AAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!
    Two or three years ago Maddow issued a book. A flawed book, but one on a serious topic. One that might have gotten a national exchange going on an important topic almost no one knows enough about. The Daily Howler, along with the media world at large, ignored the book. My first introduction to Maddow was on her "Air America" show where She let the noxious and stupid Christopher Hitchens roll all over her in a segment on the Iraq war. It was gruesome. But I read her book, and found it was pretty good. I gave up on MSNBC years before Bill Maher had had enough. But, I guess I am an atypical leftie. Because there seems to be limit to the time (a lot of this post is rehash) Bob has to obsess over this. And note, this is not something of supreme importance like the 2000 election. This is PR fluff about someone Bob has chosen to hate.

    1. 'This is PR fluff about someone Bob has chosen to hate."

      Bingo! Exactly! Amen!

      And Bob is so stuck in his own narrative that he can no longer distinguish between PR fluff and bald-faced lies, just as he can no longer distinguish the Benghazi pseudo-scandal and a governor accepting bribes. They are all "ginned-up" in the non-discerning mind of Somerby.

      You know, if Bob could show that Maddow never went to Stanford, never was a Rhodes Scholar, never earned a PhD, then he'd be onto something.

      But pointing to an amusing, self-effacing tale of how she came to buy a TV set on Amazon? And what her current TV viewing habits might be?

      Please Bob. Stop making a fool of yourself, and of your rube fans who will actually try to defend your crap.

    2. It is so cute when journalists make up fake facts about their own lives. Makes you feel like you can really trust what they write on other topics!

    3. BOB is much too sober and correct to ever have what seems like a brilliant idea late at night after a few drinks, acted on it, and then regret it the next morning.

    4. Most people grow out of such behavior.

  3. I believe in ghosts, and I once saw one.

    1. I was beginning to worry you had become one.

    2. I just hope you are not plagued by the awful tyrannical troll who kept saying "I don't believe
      for one second that..", or "I don't believe for one minute that...",or "I don't know anybody who...."

      I am sure that person will find it harder to believe in ghosts than the existence of black and white television sets in Reagan's America.

    3. And not even Reagan's America quite yet. 1980.

    4. Cecelia, there are other explanations for what you saw. Ghosts do not exist. Believing in them marks you as someone who lives in fancy. No harm in that but, generally speaking, the wider the gap between reality and your perception of it, the more handicapped you will be in responding to the real world. It marks you as someone not serious, in the same way as an adult believing in Santa would be marked as a bit childish.

    5. I'm just glad there's been a resolution over the dearth of television sets in Maddow quarters.

      The media can now rest easy.

      Cocktails to rescue.

    6. Who am I supposed to believe? An Anonymous or my lying eyes?

    7. Belief in ghosts isn't about what people see -- it is about how they explain what they see. Why ghosts? Why not aliens or a spectral manifestation of God, or a visitor from a parallel dimension, or an hallucination?

    8. "...an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato."

  4. Hey, Bob. If Maddow is lying about the 77 cents on the dollar wage gap, doesn't that mean your buddy Al Gore was lying in 2000 when he put it at 73 cents on the dollar?

    If not, why is it that your shorts get all bunched up when anybody other than Gore says it? And particularly knotted up when Maddow says it?

    And FYI, Maddow didn't invent the wage gap any more than Al invented the Internet. There is pretty solid statistical evidence behind it, as much as you want to rationalize it away so you can call Maddow some more names.

    1. Politicians lie. Gore is a politician. It is the job of journalists to expose the lies of politicians (i.e. speak the truth). This is a blog about journalism. When celebrities posing as journalists say something that is not true and then adamantly claim that it is true, this blog points it out (sometimes in colorful language). Bob is not a journalist. He is not a politician. You can agree or disagree with what Bob says about it, but you can't turn a bogus fact into the truth.

  5. It is a shame, BOB, that you chose to open your treatise on Maddow's on-the-air errors with the issue on which you have proved that all the personality traits you fault in Maddow are yours. You have been so consistently wrong on the wage gap, not just from a factual standpoint, but in the way that you portray it in exchanges involving Maddow, Chris Hayes, and Obama that it is the one area we would have suggested you avoid at all costs.

    It reminds us, frankly, when you misstated a comparison of US and Polish PISA scores, then, when your error was pointed out, you invented a new catgegory nobody but you had ever used and simply restated your false comparison using a time period you had decried
    days before.

    Maddow and you share a lot of things in common. Success is not one.


    1. I suspect that KZ is actually Rachel Maddow's mom.

    2. Given my attitude toward BOB and my comparison of the two, I must be a bad mom.


    3. You're a good Pee Wee Herman.

      Not only have you got "I know you are, but what am I?" down to an all-purpose mantra, you're adept at that other thing too.

    4. Looks like Cecelia could find only one taker to bite on her dick joke.

      Doesn't she know Bob frowns on that sort of thing?
      At least when Maddow aims them at Teabaggers?

  6. "Why has Christie disappeared? We can’t answer that."

    Can I take a stab at this one, Bob? Because there was very little if anything new to report on those days? That perhaps they chose to report other stories? You know, the ones you constantly whine about them ignoring in their mad pursuit of something that could "possibly" still turn out to be a traffic study?

    This, of course, doesn't mean that Christie or this story has disappeared. One would have to have the gifts of a magician to disappear Christie.

    It only means this story is in a lull as we await further developments.

    But fear not, Somerby. You will soon be able to stop whining about the disappearance of Chris Christie, and go back to whining about how much time Rachel Maddow has wasted on this non-scandal in due course.

