Part 5—Cable's dumbest week ever: Monday, April 11, 2016 dawned both clear and cold.
(Presumably, this was true somewhere. On occasion, we'll follow modern cable news practice, replacing balanced presentations of fact with familiar, novelized formats.)
As that Monday dawned clear and cold, liberals and progressives found themselves confronted by a wide range of issues, concerns, inventions and substantive topics.
Candidates Clinton and Sanders were locked in a war for the state of New York. Below, you see just a few of the questions which were involved in their glorious fight:
How should progressives view the provisions of the 1994 crime bill?
Was Candidate Clinton a snarling racist for having used the term "superpredator" on one occasion in 1996? What about the snarling racism of Candidate Sanders, who kept denigrating Democratic voters in the Deep South?
Which candidate had the better proposals concerning "big banks?" Which candidate had the better ideas about federal, state and local minimum wage proposals?
Which candidate had the better proposals concerning international trade? Which candidate had the better proposals concerning low-income schools?
(Tell the truth! Have you ever heard our corporate progressives so much as mention that last topic? On even one occasion? Why do you think that is?)
Should Candidate Clinton be raising money at exclusive $353,000-a-plate galas? Should she release the transcripts of her paid speeches to you know who?
Should Candidate Sanders have flown to the Vineyard to appear at those swish soirees? Should Candidate Sanders raise money for congressional candidates, as Candidate Clinton has done?
Which candidate is more upset about police misconduct and error? Has either candidate offered any actual proposals in this general field?
Has either candidate made any sense concerning recent events in Flint? If so, what has that candidate said? Why haven't we heard it discussed?
Many topics were being churned as the hopefuls fought for New York. In the course of all the hubbub, candidates were denigrated in various ways, sometimes in ways which may have been a tiny small bit less than obsessively honest.
That very same Monday night, Professor Dershowitz paraded his way onto CNN and offered a rather peculiar account of his real-time views concerning that ancient crime bill. In this and a million other ways, the nation's hustlers, pundits, grabbers and con men were distorting the nation's recent past in service to their own reputations and in search of advancement and profit.
A person with a cable news show could have performed a wide range of valuable services during the course of this week. A real news program could have performed a wide range of journalistic services.
Instead, the eponymous show of a big major star responded with one of the dumbest weeks ever performed in the already awful, thirty-plus years of so-called "cable news." We refer to The Rachel Maddow Show, the rapidly devolving "cable news" show whose multimillionaire TV star has been in a headlong state of decline for at least the past year.
The Maddow Show began the week with guest host Steve Kornacki forced to read a silly account of that 1994 crime bill. Later, he was forced to tease the declining program's latest explosive and highly exciting sexy-time big major sex scandal:
KORNACKI (4/11/16): What do the FBI, the archdiocese of Washington, D.C. and the embassy of Japan all have in common? It turns out they have a pretty interesting connection to the D.C. madam scandal. Some new reporting on that tonight.Alas, poor Kornacki, the analysts cried. Involuntarily, we averted our gaze during the subsequent segment, which dripped with the thrill of very raw sexy-time sex. That said, the monster dumbing didn't begin until the program's star returned to the air, dragging her endless array of performance tics behind her.
Stay with us.
As we all know, ticks can spread all sorts of disease as the weather warms. In the realm of intellectual health, so can the mugging and routine dissembling of this borderline corporate star.
A year or so back, the cable star's corporate bosses decided to adopt their latest new corporate approach. The channel would become "the place for politics," or rather for an imitation of same.
In the course of that latest adjustment, Professor Harris-Perry ended up on the junk heap. The major star of whom we speak seems to have made an adjustment.
Rachel Maddow has dumbed her show down within an inch of its life. She gambles each night that we liberals won't notice.
So far, that gamble has worked.
That said, the monster dumbness of last week's programs calls out for description. Also, the ugliness of the lessons she taught—the ugliness of her endless, cartoonized lessons in cartoon tribal loathing.
Assuming basic emotional competence, it would be hard to get more cynical than this program's star has become. That said, the host has discussed her emotional problems at several points in the past.
For ourselves, we don't assume that the cable star is in full command at this point. All too often, she doesn't quite seem to be.
