IMITATIONS OF NEWS: Burning not especially bright!


Part 5—The suits are selling the product:
Last evening, on her eponymous TV show, Rachel Maddow was killing time right from the jump.

Maddow is devolving rapidly, and she’s doing so right on the air. Here’s how she burned Minutes 4 and 5 of her “imitation news” show last night:
MADDOW (11/13/14): I mean, the news is just nuts today. Even like the quirky, sidebar human interest stories today have a “guh” component.

You may have seen headlines today about a tiger being on the loose near EuroDisney in France? You know, you see those headlines, and you think. “Oh, I didn’t know that EuroDisney had live tigers as part of the Disney experience.”

Turns out, they don’t. There’s a live tiger that has been spotted near EuroDisney near Paris, but it did not escape from EuroDisney. They don’t have live animals like that at EuroDisney!

So then you read into the story. “OK, that’s interesting, where did the tiger come from?”

Two paragraphs into the story, it turns out, “Ohhhh, OK! There’s a Parc des Felins.”


Forgive my French. A Parc des Felins, a wildlife park, with felines, with lions and tigers and stuff, that is only about twenty miles away from where they have seen this tiger on the loose in France.

So you think, “Oh! That’s where it came from! The tiger didn’t come from EuroDisney! It must have come from the Parc des Felins.”

No! Turns out they’re not missing any of their tigers! All of their tigers at the Parc des Felins are present and accounted for.

So then you’re wondering, “Where did this freaking tiger come from?” Then you read a few more paragraphs into the story and it turns out, “Ohhh, there was a circus in town! The tiger must have come from the circus!”

It was not from EuroDisney. They do not have tigers. It was not from the Parc des Felins. They have not lost any of their tigers.

Was it your tiger, Circus? It must be from the circus in the area!

Except no! The circus also says they have not lost a tiger!
To watch this pile of piddle continue, you can just click here. But by the time this piffle ended, we were more than five minutes into the program.

This exciting tale about the tiger was utterly pointless, of course. For unknown reasons, Maddow pushed it to the top of her show.

As her source, Maddow kept showing the headline of an AP report which had appeared at 5 P.M. Eastern. She forgot to mention paragraph 3, which was written exactly as shown:

“Still on the loose by nightfall, some began to doubt whether it really was a tiger.”

By today, everyone seems to agree. The animal, which is still on the loose, apparently isn’t a tiger.

Whatever! Last night, Maddow was killing time early and often. Eventually, she reached her latest, long-running scam, in which she plays misleadingly doctored bits of tape, pretending that major figures on Fox are calling for Obama’s impeachment.

These tapes are getting older and older. But so what? Rachel just keeps playing them, pimping her bogus idea.

Increasingly, Maddow’s show is an overt scam—an eye-popping corporate embarrassment. But as Maddow’s performance and ratings devolve, the suits have scrambled into action, trying to sell their product.

In Monday morning’s New York Times, a half-page multicolor ad tried to make us rubes believe that we need to watch this wonderful program. In the ad, three unnamed sources shout their praise for Maddow’s obvious brilliance:
Endorsements of Maddow in New York Times ad
“She’s a complete inspiration on so many levels.” Glamour
“Rachel Maddow knows how to tell the whole story.” NPR (Boston)
“We’d be lost without her.” Huffington Post
Has it really become this hard to find glowing tributes to Maddow?

As best we can tell, the statement that she’s a “complete inspiration” wasn’t made through the auspices of Glamour, unless you count this on-line citation, where the endorsement seems to be getting mocked. (To peruse the full text of the silly endorsement, see fuckyeahrachelmaddow.)

The other two endorsements are real, if somewhat sad:

“Knows how to tell the whole story” can be found in this blog post, offered by a former member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. (That’s the Bay State’s own house of reps, not the national chamber.)

“We’d be lost without her” appears in this 14-month-old blog by D. R. Tucker at Huffington Post.

That’s a fairly underwhelming group of endorsements. But thrown into a half-page ad, these endorsements urge us the people to watch Rachel every night.

If you watched Maddow last night, you were met with instant clowning, followed by the same old cant about Fox stars urging impeachment. The doctored tapes used to make that sale just keep getting older.

The Maddow Show has become a weirdly poisonous product. Its host seems to be having a breakdown on the air, which isn’t a good thing, of course.

Still and all, we liberals love Our Own Rhodes Scholar, who loves to tell us she’s blindingly honest. And the corporate suits are back on the prowl, trying to remake the sale.

This is news in the post-news age. It’s faux news on the pseudo-lib side.


  1. I wonder if it ever occurred to Bob that the reasons why Maddow's ratings are low is that we liberals don't love her? Maybe not. If it did he might wonder why his readership is what it is.

    1. There are some places, sources, on the Web that use her as a source of progressive , shall I say, "wisdom."
      It's illuminating that, when you speak of yourself as a liberal, using "we," you are speaking for all. How presumptuous.

    2. What? You found "some places" on the vast "Web" that actually like Maddow?

      What are the odds of that?

    3. "It's illuminating that, when you speak of yourself as a liberal, using "we," you are speaking for all. How presumptuous."

      You mean presumptuous to speak for "we liberals", like this?

      "Still and all, we liberals love Our Own Rhodes Scholar, who loves to tell us she’s blindingly honest."

    4. It never occurs to Horace that when commenters use first person plural they are mocking the great one.

    5. There's too much mockery and not enough discussion here.

    6. What is the correct balance?

    7. Yes indeed. In additional to Rachel and Tigers he has written about Rachel and TV's and Rachel and tomahawks.

    8. Do you think more liberal and progressives would watch Rachel if her presentations were a good source of factual, defensible information that could be used in discussions with conservatives and skeptical unaligned people? Instead, we get a lot of feel-good clowning and comedic entertainment. I'd rather watch Big Bang Theory.

  2. The blogger's Maddow monomania is fascinating.

    1. It cannot be monomania when this blogger talks about many other people and things here. Mono means "one".

  3. We will point out what should be obvious by: according to Bob, Rachel Maddow's show has been "increasingly" odd, strange, crazy, nonsensical -- you choose the pejorative -- for years. By now, it shouldn't be possible for the show to become EVEN MORE nonsensical, crazy, odd, etc, etc, etc, without belonging to its own Cthulu-like universe of insanity. We feel certain, however, that next week, the show will have become "increasingly" odd, nonsensical, crazy, etc, etc, etc, yet again. We imagine calculating the "increasing" craziness of Maddow, and everything else associated with the left, is rather like dividing 1 by infinity: an unsolvable problem that has, however, the benefit of being a topic of endless potential discussion -- for those with certain predilections.

    At this point, we think it obvious that there is one, and only one "pseudo-liberal" who would be "lost without her."

  4. God Bless you for watching it so we don't have to. May keep a special place for you.

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