    1. That never stopped her before. Christie is gone because of what Bill Maher said. Simple.

    2. And Maddow took Maher apart last Friday on his own turf to the point that he backtracked. Go watch it.

    3. I did watch it. I didn't see her take Maher apart. I guess that was in the eye of the beholder. She tried to assert that Christie is the quintessential scandal, topping Blagojevich, thus fascinating. No one bought it. Cook told her to her face that she was doing the work her MSNBC masters tasked her with, taking down Christie in advance of the 2016 election. She didn't have a response to that. She pretended to be just ever so fascinating by Christie's badness. The only problem is Blagojevich was convicted and there has been no evidence linking Christie to anything yet. So it just looks like the vendetta it is.

    4. Anyone notice that her show opened with a truly gratutitous shout out to Somerby?

    5. Well, 11:57, here's a link to the actual show itself.

      You can now get down on your knees and pray that no one follows it, lest they discover how badly you are lying.


      Just FYI, no one has to bother reading the pro-Maddow story, which is backed up by the video clips. Just watch the clips themselves.

    6. As I said, this is in the eye of the beholder. I thought she had no good explanation for why she has been focusing so much on Christie. She basically said she likes him because he is such a thug. If you liked that response, you probably like her and her show. No accounting for taste or thought processes, I guess. I watched Maher's whole show, not just a few clips.

    7. Well, in the eye of this beholder, both Cooke and Maher admitted that this wasn't a phony made-up scandal that wasn't worth covering. They were arguing how much time MSNBC as a whole -- and not just Maddow -- has covered this.

      I also like the part, when Maher suggested that she wouldn't be covering this if it involved a Demcratic governor not close to New York, Maddow reminded him she was all over the Bloggo scandal -- which she was.

      "When you have gonzo political corruption stories, you cover them."

      And when Cooke accused her of drumming this up just to take Christie out of the next presidential race? Maddow ridiculed him so much that he quickly added that "This is a real scandal, and it should be covered."

      Maddow also pointed out that the reason this story has seemed to drag on for months is that it has been slowly developing.

      First we had the lane closurs, then we got Foye's incindiary e-mail which launched legisltive committee investigations. Then we got Baroni's "traffic study" testimony. Then we got the testimonies of Durando, Fulton and Foye. Then came the resignations of the two top New Jersey officials on the Port Authority. Then came the document release under subpoena, followed quickly by the firing of Christie's deputy Chief of Staff and his campaign manager. Then we had Christie's "sad, embarrassed" press conference. And now we have the "stepping down" of the Port Authority police union head, who has ties to Wildstein.

      Furthermore, we have Jersey City Mayor Fulop telling about how a series of meetings with top Christie appointees were suddenly cancelled after Fulop told the Christie campaign he wouldn't endorse the governor.

      Then we have Hoboken Mayor Zimmer saying the lieutenant governor told her directly that future Sandy aid would be tied to approval of a development project liked to Wolff & Samson.

      Just what part of that was "too much coverage"?

    8. If you had been reading this blog regularly, you would understand the point where appropriate coverage crossed over into hyping trivialities in order to keep the focus on the scandal, assuming Christie was behind it all (despite lack of anything tying him to it), speculating beyond the evidence in order to tar minor figures tangential to the main story, and other problems surfaced. As I pointed out yesterday, Blagojevich was convicted by evidence of his wrongdoing. That makes it legitimate to focus on him as the center of that scandal. Whether Christie is at the heart of this, or it was done by his staff, remains to be seen. Do these minor figures warrant such coverage without the ties to Christie? That was what Maher and others were asking. No one is suggesting any investigation stop. The suggestion was that the coverage occur when there was an actual story to cover.

    9. Milking juicy stories to the very last drop is what TV does. Is this a news flash to somebody? In contrast, BOB milks the same dry teats over and over and over and over again for years, and it ain't because it gets him good ratings.

    10. So, don't read him then.

    11. " . . . you would understand the point where appropriate coverage crossed over into hyping trivialities in order to keep the focus on the scandal . . ."

      Oh, quite the ironic statement to make in DEFENSE of Somerby, as he down to hyping trivialities as his pursuit of Maddow enters its seventh year.

  7. Did anyone notice a couple of weeks ago, when the combox filled with speculation about how many straight days of Rachel posts Somerby's streak would reach? Immediately after that, Rachel disappeared. Why did Rachel disappear? We can't answer that. But last week Somerby went on a mini-Matthews streak that was, by all appearances, a set up for this new effort to break his Maddow obsession record established earlier in the same month.

    1. I suspect Bob is focused like a laser beam on bettering the personal best he set last fall with Amanda Ripley.

      But he has a long way to go.

      Ordinarily, he can focus on Maddow for only a couple of weeks in a row before something else bright and shiny distracts him.

      But now, the full powers of Somerby are trained on his target.

    2. Somerby's themes remain constant. The illustrations he uses change as he finds new examples to support those underlying themes.

      Trolls here focus on the superficial details of those examples, often adopting a literalism only found in people with frontal lobe deficits, to try to undermine the points he makes. Those points are the same. That is why some complain that he is being repetitive.

      When new examples are so readily available, the points need to be made again. I am just pleased that this time others are echoing Somerby's complaints, even if it has to be Bill Maher.

    3. Oh, without question, Somerby's themes are constant. He has been beating the "Maddow is a horrible person" theme for six years, and very constantly.

      But don't you find it ironic that you would defend him by claiming trolls focus on superficial details?

      What were Maddows athletic dreams as a teenager? When did she start reading the newspaper? Is she a sharpshooter or not? And today? How did she buy her first TV?

      Superficial? Certainly not! These are essential questions everyone is asking!

