Part 4—In search of the greatness of Greta: MSNBC has stepped up its efforts at selling The Greta.
The channel is now running ads in which a certain "cable news" star vouches for Greta's greatness. "Greta is great," this unnamed star is shown saying in this repulsive new ad.
Victims, it gets even worse! The channel is now running a second ad, in which this same multimillionaire star tells us how much she enjoys interviewing Kellyanne Conway! We've only seen this ad one time, but it sent our analysts into the yard, hands clapped over their mouths.
How great is Greta Van Susteren? Last Thursday, an unnamed major cable news star vouched for her greatness on MSNBC's air. She made a wildly embellished claim about the number of times she's played tape of Greta in the past. She even described the nature of Greta's vast greatness:
MADDOW (1/5/17): If you want to count on your fingers how many times we on this show have played clips of Greta Van Susteren over the years, you could not do it. You need like four extra hands.Off the air, Greta Van Susteren may well be the world's most decent person. On the air, her work at Fox was often inexcusably bad. The unnamed star who is pimping her greatness has spiraled down badly over the years. Alas! When corporations make people extremely famous and rich, this sort of thing sometimes happens.
And she has an uncanny ability to make newsworthy things happen when the red light is on the camera and she is on TV talking about the news. She can get anybody to talk to her. She has reported from all over the world. She had a decade at CNN. She had 14 years at Fox.
She's also, outside this building, one of the single most decent and genuine and honorable people I have ever come across in this business...She starts here at MSNBC 6:00 Eastern on Monday night. And I could not be happier about it.
How great has Greta Van Susteren's work been over the years? Today, we want to show you two of the video clips this unnamed cable news star has played on MSNBC.
We also want to show you the way Van Susteren helped Donald J. Trump pimp his birther claims down through the years. Today, an unnamed star is pleased to pretend that her dear friend and drinking companion never engaged in such conduct.
Let's start with the video clips of Greta the Great this star has played through the years. Judging from the Nexis archive, you wouldn't need four extra hands to count such incidents up.
For the five years from 2012 through 2016, we found thirteen instances in which this star played tape of Van Susteren interacting with a guest. And uh-oh! Eight of those instances involved repeated airings of just two favorite clips.
How great was Greta Van Susteren at Fox? In a clip this cable star has played on five occasions, Van Susteren interviews the rather callow Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, who inherited his seat in the House from his name's-the-same father, Rep. Duncan L. Hunter.
Back in 2014, Hunter the Younger was claiming that ISIS was sending agents across the southern border. Here's the clip of Greta's greatness, as shown last Thursday night:
MADDOW (1/5/17): This was one of my all-time favorite Greta moments from when she was on Fox.According to the unnamed star, we rubes are supposed to regard this exchange as one of Greta's greatest. We'll admit we have no idea why. As almost anyone can see, Greta's second question to Hunter the Younger doesn't even seem to make sense. If ten ISIS fighters have been caught, it would seem fairly clear that the border patrol wasn't "just letting them cross."
(videotape from October 7, 2014)
HUNTER: I know that at least ten ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the Mexican border in Texas. There's nobody talking about it, there's—
VAN SUSTEREN: How do you know that?
HUNTER: Because I've asked, because I've asked the border patrol, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: And the border patrol, they just let ISIS members come across the border?
(end of video clip)
Nor did Greta proceed from there to display the astounding skill this unnamed star was now selling. In real time, this is the way her interview with Hunter the Younger proceeded:
HUNTER (continuing directly): No. They caught them at the border. Therefore, we know that ISIS is coming across the border. If they catch five or 10 of them, you know that there are going to be dozens more that did not get caught by the Border Patrol. That's how you know. All you have to do is ask the Border Patrol. That's where we are at risk here, is from ISIS and radical Islamists coming across the border. Once again, they don't have a navy, an air force or nuclear weapons. The only way that Americans are going to be harmed by radical Islamists is to have an open southern border. Chairman Dempsey said the same thing. He said that's where the major threat is here, is having an open southern border. That's how these guys are going to infiltrate through America and harm Americans.For some reason which has gone unexplained, we rubes are supposed to regard that exchange as one of Greta's greatest at Fox. As noted, the unnamed star has played some version of this exchange five separate times in the past several years.
VAN SUSTEREN: Congressman, thank you, sir.
HUNTER: Thank you.
VAN SUSTEREN: And now to the new terror raids in London...
The unnamed star's second favorite "Greta moment" involves an exchange with Donald J. Trump. The exchange occurred in late May 2015. The unnamed star has played some form of this video clip on three separate occasions.
Last Thursday night, the clip was included in a medley of Greta's greatest moments. Here's how it was presented:
MADDOW (videotape from May 29, 2015): Foreign policy pronouncements like this one that he made this week with my friend Greta Van Susteren on Fox News.That's what we were shown last Thursday night.
