Maddow watch: As always, verdict first!


Her latest gubernatorial target:
Last Tuesday night, May 24, cable star Rachel Maddow closed her program by snarking at the dumbness of Governor Susana Martinez.

The next night, May 25, she opened her show with an attack on Candidate Trump. What had the candidate done this time?

The previous evening, Candidate Trump had mocked the dumbness of Governor Martinez! Maddow proceeded to savage Trump for doing the same thing she'd done! See yesterday's report.

This type of nonsense is par for the course on the current Maddow Show. Maddow has transformed her "cable news" program into one of the dumbest, and least disciplined, in the entire field.

Tribal porridge is served each night; the loss of brain cells is large. As in last night's amazing first twenty minutes, the waste of time on pointless trivia is routinely enormous.

Maddow flipped on Governor Martinez from the end of one night's show to the start of the next! We have no idea how other liberals can watch this show without wondering about the cable star's very strange nightly performance.

That said, Maddow's strangest work last week involved a second governor. We refer to Terry McAuliffe, a long-time Clinton associate, the Democratic governor of Virginia.

Why was McAuliffe in the news? Right at the start of her show, Maddow teased the topic. In this ridiculous statement, you see the instinct to "hang em high" which typifies Maddow's performance:
MADDOW (6/23/16): We also learned this afternoon that the FBI is apparently investigating Virginia's Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe, which means Virginia is now officially turning into Illinois, with one of its governors appealing his conviction to the Supreme Court while at the same time, his successor in office comes under federal investigation.
Virginia has turned into Illinois? No, we aren't making that up.

Maddow didn't even seem to be sure that McAuliffe was being investigated. But just like that, the fact that he was "apparently" being investigated meant that he should be linked to the state's previous governor. It also triggered that snarky link to Illinois.

Was McAuliffe really under investigation? If so, for what? Given McAuliffe's ties to the Clintons, and given our recent political history, a sensible person might want to be careful about a leaked report of this type in an election year.

Alas! The leaked report of a ginned-up probe has been a regular feature of campaign seasons in the Clinton / Gore / Clinton years. That said, Maddow has never met an accusation she didn't treat as a conviction, except in the case of Candidate Clinton, whose current, actual FBI probe she has failed to examine at all.

Has anyone on cable news ever rushed-to-convict in the way Maddow does? Later in her cable show, she devoted a segment to this murky new topic—the first of two such segments last week.

Monday evening's segment was bad. Wednesday evening's segment was worse, as we'll see tomorrow.

In Monday evening's segment, Maddow offered a silly, short introduction to the general topic. This let her play videotape of herself, her number-one favorite pastime.

She then reported what little she knew about the apparent probe; she didn't know much at all. Needless to say, the seriousness of the topic, and her general ignorance, didn't keep her from snarking:
MADDOW: ...NBC News has now confirmed that the FBI is looking into whether or not Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe accepted illegal contributions during his 2013 campaign for governor. Specifically, the FBI looking, for the past several months, into whether his gubernatorial campaign accepted contributions that were illegal.

The FBI is reportedly particularly interested in contributions from a Chinese businessman,
who once held political office in China, but who now has permanent resident status in the United States. A lawyer for the McAuliffe campaign tells NBC tonight, quote, "Neither the governor, nor his former campaign, has knowledge of this matter." The lawyer continued, quote, "The governor will certainly cooperate with the government if he is contacted about it."

If. If!

The lawyer implying that the governor himself hasn't even been told about this FBI investigation yet. But it's in the press now, thanks to somebody leaking that information.

This new FBI investigation is happening in the same state where Terry McAuliffe's predecessor, Republican Governor Bob McDonnell, is currently appealing a two-year prison sentence for public corruption.

Public affairs, indeed.

When Bob McDonnell got indicted, everybody in Virginia professed to be shocked, shocked that this could happen in that genteel state,
which prides itself on its good governance, that never thought it even needed ethics laws. Bob McDonnell was the first Virginia governor indicted in that state's very, very, very long history. Now his successor is under FBI investigation as well.

We will let you know more when we learn more.
But joining us now and Matt Zapotosky, who covers the Justice Department for the Washington Post national security team.
To watch this whole segment, click here.

Several parts of that report should have suggested caution. The history of leaked probes of Clinton associates would be one such element. Recent errors by the Washington Post and the New York Times would perhaps be another.

Normal decency keeps journalists from implying guilt on such a flimsy basis as this—on the basis of a vague report which some unknown person has leaked. That said, Maddow rarely executes normal decency when the slightest suggestion of wrongdoing lets her engage in her favorite types of conduct: playing videotape of herself and staging instant convictions.