    4. You guys just don't seem to know how to think well.

      First, the point is not that Maddow is a horrible person. It is that our left journalists fail us because they do not give us the information we need to assert our political needs and accomplish our goals. Maddow is horrible because she accepts money to shill for whatever goals MSNBC holds instead of functioning as a journalist. She exemplifies a bunch of people at MSNBC and at the NY Times, Salon, other left media, that are similarly pretending to inform while lining their own pockets and promoting the welfare of plutocrats. This appears covert and Somerby is trying to make it obvious by pointing out what is happening.

      Maddow's flaws as a journalist extend to the way she promotes herself as a celebrity and ignores her responsibility to her viewers. She tells lies about her life and she tells lies about those she discusses on air. And she makes a lot of money doing it and seems to have no conscience about doing so. That makes her horrible.

      The details are meant to convince you that this is happening. Instead, you seem to fixate on them and say why are you criticizing her for this, missing entirely that these are falsehoods that matter because she holds a position of trust in which she is supposed to be reliable as a source of information. If you don't care about being informed, you really have no business being here.

    5. "First, the point is not that Maddow is a horrible person."

      You are a very bad Bobinista. How many ways does Bob need to tell you that Maddow is a horrible person before it sinks in? For your homework, go into the Incomparable Archives and read just the headlines, if you are too lazy to read the entire post.

      The message very clearly is that Maddow is a horrible person, not unlike a North Korean dictator in fact.

      Second, I am so, so sorry that in this Information Age, you can't find the information necessary for you "to assert (y)our political needs and accomplish (y)our goals" unless spoonfed by MSNBC hosts.

      And I really don't know how to help a person so helpless.

    6. If I go to MSNBC and am told lies by Maddow, how will I know I am being lied to? Must I assume that such a network is always lying and thus check and recheck everything? Is that really what MSNBC is for or is it a malfunction?

      You can say caveat emptor but how does that defend Maddow?

    7. If you've already made up your mind that Maddow only lies, then there is no way to defend her to you, any more than I could convince a fundamentalists that there is something to Darwin's Theory.

      If you don't want to watch her, fine. But don't pretend there is no other way for you to get information.

      Incidentally, I thought her piece about the defense budget was quite informative. As well as the piece about the "Kill the Gays" bill in Ugana, backed by U.S. anti-gay activists -- many of the same people who got the anti-gay bill through Arizona after it was stopped in its tracks in Kansas.

      I also find her reports on the coal ash spill in North Carolina informative, as well as the chemical spill in West Virginia. She has also done good work on the voter suppression efforts underway in legislatures dominated by the GOP.

      She's done good reports on fracking. Pretty important issue. She also exposed how there is a rather loony theory concerning how oil is not a fossil fuel but a resource that the earth constantly replenishes. And how some candidates for office actually believe that.

      In addition, she did a piece last night how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is trying to pressure House leadership to pass immigration reform, but House leaders are more afraid of their Tea Party wing.

      And while doing all that, Maddow has still managed to remain ahead of the national media on the locally-charged Christie and McDonnell scandals -- you know, the things that Somerby and his "old pal" Maher say are the only thing she ever covers.

      Now please. Don't take this to mean that I get ALL my information from Rachel Maddow. Walter Cronkite told me a long time ago that TV news was nothing more than a headline service. And that is still quite true.

      However, I have become curious enough about the stories she presents to want to find out more. I've learned a lot more about fracking, for example. And I actually found both the New Mexico Supreme Court and the New Mexico Appeals Court decisions in the wedding photographer case that sparked the legislation in Arizona and Kansas.

      And I stand amazed that the outcry against those bills is so loud that it arrived DOA from the Kansas House to the Kansas Senate, and now Jan Brewer is expected to veto it in Arizona.

    8. If she occasionally lies but other times tells the truth, the difficulty is that we may not know which is which. She needs to strive for truth to the best of her ability. I don't think she does that. I think she sacrifices truth to theater and other goals (some of which I may not be aware of, which is a major problem because it involves manipulation).

    9. "If she occasionally lies but other times tells the truth, the difficulty is that we may not know which is which."

      Welcome to the human race, and allow me to introduce you to your fellow human beings. Be careful though. They may not tell you the 100 percent truth all the time, so you might have to use your experience and your brains to figure it out.

    10. Her profession demands accuracy. She is held to a different standard than the guy on the street.

    11. "The guy on the street" doesn't have profiles written about him in the popular media that Somerby can comb for inconsistencies, then call him a liar.

      And really. Who is Bob convincing with his new series other than the already convinced?

  8. "Way back when, in that profile in Newsweek, Julia Baird wrote this:"

    Bob's trolls get results! She is now Julia, the name her parents bestowed up oner, and no longer Jessica, the name given to her yesterday!

    1. "upon her," of course, not "up oner" (How did that happen?).

      Unlike Bob I will acknowledge my errors rather than pretend they never happened.

    2. Nobody cares if you pretend they didn't happen, as long as you correct them. Maddow did neither with respect to her Meet the Press error.

    3. Again, if she "erred" in saying that there is a 77 cents on the dollar gap, then Al Gore erred in his 2000 campaign when he put the gap at 73 cents.

      How come Bob and his fans never call out Gore on that whopper?

      And please. Don't try the "Well that was all the way back in 2000" excuse. That's the same mud where Somerby's wheels often spin.

    4. And that makes her statement correct?

    5. Her statement is a simple finding of the US Census Bureau.

      And it is correct.

    6. No, but Somerby saying it is incorrect doesn't make it incorrect either. There is statistical evidence backing it up, and that it exists in every occupation.

      Notice how "wage gap deniers" argue the same way that climate change deniers operate. They use one of two basic arguments:

      1. The wage gap doesn't exist at all.

      2. If a wage gap exists, it's because of other factors, such as women work a lot less.

      And the real curious thing is, quite often wage gap deniers and climate change deniers are often the same people.

