MAKE THE WORLD GO AWAY: Rachel makes the world go away!


Part 2—Don't look for the world of Khan-Cullors:
Last evening, on prime time "cable news," Rachel Maddow spent a leisurely, self-involved hour making the world go away.

She started, as is routine at this point, with a brief complaint about the way the current profusion of news events inconveniences her, Rachel Maddow, both in her daily professional planning and in her personal life. This piteous bleating has become an almost-nightly event.

From there, she proceeded to the bulk of her opening segment, in which she spent 20 minutes and 45 seconds—roughly half her program's broadcast minutes—making the world go away.

How did the liberal world's corporate darling make the world go away? As she frequently does, she started with a leisurely, utterly pointless trip to the tribal past—to a pleasing tribal past in which famous Republicans are pleasingly seen doing things which are evil, naughty and wrong.

This makes the cable star's liberal viewers feel tribally moral and pure. After last night's standard complaint about the way breaking news inconveniences Rachel, here's the way the historical waste of time started:
MADDOW (2/19/18): All right. In 1984, at his last State of the Union Address before he ran for reelection as president, January 1984, Ronald Reagan, at that State of the Union, made a very sober promise to the country on a very serious issue.

REAGAN (videotape): This year, we will intensify our drive against these and other horrible crimes, like sexual abuse and family violence.

MADDOW: That was January 1984. Ronald Reagan telling Congress the government "will intensify our drive against sexual abuse and family violence."

This was one line in a sort of dark part of Reagan's State of the Union Address that year. That was part of the speech where he also talked about kidnapping and about child pornography.
Etcetera, and so forth and so on. As the minutes burned away, Maddow told us about the way Reagan failed to fire a staffer accused of domestic violence—until the story hit the Wall Street Journal, at which point the Gipper took action.

For oursleves, we have no idea what actually happened in the incident under review. There's little chance that the grossly inconvenienced Maddow has any real idea either.

Presumably, staffers had seized upon this news report in yesterday's USA Today. They'd fashioned a summary of events. Maddow sat there and performed as if she knew what she was talking about.

That said, historical excursions of this type tend to serve as the first batch of porridge the corporate multimillionaire serves her liberals viewers of a weekday night. Preferably, the pointless excursion will involve Richard Nixon, not the less dastardly Reagan.

At any rate, in last evening's first twenty-one minutes, Maddow joined her liberal audience in one of her favorite pastimes, listening to herself talk. She spent this very large of time developing one piece of information—chief of staff Kelly has said that new rules will take effect this Friday regarding security clearances inside the J-Trump White House.

Maddow managed to turn this tiny nugget into a 21-minute open. She blathered her way through the rest of the program, then sent us off happy with this additional glimpse of her daily life:
MADDOW: I have to tell you, usually, I really don't care. I'm like—

I'm not the only person in the news business, but I'm probably one of the only people in the news business who, when the White House briefing comes on, I take that as my cue to go get a sandwich.

[Off-camera laughter from sycophants]

Like I just don't—I just make—you have to make choices as to what sort of information you take in and what you don't bother. And with the White House briefing, I don't bother.

That said, tomorrow I'm going to bother,
because tomorrow will be the first White House briefing in a week.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is expected to brief at 2 o'clock tomorrow. They cancelled the briefing last Wednesday on a day they expected to put out White House chief of staff John Kelly. They cancelled it in the wake of the shooting.

Kelly had been expected to face, basically, a furious press corps, who's been trying to get to the bottom of White House conflicting statements about the White House staff secretary Rob Porter and the domestic violence allegations against him, the security clearance scandal that followed the Rob Porter revelations.

His briefing was cancelled on Wednesday. They didn't hold one Thursday or Friday. They did not hold one today.

Tomorrow, they'll be back in the briefing room and I'll get takeout.

That does it for us tonight. We'll see you again tomorrow. Now it's time for The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell. Good evening, Lawrence!
Yay yay yay yay yay—so cool! We got to learn more about Rachel!

Normally, she doesn't care. But tomorrow, she plans to get takeout!

Roughly four million Rachel watchers thrilled to the new information. Deep in the bowels of our own sprawling campus, observers were much less pleased.

"I I I I I I I," our frustrated young analysts wailed. They'd just watched a multimillionaire corporate stooge making the world go away.

What do we mean when we say that "Rache" makes the world go away? We refer to such matters as these:

We refer to te absurdly limited palette of topics to which we get exposed in an hour.

We refer to the endless string of major topics and concerns we'll never see addressed.

We refer to the many people we'll never see on this program as guests. (Michael Beschloss, come on down!)

We refer to the way the Maddow Show is actually tribal entertainment TV—a nightly "true crime" drama about The Chase, in which we the good people pursue the bad people, the ones surrounding Trump, hoping they'll end up in prison.

Alas! As this creepy, crepuscular shadow being works the margins of real events, we liberals only get dumber, and more estranged from the world. Rachel becomes more enthralled with herself—but along the way, we don't hear about the contents of a new, best-selling book.

The book belongs to Patrisse Khan-Cullors, one of the founders of Black Lives Matter. We've been reading that book of late. It involves the type of content to which you will never be exposed on Maddow's entertainment-based program.