We say that because we watch the show, and marvel at what we see each night. That said, last week's programs set a new standard for insults to the viewer's intelligence and for the sheer joy of the cartoonized loathing which dominated the week.
How dumb were Maddow's performances last week? How many times can you say it? If you want to see what dumb looks like, we'd recommend the segments she did on Thursday night concerning a huge invented concern:
The cable star fears, or says she fears, that delegates to the Republican convention in Cleveland may be bribed by Candidate Trump this summer. Even worse, they may be bribed in a way which is perfectly legal, because the very large bribes will be paid outside the state of Ohio!
Maddow had already wandered into the woods when she asked a former U.S. attorney to help her evaluate this dystopian nonsense. Needless to say, she had burned away her initial segment on this imagined concern with a meandering, time-wasting review of an obscure Ohio state law, a law which emerged from the 1876 Republican convention, which was held in Cincinnati.
Repeatedly, Maddow killed time last week with pointless trips to the past. As she endlessly wasted time in this way, she failed to address the many real issues surrounding the current campaign.
In this instance, she devoted one segment to Rutherford B. Hayes, then rubbed her hands, as Hamlet once did, concerned about what might be coming this summer. Like Cassandra, she could see the disaster:
"Under federal law, arguably, a rich candidate like, say, Donald Trump, could spend a few tens of millions of dollars of his personal wealth buying a few hundred delegates new houses, or new cars, or just writing them checks in order to seal up the nomination for himself. Federal law apparently would not stop that," the cable star excitedly said.
It wasn't clear why this very strange person thought she knew such a thing about federal law. In her second segment concerning this nonsense, she brought on a former U.S. attorney to help her think the problem through.
Credit where due! The former U.S. attorney somehow managed to keep a straight face as he kept telling the cable star how thoroughly she misunderstood the way federal and state laws really work. That said, nothing could get the nagging fear of these crimes out of this strange person's head. After dismissing the U.S. attorney, she closed the second segment like this:
MADDOW (4/14/16): Steven Dettelbach, former U.S. attorney, thank you for helping us understand this. This is a strange aspect of this story, but it's good to be forewarned. Thank you, sir.Say what? No one had raised "the prospect of Ohio prosecutors prowling the Cleveland convention site to try to suss out bribery"—in this case, bribery by Candidate Trump involving tens of millions of dollars!
MADDOW: The prospect of Ohio prosecutors prowling the Cleveland convention site to try to suss out bribery when one of, when one of the contenders for the nomination is the Ohio governor because they're going to prosecute this under state law? God, let it not come to that!
All right. Much more ahead. Stay with us.
Instead, Dettelbach had simply told Maddow that, despite her time-wasting trip to the past and despite her attempts to define federal law, any such bribes could be prosecuted under federal or state law. Along the way, he had batted away her silly idea that Ohio law wouldn't hold if Candidate Trump simply paid these bribes across the state line in Indiana.
Rachel Maddow didn't go down without a ridiculous fight. In this exchange, note the way she pushed back against the idea that Indiana was out as a locale for the safe legal paying of bribes:
DETTELBACH: So we talk about, in the criminal law, a thing called venue, jurisdiction. Where can something be done? And you know, just as if you committed fraud and part of the fraud occurred in Ohio and part of the fraud occurred in Indiana, or a crime of violence or rape or any horrible crime, you know, if part of this crime occurs in Ohio, you're going to have to face an investigation and prosecution in Ohio.She didn't mean to get too technical with the former U.S. attorney!
MADDOW: In terms of— I don't mean to get too technical, but in terms of what you mean by "taking place in Ohio," how would that apply to basically a bribe that was consummated in Cleveland, right? So let's say someone in the U.S. Virgin Islands makes a deal, is offered a bribe, accepts the bribe and then turns up in Cleveland and all they do in Cleveland is vote. Would that still be—
DETTELBACH: Well, "all they do." That's a pretty big thing to do! That's what you're being bribed for, is the vote.
Dettelbach did a good job not laughing in the cable star's face. But even after he told the star that she'd pulled her concerns right out of her ascot, she closed the segment with a dystopian image of federal prosecutors prowling the waterfront, trying to run down these crimes.
God, she hoped it didn't happen, she said. To state the obvious, these two segments were her way of helping us think that it would.
