BREAKING: Maddow plays dumb about Page once again!


The soul of the "tail-gunner" mindset:
Did Carter Page engage in wrongdoing during the last campaign?

Has he ever engaged in any wrongdoing at all?

We don't know the answers to those questions. At some point, we may all find out.

In the meantime, it's amazingly easy to spot the wrongdoing which comes at us from The Rachel Maddow Show, where our tribe's own Tailgunner Rachel keeps trying to get Page locked up.

Maddow has the tailgunner mindset of the true believer. She's also seems to work fairly hard at keeping this fact from view.

She engages in plenty of chuckling, laughing and grinning, convincing us of her essential good nature. But her report on Page this past Monday night ended with a set of suggestive rhetorical questions—the answers to which seem to be thoroughly well understood.

Madow is constantly trying to get Page locked up. She has played this seamy game with many other "enemies of the state" in the past.

Below, you see what Maddow said about Page Monday night. We'll focus on the suggestive questions which we'll highlight near the end of her presentation:
MADDOW (2/5/18): I'm just going to leave you though with one final matter on this—one final point on the same matter.

The basis for all these shenanigans, the subject of the Republicans memo on Friday, the subject we believe of the rebuttal memo from the Democrats which is now going to make news all week long, the basis of all this to-ing and fro-ing from both sides is Trump campaign foreign policy advisor Carter Page.

The Republican argument bottom line is
that the whole Russia investigation is bogus. There never should have been FBI counterintelligence interests, let alone investigation, let alone court-ordered surveillance, of a Trump advisor like Carter Page.

NUNES: The director of the FBI is well aware of my concerns about Mr. Page and I don't believe that somebody like Mr. Page should be a target of the FBI.

MADDOW: Congressman Devin Nunes has been leading the charge on this in the House for the Republicans. "I don't believe that somebody like Mr. Page should be a target of the FBI."

Time Magazine reported this weekend that Mr. Page once bragged in writing that he was, quote, "an adviser to the Kremlin." First reported this weekend by Massimo Calabresi at Time Magazine, in August 2013, Carter Page wrote a letter to an academic press in a dispute over I think a manuscript of his that they didn't publish, but he bragged to them in this letter, quote, "over the past half year, I've had the privilege to serve as an informal adviser to the staff of the Kremlin."
Again, that was August 2013.

We know from court documents that two months before then, June 2013, is when the FBI had paid a visit to Carter Page. Two counterintelligence officers from the FBI visiting him in person to tell him that he had been kibitzing with and meeting with and handing documents over to a Russian spy ring in New York City that was trying to recruit him.

Now you would expect that you know the outcome of a visit like that from the FBI might be to make a person feel very self-conscious, worried, maybe even mortified, in a patriotic sense, that they had unwittingly become the target of Russian spies, that they had been duped by their spy operation and they've been unwittingly handing over documents to the Kremlin for intelligence purposes, to use against our country. That's what you might expect would be the product of an FBI visit like that.

But apparently, in Carter Page's case in 2013, he saw that visit from the FBI as confirmation that he'd been working with the Kremlin, which was then worth bragging about, at least a publisher`s within weeks of that FBI visit.

I realize that we are still very much engaged in this fight about the surveillance of Carter Page, right?
The origins the FBI investigation of the Trump campaign the current status of the FBI investigations and the congressional investigations into the Russian matter, that will all still continue to be fought over including tonight and especially I think over the course of this week. That is going to get hotter and not cooler over the next five days.

But at its heart, ask yourself this question:

Why did the Trump campaign hire Carter Page, of all people, to be one of their five foreign policy advisers?
No political profile, no national security profile, no foreign policy profile at all, but a Russian intelligence problem and a serious one.

Out of all the people in the world, why did they pick him and George Papadopoulos and Mike Flynn and Paul Manafort—those were all weird choices. Why'd they all end up on the Trump campaign? What do they all have in common?

We'll be right back.
There's a fair amount of slippery work throughout that presentation. At one point, for example, Maddow says the word "quote"—and proceeds to misquote what Page has been quoted saying. (She never did quote him in full, let alone offer context.)

That's pretty much par for the course around The Maddow Show. For today, let's restrict ourselves to these suggestive questions at the end of her latest spiel:
MADDOW: But at its heart, ask yourself this question:

Why did the Trump campaign hire Carter Page, of all people, to be one of their five foreign policy advisers?
No political profile, no national security profile, no foreign policy profile at all, but a Russian intelligence problem and a serious one.

Out of all the people in the world, why did they pick him?
Out of all the gin joints in the world, why would they go hire him?

As she concludes her latest plea, Maddow suggests that no one knows why the Trump campaign would ever have "hired" Page at all. The suggestion is fairly obvious—there must have been some nefarious reason for signing up someone like him.

