Presenting the art of the con: In recent years, the conservative world has been burdened with the ludicrous Sarah Palin and her endless complaints about the depredations of "the lamestream media."
Due to the nature of tribal belief, many conservatives can't see that they're often being played when Palin makes these complaints.
Unfortunately, we in the liberal world now have our own counterpart to Palin. We refer to Rachel Maddow's endless pseudo-complaints about "the Beltway press."
Last night, Maddow started her program with a tale about the work of these fiends, who went unnamed, as always. Her silly complaint developed into a longer story about What Happens in Iowa Every Four Years at This Time.
Essentially, Maddow seemed to be making the whole thing up, as she rather frequently does. At any rate, this was Maddow's complaint last night about the lamestream/Beltway media:
MADDOW (1/25/16): And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.If you watch the videotape, you'll see that Rachel can barely contain her contempt for the way those "Beltway reporters" write those "wistful, patronizing, reductive little sing-song lullabies about how sweet and quaint everything is in Iowa with all these little Iowa people going to their little caucuses and how little and pure it is."
So this is the time when weird stuff starts to happen.
I don't mean, you know, 9 o'clock on MSNBC is when weird stuff happens, although sometimes that's true too. What I mean is, a week before Iowa is when weird stuff starts to happen. It's around this time every four years when we get two things happening at once.
First, Beltway reporters start writing these wistful, patronizing, reductive little sing-song lullabies about how sweet and quaint everything is in Iowa with all these little Iowa people going to their little caucuses and how little and pure it is, right? It restores your faith in the American political process. Right? Every four years, you get that stuff from Beltway reporters.
Simultaneously, every four years at this time, you see those articles from the Beltway and, in Iowa, at the exact same time, stuff starts to get really freaking sketchy. And in some cases, it gets downright criminally corrupt.
Iowa may be rural and it may be landlocked but Iowans are not rubes. Iowans are pros. And honestly, be on your toes. Be ready for anything.
Damn Beltway reporters! They do it every four years! As usual, though, Maddow cited no specific examples of this reductive work.
This morning, we went to Maddow's blog and checked the links for last night's program. Those links offer no examples of those patronizing sing-song lullabies about how sweet and quaint everything is.
Strange, isn't it? Beltway reporters write those pieces every four years, but Maddow seems to have no examples! But over and over, again and again, that's how this program works.
From there, Maddow went on to a long, confused, embellished ramble in which she pretended to show that "stuff starts to get really freaking sketchy" in Iowa every four years at this time, at least among Republicans. It sometimes gets criminally corrupt! On the Republican side, "the Iowa caucuses are kind of gangster," Maddow entertainingly says at one point.
Maddow offered no evidence for her sweeping claims. More significantly, she muddled the very serious way the Iowa GOP really did mismanage its caucuses in 2012.
That opening segment was an embarrassing, disingenuous mess. But then, this is the Maddow Show, a nightly freaking gong-show.
Maddow loves to make sweeping claims about those "Beltway reporters." In doing so, she gives us rubes the false impression that she's being daring, transgressive.
That isn't even close to being true, of course. In fact, since she never names any names or cites any examples, she's basically running a con. In truth, she will never name the names of the major reporters who turn out elections into clown shows every four years at this time.
Dearest darlings, it just isn't done! Homey don't play it that way!
This morning, we'd have to honor Amy Chozick as clown prince of "Beltway reporters" for the ridiculous way she covers Candidate Clinton in this front-page New York Times report. As always, Chozick's report is marked by its sheer inanity, its focus on everything trivial. But that's a fact of life, and a major name, you'll never hear Maddow discuss.
For the record, Maddow seems to be having one of her euphoric weeks. As we watch her strange behavior, we often wonder if her owners are getting her the help she seems to need.
Given the way the corporate world works, we'll guess that they aren't. Given the way she behaves on the air, we're going to guess that they should.
At any rate, conservatives have the lamestream media. We have the Beltway press.
For people of strong spirit only: If you want to see how sad this gets, go to 7:45 of the videotape to watch Maddow say this:
MADDOW: Iowa gets treated by the Beltway press like it's some cross between a Hallmark card and a Norman Rockwell painting and a slice of apple pie with a puppy on top, right? But Iowa, at least on the Republican side of the caucuses, has been kind of a banana republic in recent years.You'll see Maddow clowning very hard. You'll also hear one of her resident hacks laughing helplessly off-camera at the boss's masterful wit.
This is now a regular part of this increasingly horrible show. For ourselves, we think its host could probably use some help.