Maddow burned two segments last Thursday night on this fanciful nonsense. As she repeatedly did last week, she began with a time-wasting trip to the past, then pretended to examine her fanciful concerns with a former U.S. attorney.
As she did this, serious topics went wholly unexplored. In the broader sweep of the week's programming, a cynic would say the purpose of this strange excursion was clear:
In the absence of any such occurrence, Maddow had associated Candidate Trump with the most cartoonish type of criminal conduct. He might bribe the delegates with new houses or, on the cheap, with new cars!
He might spend tens of millions of dollars on these bribes! Not to get too technical about it, but if he bribed them in Indiana (or in the Virgin Islands), his bribes might be A-OK!
No one has suggested that Candidate Trump has tried to do any such thing. But Maddow's program is now built around cartoonized portraits of the many Very Bad People whom she cartoonishly loathes.
She picks and chooses and dreams up facts to help you share her loathing. The most pitiful example of this cartoonized loathing was performed by the star Friday night.
"Behold, happy Friday night," the major star said at one point. "This is our child's treasury of John Kasich engaging with women voters."
In that moment, the cable star offered an apt review of her ongoing behavior. Her cartoonized portraits of those whom she loathes now operate on the level of an 8-year-old child.
Maddow repeatedly deceives her viewers to deliver these cartoonized portraits. In the process, liberal brain cells wither and die. This conduct may keep her ratings up. But this conduct is bad for the world.
Maddow opened last Friday's show with a long cartoon portrait of Kasich. We wouldn't vote for John Kasich ourselves. But if we ran a cable show the way this cable show is now run, we'd fall to our knees, debase ourselves, and apologize to the whole world, especially to the liberal viewers who Maddow keeps treating like dumbbells and dirt.
Did last week's programs constitute the dumbest week "cable news" ever aired? We don't know how to answer that, but those embarrassing cartoonized programs surely came fairly close.
Tomorrow: Cartoonizing Kasich—and us
Concerning that interview: To watch Maddow's interview with Dettelbach, you can just click here. Tape of the previous segment wasn't posted.
Don't waste your time with the program's transcript. Like many transcripts from this channel, it bears a shaky connection to the words the star and her guest really said.
Does this cable star possibly need some help? Sadly but inevitably, we don't think she's going to get it.
More Maddow bashing while giving people like Joe Scarborough a pass. But like BS, Joe is an old white southern conservative while Maddow is a liberal, homosexual woman. It is really sad that in this day and age there are still angry old men like BS who can't see past their own bigotry.ReplyDelete
Scarborough doesn't masquerade as a liberal. No liberal is going to be fooled that he is on their side. They will already be cautious and critical of his statements. Because Maddow is presented as a liberal, her liberal audience may be less prepared to recognize her "mistakes."Delete
Did you put mistakes in quotation marks because she did, somone else did, you are not sure if her mistakes as real mistakes or just so called mistakes, or is it for some "other" reason?Delete
Whether her actions are mistakes or not depends on what she has been trying to accomplish, her actual goals.Delete
Obama explained today the reason he sent back Churchill bust is because there was not enough room in the Oval Office for MLK and Churchill? That is the Obama Administration in microcosm. Not as if the bust was of King George III.ReplyDelete
Look! Someone who can generate more comments on Bob's blog than Bob has returned!Delete
I like him best when he kicks FLOTUS butt istead of POTUS butt. Especially former
FLOTI. Your results may differ, but your Howler gets them.
Maddow has publicly stated on her show that she believes what she does is not that much different from a fake news show. Bob doesn't seem to get it. He is expecting real news but this is, as she has said, not that much different from comedy. It's not news!Delete
That would be news to the 12% of Americans who said they get their government and political news from The Daily Show.
I'm going to stay out of this, but Cicero I think the upset you express here has less to do with how the current POTUS appoints his office and more to do with an inadequacy you have felt in trying to respond to an issue raised years ago by a blogging member of the LBGT community. [LINK]Delete
Will you send the link to POTUS Obama? He said today, "I love Winston Churchill, I love the guy."
