You'll never hear this from Maddow: On last evening's Maddow Show, we got to see our hilarious host "poof" two Republican headshots, those of Candidates Paul and Santorum.
(Remember how Maddow kept announcing last year that Santorum was the best communicator in the field? Remember how she wasted all that time doing interviews with Santorum? By this week, she was rolling her eyes and snarking at the dumb stupid offensive guy. It's very much the way this flyweight conducts her TV star business.)
Last night, Maddow made those headshots go "poof." To us the Maddowsketeers, it was enormous fun! We also got to see Rachel snark, at pointless length, about the travails of Candidate Bush.
Plus, we got to enjoy her telling us about the newest poll! It was a new, exciting national poll, to which the cable world's biggest clown had exclusive rights. We'll edit out some of the time-waste:
MADDOW (2/3/16): I do actually have legit breaking news hot off the presses. What I have in my hot little hand here is the first, the first new national poll in the presidential race since the Iowa caucuses. This is a poll on the Republican side. It was done by PPP.According to PPP, Trump is still ahead nationwide. But in the wake of Iowa, he's ahead by only four points over Cruz and Rubio.
Again, first national poll of the race for the Republican nomination since Iowa. And we've got this poll exclusively tonight. Nobody else has this. I am breaking this news right now.
What this new poll says is that Donald Trump is still winning. But he is winning by a lot less than he was winning before.
Again, this is breaking news. This poll is going to be officially released tomorrow, again, the first new national poll on the Republican side since Ted Cruz won Iowa. We got this exclusive first look at these numbers tonight.
Basically what this poll is telling us, if this is an accurate snapshot of the race right now, what this is telling us is that Donald Trump is still in the lead but that momentum is going the wrong direction. That trajectory is downward. He's dropping like a stone. A nine-point drop in a month is a big drop.
Here's the lesson a serious person might draw from such a new poll. Night after night after night after night, Maddow has wasted everyone's time for the past six months as she has pored over every new poll, of which there have been a real shipload.
In truth, of course, Maddow has been selling us entertainment in the form of a horse race, a product she continued to peddle last night. And when you waste tons of time that way, you can't discuss actual news.
That explains why Maddow didn't discuss Barack Obama's visit to the Baltimore mosque. It also explains why she did so little reporting about what Marc Edwards told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform about events in Flint.
Edwards is the Virginia Tech professor who has played a key role in bringing events in Flint to public awareness. Yesterday, he testified to that House committee about those events, appearing along with a half dozen other witnesses.
By all accounts, Edwards is one of the most important players in the whole Flint story. As we'll show you tomorrow, he's one of the cartoon heroes of Maddow's account of Flint.
Edwards knows a great deal about what happened in Flint. Yesterday, he discussed those events with the House. Today, we're going to show you the Q-and-As which seem to lay out his basic view of this case.
Professor Edwards may not be right in all his assessments, of course. But despite his role as a cartoonized hero, you've barely heard his assessments on the Maddow show.
We'd say the reason for that is increasingly obvious.
Maddow loves to tell a cartoonized story in which her cartoonized villain is the villainous Governor Snyder full and complete total stop. Edwards—unlike Maddow, he's an adult—tells a more complex story.
We're going to show you two Q-and-As. Each exchange came near the end of yesterday's hearing.
In the first exchange, Rep. Cummings (D-MD) asks Professor Edwards why he seems to blame the EPA to such an extent for what happened in Flint. In his reply, Edwards says where he thinks "the primary blame" for Flint lies:
CUMMINGS (2/3/16): As a trial lawyer, I'm kind of used to kind of really, really listening carefully. It seems like you spent a lot of time on the EPA.Professor Edwards' assessment isn't necessarily accurate. But almost surely, Edwards knows more about these events than any other outside player.
And I want you to be clear, and I'll say it 50 million times and I mean it. I want the EPA to be held responsible for addressing the things that they're supposed to address.
But it seems—help me with this, OK, because I'm just listening to you. You don't seem to put too much blame on the state. Why is that? Or am I missing something?...
EDWARDS: My perspective on this is the fact that these are the agencies paid to protect us, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and Susan Hedman at EPA is the top environmental cop in the region.
I have said repeatedly that the primary blame for this rests with a few people at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, without question. But in terms of other people in the state, those core professionals misled them throughout this whole thing. [Former mayor] Walling in Flint, for example, reached out after reading Miguel's memo, as a considerate mayor would, to Susan Hedman. Said, "Is this something I should take seriously?"
