New York Times swamps Maddow: Last evening, viewers of the Maddow Show were treated to one of the program's silliest recurrent features.
We don't refer to the Friday Night News Dump, in which the host gets to clap her hands, pretend she's a child (and a game show host), and play old videotape of herself.
Six minutes were wasted that way last night. But that isn't what we mean.
Last evening, we got to enjoy our weekly "News Dump," but along the way, we also got something that's even more foolish. Midway through the show, we got one of Maddow's trademark faux self-corrections, in which she pretends to correct a (very minor) mistake she has made, thus showing how honest she is.
In last evening's feigned self-correction, Maddow pretended to correct a mistake which she pretended she had committed on Tuesday evening's program. In truth, there had been no such mistake Tuesday night; in that sense, there was no correction.
Despite these minor problems, Maddow performed her latest overacted version of this gong, in which her viewers get played.
We'd like to show you the text of last night's gong, but the transcript hasn't been posted yet, not even by Nexis. Maybe we'll do so next week. If you have access to the videotape, we advise you to watch it. As you do, marvel at the ridiculous ways Maddow feigns repentance for the embarrassing, very minor mistake which actually never occurred.
Doggone it! Last night's program started with eleven minutes of otherwise useless self-promotion. It ended with the moronic News Dump. Along the way, we got the faux self-correction.
You were also handed a ludicrous account of the viewership of Thursday night's Trump-free GOP debate. Maddow's account was pure narrative, all the way down. We may show you what we mean once the transcript has been posted by our own slacker news channel.
In short, we were handed a lot of the standard BS on last night's Maddow Show. The self-correction caper may be the best of this program's trademark hustles, since it's a gambit in which we're persuaded, through means that are less than obsessively honest, about the host's uncontrollable honesty.
Rachel Maddow's a real piece of work! That brings us to the new information about the water in Flint.
Yesterday, a federal official released new data about the water samples which are being taken in Flint. In this morning's New York Times, Abby Goodnough actually used some actual numbers in her news report:
GOODNOUGH (1/30/16): Nicole Lurie, assistant secretary for preparedness and response for the United States Public Health Service, said 26 water samples, out of nearly 4,000 collected, contained lead at levels higher than 150 parts per billion. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that lead in drinking water should be below 15 parts per billion.Ever-so-slowly, information is leaking out concerning the current state of the water in Flint. We wouldn't say that Goodnough did a comprehensive job in today's report, which focuses on other important questions which have been examined in slipshod fashion on Maddow's horrible program. But she does provide some basic statistical information.
Flint residents received filters designed to remove lead up to 150 parts per billion, Ms. Lurie said, adding that they could still be effective above that level.
“This does not mean that we think there’s a problem with the filters,” she said. “In fact, everything we know tells us that they are performing well.”
According to the figures in that passage, 26 samples, out of 4000, have exceeded the level which is said to be safe in you're using a water filter. That means that 99.3% of the samples are theoretically safe if you're using a filter.
No one should have to use a water filter, of course. Presumably, this situation won't be resolved as long as these filters are needed.
Beyond that, Goodnough's data barely scratch the surface of the questions which should be explored by journalists in this matter. For example, here's a question to which we don't know the answer, though Professor Marc Edwards presumably does, if Maddow would ever ask him:
In the typical American city, how many such water samples would be above 150 parts per billion? Any at all? An embarrassing number? What's the situation facing parents and kids in other cities, in American cities writ large?
We mention Goodnough's data for a reason. If you watched the Maddow Show last night, you saw the host rant and rail about these new federal data. You saw enact her latest absurd morality play, the one concerning that water cooler in that one state office building.
You got to see all that dust. You just didn't see her cite the actual numbers which let us start to form a picture of the current sweep of the problem in Flint. On Monday, assuming the transcripts appear, we'll show you the way she reported this matter instead.
On balance, Maddow is a disaster. In our view, she's right up there with the most unbalanced people who have ever hosted "cable news" programs. And yes, that puts her right up there with some very unbalanced TV stars.
We the liberals have a hard time seeing this about Maddow. We have tended to fall for her self-corrections, utterly faux though they are. (Conservatives have a similar problem with some of their favorite stars.)
On Monday, we'll return to this matter. How much information are you getting, as opposed to those old standbys, narrative, fury, excitement?
For extra credit only: Did you note the last two prizes which were included in last evening's News Dump? Did the inclusion of those prizes strike you as possibly odd?