    7. It becomes incorrect when you add the phrase "for the same work" to the statistic. There is still a wage gap when you take various other factors into account but it is not as large.

    8. Again, the gap exists in every occupation. The only one who things "for the same work" discounts the whole argument are Somerby and the wage-gap deniers.

      If you think "for the same work" means anything, go ask Lilly Ledbetter.

      And after you that, go ask Bob's buddy Al. He also thinks there is quite a wage gap. Unless, of course, he was just saying that to pander for women's votes.

    9. Explain this to me.

      If Susan Rice gets a pass for passing along CIA talking points that was later proved wrong, why does Maddow get beat up for quoting Census data that is not only accurate, but has been quoted for years before she took to the air?

    10. because she pretends it's 77 cents "for the same work" -- which it isn't.

      that's called "misrepresentation."

      i explained it to you. but can you understand it?

    11. What part of "it is for the same work" do you not understand. The gap exists in all occupations. Don't believe me, go do your own research.

      Unless, of course, you can't admit the earth is round, either.

    12. The gap that exists in all occupations varies in size and is not on the order of 23%. It is smaller, sometimes much smaller.

      The statistic Maddow cited includes differences related to women's choice of professions, their greater tendency toward part-time employment, the impact of child-care leave on promotion, and so on, factors that are certainly disparities but not strictly speaking discrimination in pay. So, it is misleading to quote that statistic and imply that it is solely because we get paid less for doing the same work.

      If you round the argument off to "women are being treated unfairly" then the 77 cents supports that statement. If you instead focus on the specifics of what is being said, then the 77 cents does not. It is a matter of how precise and careful you want to be in considering details of this issue.

      Maddow should be precise. She has a PhD and she understands statistics and she knows better. That others want to use the 77 cents as a shortcut way to refer to job discrimination of all kinds, does not excuse Maddow's behavior, nor does it make her statement correct.

    13. Yes, and once again, we can come up with all sorts of reasons to explain away the gap in the very same way climate change deniers question how much global warming, if any at all, is caused by human activity.

      But the fact remains that the median income for women in the workforce is 77 percent that of men in the workforce, and that gap, yes to varying degrees which also means its WORSE in some occupations than that, exists in every occupation including those dominated by women, such as nursing.

    14. Yes, and Somerby and others here are not trying to explain that away. They are pointing out that this gap is about more than simple pay discrimination but also about the other ways in which women's pay diverges from men's pay. So, to say it is just about pay discrimination is inaccurate, wrong. It is about the way in which women participate in the workforce as well. Most of us here agree that these differences need to be addressed. We disagree that it is OK to misreport statistics because improving women's job opportunities is a worthy goal.

      Explaining the gap as due to other factors does not explain it away. It means that instead of telling people to pay women the same wage for the same work, we should be asking employers to offer paid parental leave, beefing up access to child care for parents so women don't have to leave their jobs, looking at what happens to women when promotions are doled out not just their starting pay, and so on. These are complex issues. They require complex solutions.

    15. Right. And greenhouse gasses are more than our Chevys belching CO2. Hell, volcanos are erupting and cows are farting. Surely it's not all human. Ergo, we can pretend to go our merry way in our merry Oldsmobiles. Except they don't make those any more.

    16. It is fairly complex figuring out what we ought to be doing about global warming. Read "Storms of my Grandchildren" by James Hansen and you will see that merely limiting CO2 in the USA is not going to make much of a dent in the climate changes predicted. What other efforts should be addressed? What is achievable? This is a very complex issue that should be considered in its full complexity, not reduced to simplistic stuff like choosing different cars. Hansen is one of the original climate voices urging public action. He doesn't think the restriction of CO2 is going to do much at all and he is far from a denialist. There are not pat answers except to support the scientists, meet internationally and bring back measures to Congress to try to deal collectively with global upheavals that are now considered certain, not predicted.

    17. "He doesn't think the restriction of CO2 is going to do much at all and he is far from a denialist."

      Not true at all. Not even close. Hansen cites the need for DRASTIC reductions in CO2 emissions.

      You better to read his book again.

    18. He says it is too late for that to do any good, especially if it is just the US doing it.

    19. No, go re-read the book. He is saying that there is danger thinking we can solve this problem without weening ourselves off fossil fuels completely and fast, and launching reforestation programs globally.

      He doesn't have a problem with steps taken so far, such as more energy-efficient buildings and the switch away from incandescent light bulbs. But he does cite the danger in thinking that these are solutions rather tiny babysteps toward the solution.

  9. "
    ' Maddow and you share a lot of things in common. Success is not one.'



    That cute gibe is of course wasted on the blogger, who is clearly past shame and decency.

  10. I wonder if even Bob's most loyal fans will bother defending the enormous effort he put into the online TV purchase story.

    1. Do you believe Maddow's story?

      How often do you think she gets drunk and buys stuff from Amazon? Do you find the story cute or charming? I don't.

      Most young people today don't watch TV. They stream video downloads via their computers. There is no virtue or distinction in not owning a TV these days. It used to be a mark of intellectual snobbery to disdain TV watching. She seems to want it both ways -- she is everyman and thus owns a TV but she is ambivalent about watching it, not because TV is empty-minded garbage but because she would be too addicted to it -- it is just too wonderful to put down. Yeah, I believe that.

      She is self-created in much the way she massages the information she reports on her show. The two are interconnected. I don't care about the details of her life but I do care whether the details of the news are accurate. She doesn't bother getting either one right because she would rather paint a pleasing picture -- one that changes with the audience and her needs. She should be in a different profession. She is unsuited for academia despite her Ph.D. because she doesn't respect truth. She is unsuited for journalist for the same reason. She should become a DJ or go on a morning show or become an entertainer, or perhaps try out for the Olympics.