WE first saw Khan-Cullors on C-Span's After Words program two Sundays back. She was interviewed, for an hour, by the perhaps and possibly ever-more outre Toure.

The interview led us to skim the book at Barnes and Noble. The skimming led us to buy it.

You will never see Khan-Cullors on Maddow's "cable news" show. You'll never see its content discussed.

Tomorrow, we start splaining why.

Tomorrow: Several peculiar claims, fascinating content

The ghost of hit songs past: We thought we heard the late Eddy Arnold as we watched Maddow last night. He'd adjusted the words of his greatest hit song. Here's what we thought he said:
Make the world go away
Get it off my shoulder
Say the things we want you to say
And make the world go away.
In fairness, with the analysts all yelling "I I I I," it was hard to hear what he was saying.


  1. This is what Somerby should be talking about:

  2. The book in question was co-authored by Asha Bandele, who is no doubt the actual writer of the memoir. It is wonderful that there are literate people around to translate people's experiences into words that can be shared with others.

    Somerby talks about Maddow's laziness, but it is truly easier to read about the problems others face than it is to do something about them. Khan-Cullors is doing something to make her life more than a saga of victimhood.

    Somerby complains that Rachel keeps saying I I I, but what else is a memoir but many pages of I I I? If it were a researched book about police abuse of black people, it would have value beyond the anecdotal.

    Somerby chooses to respond to the black woman's I but not to Rachel's I. Why? Does a stance of victimhood make one's life more compelling, more valuable, more inherently interesting than a PhD and a media career? I suppose so. But I wouldn't choose either woman as friend. I wouldn't choose Somerby either.

    Tomorrow we get preached at again.

  3. Make the world go away? Today Mueller issued another indictment, this time against a Russian connected Dutch lawyer who lied to the FBI about Manafort's activities. Meanwhile our President is tweeting and obfuscating and doing nothing to make America great or our elections tamper-proof.

    Somerby could be talking about any number of things that would engage real world events. Instead he tells us that Maddow is a narcissist. As if we cared, as if we didn't know. What is Somerby hiding from with his endless focus on someone who is just being herself and trying to make her personality lemons into lemonade?

    Meanwhile, progressives are debating the extent to which Sanders was infiltrated by Russian money and influence, the extent to which his campaign was aided by social media bots and his numbers inflated during the campaign. They are debating "did Sanders know?" and "is he now stonewalling?" Crickets from Somerby.

    I think we should be debating whether Somerby is receiving his own share of rubles and how that might account for his noticeable shift from a website with something to contribute to critical thinking into a place where Trump is routinely excused and defended and conservative thinking masquerades as progressivism.

    Can't wait to hear what Somerby has to say about Black Lives Matter. Will it be in Russian or English?

    1. Note that the indictment of this Russian connected Dutch lawyer who lied to the FBI about Manafort's activities has nothing to do with the alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

    2. We don't know that yet.

    3. David - who has alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign?

  4. "We refer to the way the Maddow Show is actually tribal entertainment TV"

    More like zombie fodder, I'd say.

    1. That sounds familiar. Where have I heard it before?

    2. Mao, Bob has used a new word today: crepuscular. Improve your performance by using this word occasionally. It will enhance your American persona. Example:

      Another commenter asks, "Is Vladimir Vladimirovich diurnal or nocturnal?"
      You reply, "Dude, my Uncle Vova is totally crepuscular!"

  5. So, Somerby saw someone on C-Span that he liked; then he went to Barnes & Noble and skimmed that person's book; he must've liked it, because he then bought that person's book. He then watched creepy Rachel Maddow's show, which infuriated him as usual, but specifically this time because the author of that book he liked wasn't on the show and might never be, and he might never get to see the guests HE wants to see on her show. It all made Somerby think of an old song.

    And this in a post critical of someone for saying "I I I I."

  6. The possibility that Somerby's views accord with Khan-Cullors' is hard to imagine, given Somerby's past blogging. We shall see.

  7. Bob is a liberal in the same way that Zell Miller was a Democrat. Bob's fundamental point is that Trump is right about "fake news." The problem is with the phony New York Times, Washington Post, and MSNBC--not Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Steve Bannon, Mike Flynn, Steven Miller, Jeff Sessions, Paul Manafort, Kellyanne Conway, Scott Pruitt, and Sarah Sanders. His occasional side long put downs of the Administration are merely cover for his often pedantic and over-the-top attacks on the left. In this he differs little from Howie Kurtz and Brent Bozell.

  8. David thinks that if Mueller had evidence of Trump's collusion with Russia, we would have seen it by now. 538 yesterday pointed out that the Russia investigation is moving very fast compared to previous investigations. See the article by Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux on Feb 16 at

    Personally, I think the strength of the attacks on the investigation itself is the best indicator of whether they will find dirt on Trump. But what I cannot figure out is how David knows. I guess there must be marching orders disseminated somehow to the troll army, telling them to attack the investigation by calling it ineffectual, empty handed, even though it is such early days as these investigations go.

  9. Perry - As I said, I don't know. My guess or opinion is that if real collusion took place, it would have been discovered and exposed sooner rather than later.

    1. No, investigations take time.

    2. Who alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign?

    3. David, be careful with you keyboard. I can see the flop sweat pouring off you from here.