(videotape from May 27, 2015)
TRUMP: Bring ISIS to the table or beyond that, defeat ISIS very quickly, and I'm not going to tell you what it is tonight. You know, one of the problems that we have—
VAN SUSTEREN: Why won't you tell us? Hey, Donald, Donald—
TRUMP: I'll tell you what, because I don't want to, Greta. I'll tell you what—
VAN SUSTEREN: Donald, why don't you tell?
On that occasion in 2015, Van Susteren was asking a perfectly decent question. It was also perhaps the most obvious question in the history of the known world.
Nor did Greta push on from there. In real time, this was the rest of the story. Can you spot Greta's brilliance?
TRUMP (continuing directly): If I run, and if I win, I don't want the enemy to know what I'm doing. I don't want the enemy to know what I'm doing. Unfortunately, I will probably have to tell at some point, but there is a method of defeating them quickly and effectively and having total victory.You may have noted Greta's tendency to let guests like Trump rattle on at length even when they're making ridiculous claims, then to move to the next subject. Despite this rather obvious flaw, we liberals have now been told to regard this exchange as another example of Van Susteren's greatness at Fox.
I don't want to be Obama, where he goes on television to explain exactly when we're going to attack a certain city, what we're going to do, what hour we're going to be using for the attack, how many men are going in. I don't want to do that because, you know, the late great General Douglas MacArthur and General Patton are spinning in their grave when they hear what we do, how we announce exactly what we're going to do and how we are going to do it. If I run and if I win, I don't want the enemy to know what I'm going to do. All I can tell you is that it is a foolproof way of winning, and I'm not talking about what some people would say, but it's a foolproof way of winning the war with ISIS and it will be absolutely 100 percent they will at a minimum come to the table and actually they will be defeated very quickly, very quickly.
VAN SUSTEREN: You say "if" you're running, so tell me. Where do you stand on this and when will you have more information on that?
Citizens, do you really need four extra hands to count the times this cable host has played tape of Van Susteren's greatness? Not exactly, no.
In fact, those two soporific exchanges represent eight of the thirteen occasions on which this cable star has played such Greta tapes in the past five years! Aside from the fact that her corporate bosses wanted her to sell their new car, it's hard to see why this unnamed star would be pimping The Greta this way.
That said, we want to help you see why last week's grift was so appalling. We want you to see the way Van Susteren helped her frequent guest, Donald J. Trump, peddle his birther claims during her tenure at Fox.
As John Whitehouse recently noted at Media Matters, Van Susteren frequently interviewed Donald J. Trump even before his run for the White House. On several occasions, this gave her the chance to apply her journalistic greatness to his birther claims.
Briefly, let's be fair. Typically, Van Susteren would meekly tell Donald J. Trump that, for herself, she was "satisfied" with Obama's claim that he had been born in Hawaii. But she avoided telling her viewers why she would have said that.
Duh! Van Susteren is a ranking, experienced lawyer who came to TV in the 1990s as a legal analyst. As of 2011, she of course understood that Obama had presented his legal Hawaii birth certificate way back in 2008, and that the state's Republican health director had vouched for its authenticity.
This was the so-called "short form" document. But duh! As Van Susteren of course understood, the "short form" document is the official document the state of Hawaii provides as proof of Hawaiian birth.
It was, and is, Obama's official "birth certificate!" He had presented it in 2008, as Van Susteren of course understood.
That said, so what? By 2011, an array of people like Donald J. Trump were saying it wasn't enough. In response, in May of that year, Obama obtained and presented his "long form" birth certificate—the type of document which is maintained in Hawaiian state archives, but isn't normally issued for any reason, or legally used as proof of birth.
As it turned out, even this wasn't enough for hustlers like Donald J. Trump. This presented Van Susteren with a problem—how to keep presenting Trump as a guest without telling her millions of viewers that they were being conned, disinformed, treated like fools, grotesquely misled and played.
Van Susteren could and should have told them that. Despite her greatness, she kept refusing.
Greta Van Susteren was very careful to keep The Donald afloat. In the transcript shown below, we see how much abuse she was willing to take to let Trump keep pimping his garbage.
It was now October 24, 2012. It had been more than a year since Obama had produced his "long form" document—his second proof of Hawaiian birth. Meanwhile, Donald J. Trump was now pimping the claim that Obama hadn't really attended Columbia, or that something embarrassing would surely be found in his mysterious college records.
As their interview began this night, Van Susteren asked about Trump's offer to pay $5 million to a charity if Obama would release his college records. Soon, though, Trump swerved back to the question of Obama's birth, and a sad discussion occurred.
When Van Susteren said she was "satisfied" about that matter, Donald J. Trump subjected her to a lengthy pistol-whipping—and Greta just sat there and took it. As she apologizes to Trump, try to note the basic things which somehow go unsaid:
TRUMP (10/24/12): You have no idea. I get millions and millions of hits on, "Just please stay with this." I walk down the street, people love me over it. I went to North Carolina, made a speech. The most important thing was the issue of location, place of birth, etc.The discussion continued briefly from there. As it ended, Van Susteren said, "Donald, always nice to see you, even when we lock horns."