    2. I see "Doesn't Believe for a minute" has returned.

      Welcome back. You fill a void missing since the Zimmerman trial.

    3. "I don't care about the details of her life . . ."

      Buddy, you are reading the wrong blog, then.

    4. "Enormous effort"?! He simply, and aptly called bullshit.

    5. "Do you find the story cute or charming? I don't."

      Not the point. Do you believe it to be essential to carefully calculated plot to portray Maddow as a superior being? Somerby sure does.

    6. Surely an exaggeration -- it doesn't seem like he is referencing everything ever written about her. Why is such crap appearing in print if she is not feeding it to the media (or to her PR people)? Are you saying she didn't tell the media she believes in ghosts?

    7. No, he isn't "referencing" everything ever written about her, and I didn't say he did.

      But he is sure digging hard for whatever he thinks he can use. Old Newsweek profiles, old Rolling Stone profiles, old Charlie Rose interivews,

      And today? A 2009 interview with Dossier magazine.

    8. Here is what was said above: "Not to mention the effort he has wasted trying to dig up everything ever written or spoken about Maddow,"

      Now you say "No, he isn't "referencing" everything ever written about her, and I didn't say he did."

      Way to split hairs.

    9. This is not splitting hairs. Somerby has expended a lot of effort to dig up stories about Maddow to the extent he is referencing Dossier magazine.

      And I harbor little doubt that by the time his new round of Maddow-bashing is over, he will have "referenced" pretty much all of it. He just hasn't done it yet. He has only just begun.

      Has MAD magazine published a Maddow parody yet? I'm sure Somerby will get to it eventually.

    10. How much effort does it take to use Google and Nexis? These things are all online. All he had to do was read.

      Are you arguing that it is OK for Maddow to tell different versions of her life to magazines with smaller circulations?

    11. What I am saying is pick a name. Any name. Then go look up all the "profiles" written about them and see if they match up exactly, detail for detail.

      That's the game Somerby is playing here.

      And what are the important details he is focusing on? So far, her high school athletic career, her proficiency or lack thereof with firearms, and today? When and how she purchased her first TV.

      Good. Grief.

    12. "How much effort does it take to use Google and Nexis?"

      Please explain this to our friend who can't seem to find the information he needs to function because Rachel Maddow is such a liar.

    13. Excuse me 4:47/3:38 Which different version has Maddow told? Which are lies? Which are different?

    14. Hey 4:47 do the different versions include the one about her being a good shot with an AR-15 and the one where she fired into the air?

      You do know neither version was told to any magazine by anybody. Bob Somerby just made both up. From thin prose by bad jounalists.

    15. 4:47 here. Please don't confuse me with 3:38. I was merely mocking the poor boy who can't find the information he needs to function in a free society because Rachel Maddow won't give it to him.

      I wholeheartedly agree that Somerby took a couple of sentences out of a couple of rather light puff pieces and built a whole new "lie" out of nothing.

      And there is no evidence in either story whether Maddow shot like Annie Oakley or Barney Fife.

      Or at least the degree of evidence Bob demands of Maddow before he grants her permission to "speculate."

    16. How about Maddow's version and the truth? That's at least two versions.

    17. Again, talking to a person who thinks Maddow lies all the time is like talking to a guy convinced the world is flat.

      Bob's already made up your mind for you, so I won't trouble your little mind with thoughts to the contrary that might give you a headache.

    18. My apologies 4:47/6:26 I'll time things better next time. Got to go now. Blinding sunset and a chance for a love struck pratfall or a shoot out with the neighborhood ghost.

  11. 'A skillful cocktail of humble-bragging mixed with piteous self-deprecation . . .'

    Yep, just like a North Korean dictator.

    1. There is the same narcissism, yes.

    2. No North Korean dictator I ever knew was skillful with the cocktails. And I do believe for a minute anybody in Korea would be happy to own even a black and white TV.

    3. Let;s see.

      I got drunk one night, ordered a TV set online, then didn't even realize it until the next morning.

      Such narcissism,

    4. Such willful misunderstanding of an obvious point.

  12. Although I'm a supporter of Bob, I agree with many of you about his emphasis on Maddow. As far as I'm concerned she jumped the shark years ago. I fact, there's not a goddamned thing worth watching on MSNBC since she ran Baldwin off. And now the have Ronan Sinatra. Good grief. Bob, let the morons who want that shit have it and move on.

    1. Then what will happen during the primaries and election in 2016 when MSNBC tells its hacks which candidate they want us to elect?

    2. And as we all know from reading Bob's blog, MSNBC has decided the last four presidential elections.

    3. They didn't help Hillary any.

    4. The way I look at the 2008 Democratic primary race, Democratic voters have a very tough time choosing between two very good candidates.

      One of them was very well organized in caucus states, and one was very well organized in primary states.

      And, in my humble opinion, had Hillary voted against authorizing Bush to invade Iraq, she'd be president today.

      So perhaps the essential difference that decided a very close race between the two was not what MSNBC hosts said about them, but the War in Iraq.

    5. Allow me to backtrack just a bit. Had Hillary won the Democratic nomination in 2008, McCain would never have chosen Sarah Palin as his running mate.

      And she very much helped drag that ticket down.

      I still believe that Hillary would have beaten McCain, but all things wouldn't have been the same in a Clinton-McCain race.

      In fact, you got that whole "legacy" thing going -- Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton -- and it is hard to predict what effect that might have had.