Rather plainly, McAuliffe's lawyer said the governor was unaware of any such probe. Rather than react with caution, Maddow misstated what the lawyer had said as she authored a hint of disbelief.

She then got out a can of snark concerning the state of Virginia. Borrowing from Casablanca, she snarked about Governor McDonnell's conviction, which the Supreme Court is reconsidering, then linked McAuliffe to McDonnell in standard careless fashion.

Maddow then interviewed Zapotosky, a youngish reporter for the Post (Ohio U., class of 2008.) Zapotosky implied McAuliffe's guilt in a remarkably careless way.

Needless to say, his carelessness went unchallenged. Tomorrow, we'll start with his remarks.

Last Monday night, we thought this was a careless report of a familiar type. Maddow is a remarkably undisciplined hangin' judge. Except in the case of Candidate Clinton, she typically rushes to convict, no matter how little she knows about an investigation or charge. (In this instance, there was no report of a charge.)

In this instance, she knew almost nothing, but the snark had already begun. When she threw to Zapotosky, the rush to convict got worse.

That said, Monday's report was a breath of fresh air compared to Wednesday's sequel. Maddow is running a very poor show. Her basic judgment is very poor, and she no longer seems to be under any sort of editorial direction.

On the bright side, she's pulling in numbers and making huge bucks. That said, her TV show is a mess.

Casablanca suggests one possible answer. Can't somebody sing the Marseillaise to drown this clown show out?

Tomorrow: Zapotosky convicts, just as it ever was


  1. I watched Clinton's speech on CSPAN. It was clear, well-delivered and devastating to Trump. Then I heard the Republicans call in about Benghazi and email. They used both the Republican and Democrat lines. And Bernie's folks called in with their criticisms. So I switched to MSNBC where Hugh Hewitt was comparing Trump to Reagan. That got interrupted by 10 minutes on Ryan's endorsement of Trump. Then some woman said she and "others in the office" noticed how similar he speech was to Mitt Romney's, as if she had cribbed it. So I had to turn off the TV.

    This is what coverage of a major foreign policy speech is like when you're HRC.

    FYI, the conservatives are now saying her server was actually hacked, which is not true. Hewitt said it and some random caller did, so it appears to be a talking point.

    So, how does Clinton balance the Republican callers when Bernie people are clogging the call in lines and sending tweets as "Democrats"? They are hurting her efforts to defeat Trump.

    1. @4:33

      Lazar aka "Gucifer" said he first compromised Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal's AOL account, in March 2013, and used that as a stepping stone to the Clinton server. He said he accessed Clinton’s server “like twice,” though he described the contents as “not interest[ing]” to him at the time.

      “I was not paying attention. For me, it was not like the Hillary Clinton server, it was like an email server she and others were using with political voting stuff," Guccifer said."

      "While Lazar's claims cannot be independently verified, three computer security specialists, including two former senior intelligence officials, said the process described is plausible and the Clinton server, now in FBI custody, may have an electronic record that would confirm or disprove Guccifer’s claims."

      “Because of the proximity to Sidney Blumenthal and the activity involving Hillary’s emails, [the timing] seems to be something beyond curious,” said Ron Hosko, former assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division from 2012-2014."

      Clinton spinmeister Brian Fallon tried to explain why HRC's IT Brian Pagliano had to shut down HRC's private Chappaqua server multiple times in an attempt to stop the hacking. What did Brian do when the hacking occurred while Brian was counting sheep?

  2. Maddow was for Obama in 2008. She may be for Clinton now, but it is hard to see that she's been much of a friend to her. I think she doesn't want to alienate the Bernie part of her audience. A Clinton advocate would point out the things Somerby did about leaked investigation and attacks on her associates.

  3. Positive remarks about Hillary's speech today:

    " She's had some bad weeks. This wasn't one of the."

    "No one will be complaining to Robby Mook."

    Nothing more positive than that -- an immediate shift to what Trump should do to counter her criticism.

  4. NBC 60 Minutes: President Obama Didn't Know About Hillary Clinton's Private Email Server. Now why would HRC go out of her way to keep her boss in the dark about the Chappaqua server if as she claims a private server was allowed by State Department guidelines?

    1. Neither did Valery Putin, comrade.

  5. Question: If Maddow's show is so dumb why does it keep winning awards? Answer: It's not dumb. Bob is just a bitter, old, southern, conservative white guy who can't stand that an intelligent, gay, liberal woman has a primetime show and he doesn't.

    1. Not much of a defense. "Winning awards."

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