BTW: Your source Arthur Silber blames Winnie for everything but Global Warming. The Yalta Conference stipulated that the western Allies would return all Soviet citizens who found themselves in their zones to the Soviet Union. FDR signed off on the hideous policy. In fact, Silber might as well accuse FDR of making the same mistakes with the Soviets as Winnie.
@ 2:01, 4:44 & 6:21 -Delete
Чего-то похожего в современной истории борьбы с допингом ещё не было. Всемирное антидопинговое агентство (ВАДА) на прошлой неделе неожиданно для всех дало задний ход при расследовании скандала, связанного с употреблением мельдония. Фактически борцы с допингом признали, что опрометчиво включили препарат в запрещённый список и внесли пояснение, которое может стать судьбоносным для ряда российских атлетов, в чьих пробах был обнаружен мельдоний. Итак, содержание менее 1 микрограмма этого вещества в допинг-пробах, сданных до 1 марта 2016 года, теперь не является нарушением правил ВАДА.
His, "I love Winston Churchill, I love the guy" from today comes as news to you? This whole high dudgeon act about the bust closed years ago. [LINK] Consider getting a subscription to Variety to help you keep up, Cicero.
Actually, Pfeiffer closed the door on the "high dudgeon", but had to open it again when Charles Krauthammer chastised him for posting false information on the White House "fact check" blog about the Churchill bust not being returned to the British embassy.Delete
Pfeiffer sent Krauthammer an email apologizing for denying what the truth about the Churchill bust being returned. See link below.
Now, if you knew Obama's crush on Churchill was old news, you must have sent him Arthur Silber's rant about Churchill years ago. But of course you only find adoration of Churchill objectionable when conservatives are doing the adoring.
"I'm going to stay out of this, ...."Delete
You're arguing for a two bust minimum, then.Delete
As to any effusive thing Obama might have said while in London about Churchill in the wake of the Boris Johnson comment, like any sane American it's pretty much what I would have expected to have heard from the president.
In the matter of what is the real story here, I don't agree with the neo-liberal Obama's neo-liberal position on Brexit. I'm also in agreement with Johnson that while in the UK, especially with the referendum date so close, the president should not have explicitly supported any position on the issue at all.
As for the adoration of any political figure, such feelings invariably get in the way of any useful historical analysis.
Тогда, по версии следствия, он умышленно блокировал работу ООО "Новые технологии", вынудив компанию оплатить фиктивные услуги близкой к его ведомству структуры.
That's not you doubting my sincerity, is it?
Has anybody got a combined word count on this week's Maddow Derangement Syndrome screeds?ReplyDelete
Surely, it must be approaching 20,000.
Bob, get a life.
Kisich is a political buffoon. But he's gotten away with being a combative jerk for decades and rewarded with wealth in return. Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, but John Kasich reincarnated it as JobsOhio; even hired an LB person to run it. He likes secrets, isn't a stranger to dirty tricks, runs a sluggish economy with rising poverty. He hates unions, only likes government to the extent he and his buddies can milk it. He believes income tax cuts produce jobs. His autocratic personality really doesn't like getting people together, if it means his ideas get left behind. He's acting out his final fantasy, abusing taxpayers in the process.ReplyDelete
Actually he's done a helluva job privatising education and advancing other ALEC agenda items in Ohio.Delete
There is a way David. Lower poverty rates. There are not many ways to do this, of the few options the best is to return to the higher tax rates on wealth.ReplyDelete
"There should be a way to discourage people from becoming criminals in the first place."ReplyDelete
Like you give a damn.
Remove lead paint from old buildings. Remove lead from the soil. When children grow up lead-free, their academic achievement is higher and their crime rate is lower.ReplyDelete
I appreciate your suggestions, Anon 7:40 and Caesar, but I don't think they'll work. My reason is that we substantially achieved the goals you set out, yet the crime rate went up.ReplyDelete
In my youth, in the 1940's and 1950's, crime rates were low. Yet, at that time people were far poorer than todeay. There was no welfare. Some people were truly going hungry. And, lead was all around us, in gasoline, in indoor paint, etc.
Ah yes, unsupported one-person anecdotal opinion.ReplyDelete
The remedy must be a return to the 40s and 50s economically, environmentally, and culturally.
It's all so simple for this simpleton suffering from the Dunning-Kruger Effect.