As far as we know, Page was never a paid adviser to the Trump campaign. If we're right about that, "hired" would be another misleading word.

But why did the Trump campaign ever announce Page as an adviser? Despite Maddow's insinuations, this has been explained about a thousand times by now. It has been explained in major publications by major writers whose work Maddow routinely cites.

How did a marginal figure like Carter Page hook on with the Trump campaign? That question has been answered about a million times. The basic standard explanation has been reported like this:

Early in 2016, the Trump campaign was being mocked for its lack of a foreign policy team. The campaign began scrounging around, in typical fashion, trying to sign people up. Page was recommended by Ed Cox, the head of the New York State GOP and the son-in-law of the late Richard M. Nixon.

At the Washington Post, Tom Hamburger and Rosalind Helderman provided that history in a detailed report on May 25, 2017. There's zero chance that Maddow isn't familiar with their account This was the basic chunk:
HAMBURGER AND HELDERMAN (5/25/17): As Donald Trump surged in the Republican primary polls in the early months of 2016, his outsider campaign faced growing pressure to show that the former reality-TV star and noted provocateur was forming a coherent and credible world view.

So when Carter Page, an international businessman with an office near Trump Tower, volunteered his services, former officials recall, Trump aides were quick to make him feel welcome.

He had come with a referral from the son-in-law of Richard Nixon, New York state Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox, who had conveyed Page’s interest to the campaign,
Cox said.

A top Trump adviser, Sam Clovis, then employed what campaign aides now acknowledge was their go-to vetting process—a quick Google search—to check out the newcomer. He seemed to have the right qualifications, according to former campaign officials—head of an energy investment firm, business degree from New York University, doctorate from the University of London.

Page was in. He joined a new Trump campaign national security advisory group, and in late March 2016, the candidate pointed to Page, among others, as evidence of a foreign policy team with gravitas.
Duh. This has all been explained several million times, by major reporters who Maddow frequently interviews and cites.

Who knows? There may be some nefarious story which undermines this standard account. But this past Tuesday night, Maddow acted like this is a weirdly unexplained mystery. There's no chance—zero, absolutely none—that she and her gruesome staffers didn't know what bullshit that was.

Indeed, Helderman revisited this material in this detailed Post report just six days ago, on Friday, February 2. Helderman went through the basic history again. Three days later, Maddow went on the air and pretended, all over again, that this has all gone unexplained.

Maddow is weirdly but unmistakably "less than obsessively honest." She laughs and grins and giggles and clowns to make you think she's the world's most credible person. Plus, she simply loves loves love to correct her own mistakes!

That is all pure Maddow bullshit. Her soul is the soul of old Tailgunner Joe. Some people are true believers, and true belief will often lead to gruesome behavior like this.

Hamburger guested with Maddow this very Tuesday night. There is exactly zero chance, none, that Rachel Maddow and her staffers don't know the standard answers to the insinuative questions she posed the night before.

Tailgunner Joe always played it that way. So does Tailgunner Rachel.

Has Carter Page done something wrong? Like a certain self-adoring corporate multimillionaire, we have no way of knowing.

Unlike Maddow, we don't wish death on those who inhabit the tents of other tribe. Maddow has played her viewers this way for years. Career liberal players won't tell you.


  1. "Madow is constantly trying to get Page locked up. "
    "Unlike Maddow, we don't wish death on those who inhabit the tents of other tribe. "

    Is this what Maddow is saying? "Death" and "locked up?" Funny, I never heard her say those things.

    The FBI found a reason to look into Page, over a fair length of time. I suppose you could go with Nunes and claim he's just an innocent. Maddow's speculations, about the Russian connections, are not crazy or unwarranted, in light of many other factors, and they are being made by many, some of whom aren't even liberal.

    And, Maddow is being slippery when she says Page was hired by Trump, even though he was not paid by Trump? Good boy, Bob. You may yet discover the way powerful corrupt men do things like this to create what is called "plausible deniability."

  2. "Has Carter Page done something wrong? Like a certain self-adoring corporate multimillionaire, we have no way of knowing."

    Way to miss the point. The question is, did Trump do something wrong?

  3. Replies
    1. I feel sure "Caitlin Johnstone" is just Bob Somerby's pseudonym.

    2. Hey Mao - I don't adore the CIA or the FBI, George Bush was terrible, I don't like neocons, I think we absurdly deify and way overspend on the military, the surveillance network is scary, I don't have a seething hatred of all things Russia (though Putin seems to have many bad points), I think the whole Russia narrative is at best unproven, and I think a lot of dems have gone overboard on this and it's not good; I really don't like flag waving USA chants, etc etc. Yet I voted for Clinton, though I wish she hadn't run; and it seems obvious the country went off the rails in electing Trump. While certainly the current narrative seems to be going off the rails, the tea party GOP hasn't just gone off the rails, they have left the planet and are now at home in cloud cuckoo land. All this stuff you are dumping on the dems, e.g. worship of the military seems way for GOP territory. You seem bright and quite apart from the Trump lovers, but Trump is a skillful con artist and scumbag. You ought to check out the episode about him on Netflix's "Dirty Money" series, and then see if you can defend him. I am hoping we survive this.