I went to Liberty University, made a speech, incredible school. I mean, they loved this. Greta, this is a very important issue. This is a very important issue.
VAN SUSTEREN: Are you not satisfied with the presentation of the documents of his birth? Are we going back to that? Is that why you want this? Or is it something else?
TRUMP: Well, I am not sure about it. Other people are not sure. All have you to do is pick up the newspapers and you will see. There are many people that have serious questions about what he presented. There were many, many people. So I'm certainly not sure. Now, would I like to see him—
VAN SUSTEREN: There are two different questions, though. There are two different questions. One is, I thought the birth issue was established, that you were satisfied. You got the president to produce his long-form birth certificate establishing—
TRUMP: I did. And Greta, nobody else was able to do that.
VAN SUSTEREN: Right. And so I thought that you were satisfied that he met the constitutional requirements. Now you want these other records, and I'm trying to figure out why. Is it like you want to see what kind of student he was or is there something you're looking for—
TRUMP: Greta, why are you speaking for me? I never said I was satisfied. I never told you that I was satisfied.
VAN SUSTEREN: Oh, you weren't? Oh, I didn't know that.
TRUMP: Excuse me, who's satisfied? All you have to do is pick up the newspapers, there are many, many people, tremendous numbers of people, that are not satisfied. There's tremendous skepticism as to what he presented. Unbelievable skepticism—
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, then I stand corrected. I apologize. Let me just say, I apologize for getting it wrong. I'm satisfied, so that's why I made a mistake about you. But go ahead.
TRUMP: Are you satisfied?
VAN SUSTEREN: Yeah, I am, actually, because I went back and looked—
TRUMP: I am very surprised at you. I am very surprised at you. I don't know how you can be satisfied. But if you are satisfied, you are less skeptical than me. I grew up in the real estate business in New York, Greta. I have seen everything.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Let me ask you a question about, in these college records, is there something else that you are looking for besides the issue about birth?
TRUMP: Greta, let's see what it says! You're talking about a tremendous amount of money for charity. Let's see what it says! Who knows? I mean, if you ask me, what do we know? You don't know anything, Greta. I mean, for you to say—
I really am surprised at you. You don't know anything. And for you to say that you're satisfied is really shocking to me, to be honest with you. And when you ask me, what do you think? Let's find out. I can't tell what you I think because I don't know. I haven't seen the papers. But I will tell you this—
VAN SUSTEREN: Donald, let me—this is the thing— This is what I don't get. There was a newspaper report that this child had been born at the time the president had been born in Hawaii.
VAN SUSTEREN: And there would have been no way to create that fiction—
TRUMP: You're wrong!
VAN SUSTEREN: Am I wrong?
TRUMP: It's a well-known fact that many people in order to get certain benefits of the United States would put out those reports and they put them out when people aren't even in the country. That happened many, many times. And if you read the facts and if you understood this, you wouldn't even be asking that question.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right.
TRUMP: But that put it out because by putting it out, they would get the benefits of being a U.S. citizen and get some of the benefits and all of the benefits of being a United States citizen. So you know, I'm surprised you said that too, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK. So what is your suspicion? Are you just fishing? Or do you have—
TRUMP: Greta, I don't want to say anything about suspicion. I'd like to have him be transparent. We know nothing about our president...
In that discussion, Van Susteren absorbed abuse from the ludicrous Trump over her lack of skepticism about his birther claims. Bowing down before Ole Massa, she apologized for her errors—and she never stated the obvious reasons why she was "satisfied" about the question of Obama's birth.
Over the years, Van Susteren conducted a number of discussions with Trump about the birther lunacy. We find no place where she ever informed her viewers about the most elementary facts—where she told them that the "short form" record, which Obama had provided in 2008, was Hawaii's legal record of birth; where she explained the relationship between that document and the "long form" record, which Obama had provided in 2011.
In this exchange in 2012, she let Trump scold her, in derisive terms, for mentioning the birth notice which appeared in the Hawaiian newspaper. But she never mentioned these basic, obvious legal points about the gong show her guest was conducting. In this way, she served the interests of her corporate owners, who were paying her millions of dollars per year—and she treated millions of viewers like fools.
(Obviously, she also would have understood how inane Trump's statements about the birth notice were.)
Today, we liberals assail those viewers as racists. As we do, Our Own Corporate Hoor goes on the air to treat us like absolute fools, money stuffed into her pants.
Like the viewers over at Fox, we liberals just sit there and take it. If we might borrow from Don Corleone, this is the gong show we've chosen.
Greta Van Susteren's work at Fox was anything but great. Last Thursday, an unnamed star was working hard to sell us a wheezing contraption—to sell us The Edsel, The Betsy.
In TV ads, this major star can now be seen vouching for The Greta. Grinning weirdly, "Greta is great," our own tribute to Trumpism says.
To watch Greta bow to Ole Massa: For tape of Greta's exchange with Trump, just click here, then click again under the headline, "Trump Suggested Obama's Long-Form Birth Certificate Was Forged."
Can you spot the greatness there? Frankly, we cannot.