Maddow forgets to say so: Yesterday, Barack Obama spoke at a community event in Flint.
Before he spoke at that event, he received a briefing about the state of the city's water. In the New York Times, Shear and Bosman report what happened there:
SHEAR (5/5/16): Mr. Obama had been under pressure for months to visit Flint. White House aides said he had decided to make the trip after receiving a letter from an 8-year-old girl, Amariyanna Copeny, who is known among many in the city as Little Miss Flint.Say what? Obama did and said what?
After receiving a briefing from federal officials who have been on the ground in Flint for months, Mr. Obama urged residents to use filters for their drinking water and to make sure that children received medical checkups. At the end of the briefing, he took a sip from a glass of Flint water after saying, “Filtered water is safe.”
The Associated Press chose to open its news report with Obama taking the waters. "Sipping filtered city water to show it's again drinkable, President Barack Obama promised Wednesday to ride herd on leaders at all levels of government until every drop of water flowing into homes in Flint, Michigan, is safe to use," the famous news service reported.
In the Washington Post, it was paragraph 2. "Obama drank from a glass filled with filtered Flint water to drive home his message that recovery efforts, slow off the mark, were finally making gains."
After getting his briefing, Obama drank the (filtered) water in Flint to show that the water is safe! In fact, he did so two separate times—at the briefing, and then again at the community meeting.
Obama drank the filtered water to show that the water is safe! Unless you watch the Maddow Show, where that unacceptable conduct wasn't allowed to have happened.
Have we noted that Rachel Maddow has become an undisguised "cable news" demagogue? Last night, she displayed this preference again in the course of her very brief report about Obama's trip to the city she loves and holds so dear.
Near the end of last night's hour, Maddow devoted four minutes to this event. (Earlier, she had devoted roughly that amount of time to pointless old film clips of Lyndon Larouche.)
As always, Maddow built her remarkably short report around attacks on Governor Snyder, one of her most-hated political demons. Along the way, she actually reported part of what Obama said and did.
Below, you see Maddow's full report on Obama. In case you haven't noticed it yet, Maddow has become a reliable propagandist:
MADDOW (5/4/126): When President Obama did arrive, the president spoke for nearly an hour, way longer than we were told to expect.To watch the whole segment, click here. It runs just over four minutes.
He told the audience that he had their backs. That the water pipes will be replaced but it will take a long time. He told them that in the meantime they should feel safe drinking filtered water. He spoke to a fear he said he'd heard all day from the people he spoke to, the fear that Flint's kids have been irreparably damaged by the lead poisoned water.
OBAMA (videotape): You should be angry, but channel that anger. You should be hurt, but don't sink into despair. And most of all, do not somehow communicate to our children, here in this city, that they are going to be saddled with problems with the rest of their lives because they will not. They'll do just fine, just like I did fine with a single mom and a lot of you did fine growing up in a tough neighborhood. They'll make it as long as we're there for them and looking after them and doing the right thing for them and giving them the resources that they need. Don't lose hope.
MADDOW: President Obama today, in Flint, Michigan. He headed back to the airport after the speech, back to D.C.
Meanwhile, say what? Obama "told them that they should feel safe drinking filtered water?"
Did Rachel Maddow really say that? Did we hear her correctly?
In fact, Maddow's account overstates what Obama actually said; we'll correct her error below. That said, we ask those questions for a reason:
A few weeks back, Governor Snyder told the residents of Flint that they should feel safe drinking filtered water, except in the case of pregnant women and children under 6.
He went to Flint and drank filtered water, saying he thought it was safe. He said he'd drink filtered water from Flint at home and at work for a month.
When Snyder said and did those things, Maddow assailed him for it. She implied, again and again, that his assessment was wrong about the safety of drinking the filtered water.
She called his pledge to drink Flint water "a publicity stunt." She invented several fake facts to paint him in a bad light.
Uh-oh! Yesterday, Obama also went to Flint, where he met with Snyder. While there, he did and said the things for which Snyder had been assailed.
Like Snyder, Obama said that drinking filtered water was safe, except in the case of pregnant women and children under 6. (Maddow failed to mention those exceptions when she reported what Obama said. She runs a very careless show. Her factual errors are endless.)
Like Snyder, Obama made a point of drinking filtered Flint water, just to show he thought it was safe. He did this twice, in fact.
Maddow briefly mentioned what Obama had said. She never mentioned what he did—the fact that he took the waters, just as Snyder had done.
As is always the case when she talks about Flint, Maddow's presentation focused on trashing Snyder. She didn't mention the contradiction between Obama's words (which she misreported) and her previous suggestions that Snyder's assessment had been wrong.
She didn't so much as mention the fact that Obama took the waters. She had trashed Snyder for doing that. Now, the conduct disappeared when engaged in by Obama.
From the start, Maddow's treatment of Flint has been a series of cartoonized attacks on Snyder. She has done amazingly little real reporting on a wide array of events and issues in Flint. A long string of basic questions have gone unasked and unanswered on her propagandistic, cartoonized TV show.
Assuming that she's in control of herself, we don't know if we've ever seen a more cynical cable player than the one Maddow has become. She treats her viewers like absolute fools. They seem to respond with gratitude, just the way Hannity's mistreated viewers have always done.
Maddow should be off the air. If MSNBC was an actual news org, her gruesome behavior would have been stopped long ago.
Drum samples the waters: For Kevin Drum's reaction to Obama's visit, just click here.
Like Drum, we'd like to see a further assessment by a full-fledged water expert. For all her posturing about Flint, Maddow has never bothered to provide this obvious service. Instead, we get handed her assessments, which are utterly useless.
Her program is posturing all the way down. Essentially, the children of Flint serve as tools for our own cable hack's use.
More on Maddow's errors tomorrow. Her program is a rolling disgrace, a classic "cable news" mess.