    6. Maddow has been package and given to us on the left as our spokesperson. She helps shape the discourse. She is making very good money and has fame in this role. We know she is a phony, but to connect the dots, to make that case, is important. Moreover, Bob’s critique of the press is spot on. He is our best player. We read the blog everyday, but what he is saying is still not in the news. I would love to see him on Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, or Charlie Rose. His work should be in major publications, often. Where is Michael Moore when you need him. Without a responsible and serious press, issues go unknown let alone resolved.

    7. "So perhaps the essential difference that decided a very close race between the two was not what MSNBC hosts said about them, but the War in Iraq."

      We were talking about how MSNBC contributed to the race, not the differences between Clinton and Obama affecting the outcome. The open misogyny expressed by people like Matthews clearly benefitted Obama and hurt Clinton. There are any number of analyses of blatant sexism occurring in the media during the 2008 primaries. It was ugly and it was tolerated at best and abetted at worst by the left media.

    8. You see, I do not accept your premise that MSNBC 'contributed to the race" to any significant degree. I consider it quite negligible, if it exists at all.

      You see I have a higher opinion of voters than Somerby and his followers. I actually think they looked at the differences between Clinton and Obama and made their choice based on that.

      And one of the key differences that Obama hammered was Clinton's vote to authorize the war. It was quite effective.

    9. You do not have to rely on personal opinions about this. You can trace the appearance of press coverage to fluctuations in polling to see what impact the press has on races. Do you imagine campaigns would spend what they do on media if it had little influence?

      If you are suggesting that there was any difference at all between Clinton and Obama on the war, you were not paying attention to: (1) voting records on war issues, and (2) statements on the war. The ONLY difference between the two was a speech Obama supposedly made on Iraq before he was in the Senate, in which he may or may not have opposed it. There was no video of that speech, so we have only his campaign's word for what was said, and it was only a line or two. Otherwise the two were identical. I fully believe that Obama would have authorized the war, just as most other Democrats did, had he been in the Senate at that time. Of course we all know now what Obama's campaign promises are worth.

    10. Anon 2:26 -

      You are quite correct. This is why advertising is so ineffective and hardly ever used.

    11. Right. Advertising = MSNBC hosts.

      Only in the World of Bob.

    12. You do know that even advertising has its limit. There is one example that is still taught in communications classes -- the old Mayp cereal campaign featuring Mickey Mantle crying into the camera, "I want my Maypo!"

      Sales shot through the roof. Then they tumbled just as quickly. Why?

      Because Maypo tasted like crap. Mantle could get parents to buy the first box, but he couldn't lure them into buying a second one.

    13. There was a recent study that showed that even saying positive things about a female candidate's appearance affected her negatively at the polls. There are studies of the impact of media images on female candidates.

      How exactly does one taste a political candidate? If the election were about voting records, Clinton would have won in a landslide. Obama sold "hope and change" not his previous experience. Those paying attention to his voting record were largely for Clinton.

    14. Do not discount "hope and change." It was a powerfully inspiring message for 2008, exactly what America wanted to hear, and it was delivered powerfully. Obama as an orator could mesmerize thousands. Remember his convention speech in 2004? He practically jumped through the TV screen into your living room.

      Yes, Clinton was an extremely good candidate in 2008, but so was Obama. That is why that race was so close.

      It is not necessary to build up one by tearing down the other.

    15. "I fully believe that Obama would have authorized the war, just as most other Democrats did, had he been in the Senate at that time."

      Except for one Inconvenient Truth: Obama WASN'T in the Senate at the time, so you have no idea how he would have voted. Instead of saying "I believe" why not be truthful and say "I imagine he would have authorized the war . . " because that's exactly what you are doing.

      Meanwhile, once he did get to the Senate, Obama cast a very symbolic protest vote against raising the debt limit because it authorized funds for the war.

      Is it because you were too young to remember in 2002 that you don't know about the liberal outrage against the 29 Senators who voted against the war resolution?

      It wasn't just Hillary. They were mad at all of them.

    16. How inspiring is it to promise hope and change and deliver so little on that promise? That is disillusioning and it was done to a whole generation of young people gullible enough to believe Obama. That's why Clinton's supporters skewed older.

    17. Excuse me, let me clarify. There was liberal outrage against the 29 Democratic senators who voted FOR the war resolution.

      In fact, that outrage had been building since Bush took office as a significant amount of Demcrats in both houses caved to him on issue after issue, including the massive tax cuts for the rich that flipped us from surplus to deficit in a heartbeat.

    18. "... that whole "legacy" thing going -- Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton..."


      There, fixed it for you,

    19. Anonymous @6:59,

      Obama didn't vote against the debt ceiling because it authorized funds for the war. The debt ceiling doesn't authorize funds; it authorizes paying debts incurred. Obama objected to the WPE keeping the cost of the war off the books, thereby concealing how much we were spending. And he claimed this tactic would force disclosure.

  13. If Hillary had won the primary in 2008, the press would have killed her. Just as they will in 2016 if things do not change. We think Obama shows there has been a change in the electorate. His win may be more an anomaly that the Democrats having a new majority. The press tilted the balance in 2000, and was not so kind to Kerry in ‘04. The press hates the Clintons and it is doubtful she would have won in ’08. But for the financial crisis, Obama might not have won.

    1. Actually, if you go back and look at the polls, Obama first moved ahead of McCain head-to-head in early June when he secured the nomination. And he consistently held a margin of about five-10 points through Election Day.

      Did the financial crisis help Obama and hurt McCain? Certainly, but the actions of the two candidates during those days of crisis also had something to do with it.

      Has the electorate changed? It always changes, but the changes are happening rapidly and not breaking the GOP's way.

      Where once Ronald Reagan and Bush I could win by landslides by appealing to Angry White Males, Bush II had to cobble together a coalition the religious right and conservative Hispanics to barely squeak through two elections.

      And now that coalition has completely fallen apart.