And she told him, the top environmental policeman in the region told him, "I am sorry this memo ever took place and I'll get back to you after I edit and vet it."
So I— 100 percent of the responsibility lies with these employees at MDEQ, there's no question. But the EPA had the chance, because of Miguel Del Toro, to be the hero here and Ms. Hedman snatched defeat for EPA from the jaws of victory by discrediting his memo and standing by silently as she knew that federal law was not protecting Flint's children.
In that answer, Edwards places "the primary blame/100 percent of the responsibility" on "a few people at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality." He says those people at MDEQ tended to mislead everyone else. He also severely blames the EPA's Susan Hedman for her conduct after the fact.
In that answer, Edwards cited Mayor Walling, the former Flint mayor, as someone who was misled by those MDEQ staffers. In a pair of follow-up questions, Rep. Chaffetz (R-UT) asked Edwards to elaborate on the deception to which he referred. He specifically asked if Governor Snyder had been misled by the MDEQ staffers.
At the start of the exchange which follows, you see Edwards state his general theory of the case. Eventually, you also see his statement regarding Snyder.
Trust us! You will never hear what follows on Maddow's horrible program. Simply put, this doesn't follow the cartoonized script the horrible Maddow is peddling:
CHAFFETZ: I just to follow up on what Mr. Cummings was talking about, Mr. Edwards. These people at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, do you feel that they were misleading people? Were they providing false information? What were they doing? And who were they doing it to?Edwards' assessments and impressions could turn out to be wrong. That said, what is his basic assessment?
EDWARDS: I think it probably started innocently. I think someone forgot to follow the law [about corrosion control], but they ignored warning sign after warning sign...And gradually, step by step, they just felt like they were covering this up. There's no question about it.
You read the e-mails. They were—they lied in writing to the EPA, and it was only after [Flint parent Lee-Anne Walters] figured out that they were not using corrosion control that they started this new story that we don't know if we have to have corrosion control. So I think the written record is quite clear on this.
CHAFFETZ: They were telling that to the EPA. What about to the governor's office and other state officials?
EDWARDS: It's very clear to me that they misled the epidemiologists who were looking at that. The very first thing that they did was to reach out to these MDEQ employees and say, "Is there something wrong with the water?" And the talking points, the notes from that memo used by the epidemiologists, basically repeated one lie after another after another about the actual situation in Flint.
And when you're a scientist and you have been misled so fundamentally by someone in a position of trust, that skews your interpretation. So I have criticized what the Health Department did, and the fact that they never told the governor about the spike in elevated lead that was occurring. And I have, I have talked about their unethical behavior in the month of September, when they refused to share data with me and Dr. Mona about the lead poisoned children.
But you have to— When you look at the ethics of this, you have to look at what they were told and put yourself in their position and I fault them, but the blame lies with these three or four employees who were actively misleading everyone. And I go back to Mr. Walling, who took a lot of criticism, and some of it very justifiable. But if you're a mayor of a town in Flint and you reach out to Susan Hedman, the top cop in the region, and she tells you nothing is wrong, and a few days later you go on television drinking the water to tell everyone it's safe, who's to blame for that?
Certainly, Mayor Walling has taken his share of the blame for being overly trusting of the top EPA cop in the region, for apologizing for this memo and not telling that there's anything wrong going on in Flint. But the bulk of the blame for that particular episode has to lie with Susan Hedman.
He said he thinks the failure to provide corrosion control started as a mistake. He seems to say that the MDEQ staffers who made this mistake gradually created a cover-up as they realized what they had done.
That basic assessment could turn out to be wrong, of course. But Edwards says these three or four state employees then began "actively misleading everyone." He expressly says that they misled the former Flint mayor, and he seems to say that "they never told the governor about the spike in elevated lead that was occurring."
Is that accurate? We can't say. But trust us! You will never, ever hear those views expressed on the Maddow program. Maddow has cartoonized Professor Edwards as a major hero of these events. But Professor Edwards' view of the case is light-years from the Preferred Maddow Script, which can be summarized in this way:
"Snyder Snyder Snyder Snyder Snyder Snyder mass poison."
Bad water came out of the taps in Flint. Scripted portraits leach out of Maddow's program every night of the week.
The mugging, clowning, corrosive Maddow should be removed from the air. She simply isn't stable enough to hold her current position.
Tomorrow: Maddow's cartoon portrait of Edwards. Plus, basic unanswered questions