    3. Trump is such an anti-authoritarian that he wants a military parade.

    4. The quote is nicely written except the awkward, rather shrill last sentence where Johnstone tries to relieve too much of her cross-generational resentment all at once.

      She actually does a decent job describing liberal intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals alike, many of whom are on nightly display on CNN and MSNBC. Don’t think most of this applies to rank-and-file libs (Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons to use the Brave New World caste system), although some of it does.

      Have to admit though that across the spectrum of liberals, self-identified or not, the (highly odd) Bush revisionism is real and strongly backed up by polling. I have no reason to change my view of Bush and his band since I haven’t seen any new data beyond that George W. has become a decent oil painter, following in the footsteps of Churchill and Red Skelton. Haven’t heard boo from Cheney since his heart implant, so no need to change an opinion there either. It’s obvious what is in play here: “Trump is a psycho therefore Bush by comparison is at least sane and must not have been as bad as we thought.” This is highly weak-minded, as is the left’s shrugging newfangled sufferance of the intelligence community and its dirty tricks.

      It should be pointed out though, that as accurately as this might nail many liberals, the average conservative is just about as bad, and similarly sparkling rhetoric could be developed there. The terms “spurious Christianity,” “moral abdication” and “situational ethics” (ha!) could be put to good use describing big bands of that tribe (especially their cowardly, disgraceful politicos).

    5. Caitlyn Johnstone, Glenn Greenwald, Robert Parry (RIP), and all the other neoprogressive Trump enablers =

    6. The Daily Howler here is taking a rare bipartisan stand for someone who is not liberal that got in over his head with the FBI once before and was found innocent. That's the opposite of worshiping intelligence agencies.

    7. "Trump is a skillful con artist and scumbag"

      You don't know what Trump is or isn't, and in any case, that's irrelevant. This is not the 17th century, where politics are defined by loyalty or disloyalty to the king.

      Whatever Trump may or may not be, people voted for him, confirming his rhetoric and rejecting the dynamics of 2008-2016. A very similar sort of rejection is apparent in Europe as well. This is a real crisis.

      Reactionary liberal revanchism is not making things any better.

    8. 'his is not the 17th century, where politics are defined by loyalty or disloyalty to the king. '

      Bu that's what your God King (or is it your Kremlin paymasters) seem to want !

    9. "You don't know what Trump is or isn't,..."

      His picture is next to the word "Establishment" in the dictionary.

  4. Just a few posts back, Somerby was criticizing Maddow for mentioning her friends at Fox. Now he says that she wishes death on the other Tribe. The only consistency from Bob is

    1) Obsessive hatred of Maddow and
    2) heroic defense of Trump !

    I am glad that Somerby does not wish death on the other tribe, because he is clearly a Trumptard now, and the other tribe to him is liberals.

    1. I saw Maddow once. It's Glenn Beck for liberals. It's awful. Fake pregnant pauses. Why does she have to "perform" and act so fake? She toys with important topics unnecessarily.

      What's not to obsessively hate?

    2. "Why does she have to "perform" and act so fake?"
      To (get and) keep her job. The corporate media doesn't want serious liberals on TV (or in the media, in general).

    3. I'm fine with serious liberals on TV. That category does not include Somerby, who these is neither serious, nor a liberal (but a true Trumptard whose ever breath is dedicated to attacking liberals most unseriously).

  5. Somerby probably has a Rolodex of stock phrases like "we have no way of knowing" and "Career liberal players won't tell you" and "self-adoring corporate multimillionaire" and a rotating list of topics like "Trump isn't lying", "we sympathize with John Kelly", "Roy Moore is being maligned for only molesting 40% of the teenage girls he dated", "those damn Hollywood liberals", "liberals are the modern day McCarthyites", etc, so that he can turn over the writing of his blog occasionally to a Russian bot or Trumptard.

  6. "WE don't know the answers to those questions. At some point, WE may all find out."

    "Unlike Maddow, WE don't wish death on those who inhabit the tents of other tribe. "

    Well, the usage of "we" is certainly a rhetorical device that leads to great clarity. In the first example, it seems to be self-referential as he often uses it, in the the second it is clearly plural (but since he adds "all" it's not clear if he means all liberals, all Maddow viewers, or all Americans), and by the third time, I can't tell if he means himself, "we liberals (aside from Maddow)" as he often uses it, "we" all of us as in usage number two, or some weird fourth possibility, where he is referring to himself and his other personalities or the voices in his head.

  7. We think Somerby may a bit over his skis here.