    2. A quick look at the Pew Research has to two in a statistical tie the week before the financial crisis. Certainly Obama looked much more presidential during the crisis than McCain. This and not the crisis was the important factor. There has been a demographic shift in the electorate that looks like it could bring victories to Democrats for years. But before we score them in advance, during the Bush 2 years, (and the Bush 1) it was often though that the Republicans were unbeatable and would hold the presidency for elections to come. It was said that the Democrats has no message and no way of winning.

      I voted for Hillary in the ’08 primaries and would support her in ’16. I also know that if she runs in ’16, the press will not be fair and impartial. She is a lightening rod drawing as much opposition as support. The press will highlight her perceived weaknesses. This will play to the Republicans advantage. I would guess that the 2016 elections will be closer that changes in the electorate or the shambles of the Republicans would suggest. The insidious role the press plays in a close election will be present again. We can have more people in our tent and still lose the election. We have done it before and can do it again.

    3. Clinton will be helped by the historicity of her run, just as Obama was helped by being the first African American to have a chance at winning. She is the most admired woman in the world and has been for most of the past two decades (ahead of whoever is first lady). She will not be blamed for Bill Clinton's mistakes because she has her own track record. They will drag out all the old baggage, as they did during the primaries in 2008. Even then, she was projected to do better against McCain than Obama (at the time). She is way ahead of any hypothetical Republican now. I doubt an election would be even close.

      My fantasy is that if the sexist garbage comes out again, instead of being silent about it, people will speak out against the unfairness of it and we will have overt sexism become as taboo as racism was during the 2008 election. If that were to happen, the lasting benefit of making such treatment unacceptable would be positive for our society, regardless of whether she won or not. It would benefit all women to hear that stuff challenged by major public figures.

    4. It's not so much the press and the Republicans I'm worried about, it's our progressive young friends who viciously went after both Clintons in 2008 that I worry about.

    5. I do not know how many "progressive young friends" you have, but the ones I know didn't like Hillary's vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq. And I can't begrudge them that decision.

      I don't really know that Hillary is going to run. She turns 69 in 2016, and will be 77 if she serves two terms. She may decide she wants to do something other in her 70s than be president.

      I also don't know who might oppose her in the primaries if she does run. She's a very good candidate, but there are others, including Elizabeth Warren and perhaps somebody who isn't even on the radar yet.

      But if she were the Democratic nominee, and the opponent were somebody like Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, or even Rick Santorum (the GOP has a habit of nominating the guy who finished second the last time), then I wouldn't worry too much about "our progressive friends."

    6. I'm not worried about our progressive young friends in the general election, I'm worried about them preventing her from getting the nomination in the first place.

    7. Again, it all depends on who her opponents are. It's possible there is someone out there I'll like more than Hillary as well, although I will be very pleased if Hillary runs.

      But if Elizabeth Warren becomes the first female president, I've got no problem with that either. And I am certain that President Warren will acknowledge her debt to Hillary Clinton.

    8. You keep going back to Clinton's vote on Iraq, which was limited and shared by many Democrats. Clinton was by no means in favor of Iraq in 2008. She made stronger promises about ending both wars and closing Guantanamo. I believe it would be closed now if she had been elected.

      Among those progressive friends there are all the blogs that ran off Clinton supporters, for a start.

    9. Try to wrap your brain around this: Sen. Clinton's vote on the war resolution was far more consequential to the outcome of the 2008 Democratic nomination process than anything anyone on MSNBC said about her.

      Or has Bob completely brainwashed you into thinking Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews chose our president for us?

      If so, then you are beyond hope. Follow your guru to the airport and sell all the flowers you can.

    10. She [HRC] made stronger promises about ... closing Guantanamo. I believe it would be closed now if she had been elected.

      Assuming the same Congress, you are mistaken in that belief. Once Congress barred funding to close Gitmo, the President's hands are tied. Any President's.

    11. It seems likely Clinton would have had a better relationship with Congress than Obama.

    12. Really? You think they would not have met on Inauguration Day and decided that not a single proposal of hers would ever get a Republican vote?

      To me, the prefix "bi" is very important to the word "bipartisanship."

      Let me put it this way, no matter how much one side reaches out, it's all for naught if the other side won't even talk.

  14. OMB (BOB Whips Him Some Clown Shoes Butt)

    "Plainly, Maddow made a mistake on Meet the Press. When we fact-checked the dispute which occurred on the show, it took us about three minutes to see where the problem lay." BOB Today

    Hell, it took BOB two days and two posts to figure out how to distort what Maddow said, because he couldn't distort the facts behind her statement:

    May 2, 2012 Daily Howler

    MADDOW (4/29/12 Meet the Press): "The Romney campaign wants to talk about women and the economy. The— Women in this country still make 77 cents on the dollar for what men make."

    (BOB) Stated that way, Maddow’s claim seems to be technically accurate—or at least it was as of 2010, according to the Census Bureau. As of 2010, women in this country earned 77 percent as much as men, if we simply look at total pay brought home.

    That seems to be an accurate fact. The question is what that fact can be taken to mean. "

    Let's take a 3 minutes to look at what a dissembling, inaccurate distorter BOB is in just these few sentences"

    "Stated that way..." What other way did she state it, BOB?

    "...Maddow's claim..." It is not a claim, BOB it is a statement.

    "...seems to be..." seems is a word BOB uses to diminish what is or to suggest what is not. In this case it is used to diminish what comes next.

    "...technically accurate..."let's weaken "true" further, eh, BOB?

    "---or at least it was as of 2010, according to the Census Bureau. As of 2010, women in this country earned 77 percent as much as men, if we simply look at total pay brought home." BOB bungles when trying to be right. Right agency, right year. Wrong measurement.
    It is gross income, BOB, not net take home.

