The story keeps getting better: At this point, no serious person will be surprised by Rachel Maddow's embellishments. Embellishment has become a basic feature of Maddowism.
Still, it's worth noting when the former Rhodes Scholar decides to embellish a prior embellishment, as she did last night.
Michael Flynn was the topic at hand. Soon, we liberals were thrilling to this report, in which Maddow embellished her prior embellishments with regard to Flynn and the Turkish government:
MADDOW (3/30/17): By the time Mike Flynn had come on board the Trump campaign, investigative reporters like Michael Isikoff were already at the Republican National Convention here asking about that trip to Russia, asking whether he'd been paid by the Russian government for making that appearance. It has since emerged, incidentally, that Mike Flynn was paid tens of thousands of dollars in addition to a free, all-expenses paid trip to Moscow for himself and his son in exchange for showing up at that gala and sitting next to Putin. In addition to that money from the Russian government media, government-supported media outlet RT, in addition to that money, he also received two other five-figure payments from two other Russian companies after he was fired from the Defense Intelligence Agency. But nevertheless, the Trump campaign brought him on board.Previously on the Maddow Show, Maddow has routinely claimed that Flynn "was on the payroll of the government of Turkey" last fall. Last night, she embellished that prior inaccurate claim, saying this had been "widely reported" in "like lots of news stories about it" as of Election Day, or at least as of mid-November.
By Election Day, it was clear that General Flynn was on the payroll of another foreign government. He was on the payroll of the government of Turkey while he was advising the Trump campaign. Now, he was not registered as a foreign agent, but it was widely reported that he was, that he was, he was taking money from a foreign government—from Turkey—to advance that country's interests in the United States while he was simultaneously advising the Trump campaign.
I mean, one of the unexplained things, one of the things that the official announcement about him just makes no sense, right? One of the things that doesn't make sense about Mike Flynn is how on earth he made it through the vetting process in the first place to become national security adviser, right? After the trip to Russia with those undisclosed payments by RT and by Russian firms, with the then-undisclosed work as the agent of another government, he was taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from the government of Turkey and actively working to promote that government`s interest in the United States, while the administration was supposedly vetting him to be national security adviser?
He's an unregistered foreign agent, getting paid all that—I mean, they didn't pick that up in the vetting?
It wasn't hard to vet that about him. It was like lots of news stories about it. I mean, that didn't trip any wires from him? That has never made any sense. It's never made any sense.
Then he gets into the job, then he becomes national security adviser.
In fact, we know of no one other than Maddow who has ever claimed that Flynn "was on the payroll of the government of Turkey." Regarding Maddow's new claim, we find no sign that there were any "news stories" making that claim last November (or ever), let alone "lots of such news stories."
We've sometimes told you that Maddow reminds us of Donald J. Trump just a bit. We're generally thinking of her vast self-absorption when we say that.
Now, though, consider this:
Back in the day, Trump claimed there were dozens of news reports describing his opposition to the war in Iraq. No such news report was ever found.
Last night, Maddow played a similar game. She claimed there were "lots of news stories" as of last November reporting that Flynn was on the Turkish government payroll. We can find no such reports at all.
What makes Maddow want to embellish her past embellishments? And by the way, one final thought:
Ain't partisan corporate news grand?
Here's what was being said: What was being said about Flynn and Turkey last fall? Here's what the Post editorial board said when Trump named Flynn as his national security tsar:
WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL (11/19/16): Mr. Trump's choice of Mr. Flynn also raises questions of temperament and conflict of interest. The general was reportedly not renewed in his DIA post because of bad management; since then he has accepted payment from the Russian propaganda network RT, and his consulting firm has lobbied for a businessman close to Turkey's autocratic president. His arrival at the White House, and that of Mr. Pompeo at the CIA, could trigger the last thing the incoming president should want: an exodus of the seasoned and capable personnel needed to construct a workable foreign policy.That's what was being said last fall. The editors chose to make an accurate statement. Maddow has taken the more thrilling road.
The editors didn't like the selection of Flynn. They also didn't make the inaccurate claim Maddow keeps bruiting around.
Last night, she embellished her previous inaccurate claim. She said it was being widely said back then, presumably by folk like the Washington Post.
It wasn't being said back then. Ain't corporate cable exciting?