    "That seems to be an accurate fact." BOB can't help himself. He just said it was, but now it only "seems to be" because.....

    "The question is what that fact can be taken to mean." In other words, all truth lies in the ears of the listener. Anyone who believes Al Gore meant he invented the Internet is correct!

    Well, in Maddow's case, on Meet the Press, it doesn't matter what her statement could be taken to mean. She no sooner had gotten those few words out of her mouth than Alex Castellano, a Republican political consultant invited on the panel as a guest, interrupted her saying "Not exactly." Maddow never got to finish another statement for several minutes. The remainder of the dispute has nothing to do with the truth uttered up to the point of interruption with "not exactly." It was the interruption which was false.

    BOB's claim of a three minute dissection does disservice to the multiple posts he did as a follow up to Maddow's initial appearance on MTP, including a whole post attacking the President for using the 77 cent figure in his most recent State of the Union speech. In every instance BOB tries to make the statement untrue by making making it a measure of what it is not. Yet in no instance has anyone said what BOB thinks it might be. Just what it is. A fact. Measured by the US Census Bureau. Every year. Women working full time earn 77 cents on average for every dollar a man full time earns. In gross salary. Annually.


    Tomorrow---BOB proves himself again to his feminist friends! Fails to find key to wardroom locker. Stawberries still at large.

    1. So the very same statement that Bob said "seems like an accurate fact" less than two years ago is an "error" today.

      How interesting!

      Since you are such a plumber of the depths of the Incomparable Archives, and I dare not go there again because of all the deceased rodents lying around whose spirits haunt this combox, can you find any instance back in the Great Campaign of 2000 when Ol' Roomie Al was called on the Somerby carpet for saying the wage gap was 73 cents on the dollar?

      Surely that also only "seemed to be accurate" and was in fact an "error" even when it came out of Al's mouth.

    2. No I cannot. I can tell you Pyongyang was only invoked once prior to yesterday at a metaphor rather than an actual place. Pyongyand has been mentioned less than Zarkon, although when invoking that name it was not a reference to yours truly.


    3. We can only wonder then about Somerby's reaction had one of the "War on Gore" perps called Al out on "73 cents on the dollar" the way Bob calls out Maddow on "77 cents on the dollar."

  15. Jesus, Bob, get some perspective!February 25, 2014 at 6:20 PM

    "Does Maddow often lie awake worrying about infrastructure? We don’t know if the claim is true, or if we want the claim to be true"

    Do you think it could be a joke? You know, like Gore's "claim" that his mother sang him to sleep with that union ditty?

    1. We don't believe she literally does this, but what kind of joke would that be? It comes across as self-aggrandizing to claim that she worries about infrastructure a lot more than the average pundit. Do we believe she does? I don't. I think she gets drunk and buys stuff on Amazon in her spare time.

    2. You would have to ask Julia/Jessica Baird that question. She authored that line. Apparently, it reveals to Bob some sinister and deep truth about Maddow's character.

      By the way, note how she doesn't put it in direct quotes?

      A couple of years ago, Bob went on for days how the entire story about Romney's high school bullying wasn't to be believed because no one was directly quoted saying the victim was gay.

      Interesting how the only standard of evidence against Romney was direct quotes, yet Bob is free to put quote marks around Baird's rather throwaway sentence and put the words in Maddow's mouth.

    3. I once had a dream about infrastructure and woke up with an erection.

    4. All these descriptions of her add up to someone ever so special and larger than life. A person like this in everyday life would be considered histrionic. Flamboyantly embellishing the mundane facts of one's life is not endearing in someone who is also embellishing stories on air that should be told accurately. Her behavior would be harmless if it didn't carry over to her reporting. But it does, as documented here repeatedly.

    5. All these descriptions don't make her any larger than you or I and reflect the need for journalists who write puff pieces to revisit nonsense written by others in their line of work as research.

      There is, in Somerby's work, no evidence that Maddow has embellished anything about herself
      and nothing I find in any of the stories that is remotely remarkable other than the quote from her mother about her reading newspapers at the age of four. If you have a problem with that, go after her mama.

      Somerby has repeatedly endeavored to attack the content of her broadcasts. In some cases he is right. In others he is as guilty of embellishment as he accuses her to be. In others, like the only one cited in his two part series so far, the wage gap issue, she embellished nothing and it is Somerby who is factually in error and without journalistic standards.

    6. Stories about famous people are as old as the human race. The Bible is full of them, and even Shakespeare wrote a few.

      Again, for those who haven't tumbled onto the game Somerby is playing with them, try this.

      Pick any name of any famous person. Google the profiles written about them in the popular media. Use the same fine tooth comb Somerby uses to find any tiny detail, no matter how trivial, that doesn't perfectly match up in every one of these profiles.

      When, not if, you find those inconsistencies among the many profiles, you are then free to launch into a multi-day rant calling the celebrity a liar.

      Unfortunately, Somerby isn't quite sharp enough to realize that his own joke is on him. His obsession with Maddow has now reached the point where it reveals far more about him than about her.

      To wit: He lacks the intelligence to discern between the trivial and the important. Not only that, he's so damned lazy he thinks googling up and combing through profiles of Maddow, he's actually doing important work.

    7. If Darlin' Rachel weren't doing such bad work, then the tales of her life wouldn't matter. Actually, no matter what kind of work Darlin' Rachel does, these tales wouldn't matter unless she was actually a participant in the stories she reports.

      Commenters have pointed this out, but we still have the clueless like Ignoramus @8:48A:
      Bob isn't sharp!
      Bob is the joke!
      Bob's writing reveals things about him!
      Bob lacks intelligence!
      Bob is lazy!