A lot of "news" is just dumb entertainment!


Cable star goes there again: A lot of "news" is propaganda. Some is just dumb entertainment. 

We don't recommend either approach. Consider the entertaining way this news report begins:

JACOBS (4/1/21): A scandal involving Matt Gaetz—a “Gaetzgate,” if you will—was guaranteed to be extra strange, even by his standards. The three-term Republican from Florida is one of the most colorful members of Congress: He appears on Fox News more often than some of its correspondents; is prone to attention getting stunts like wearing a gas mask on the floor of the House early in the COVID pandemic; and manages somehow to be both one of the most ardent yet self-aware defenders of Donald Trump...

We start with the tired entertainment device in which a "[Scandal]gate" is declared. This amazingly tired device dates to the 1970s.

Next, the writer describes some inane behavior on the part of his subject—but it's painted as a "stunt," not as the latest example of this "colorful" fellow's monstrously stupid behavior.

There's more entertainment in that opening paragraph—entertainment concerning this fellow's "Bitcoin-loving pal." A rollicking time is had by all as we amuse ourselves to death, much as Neil Postman once warned.

Matt Gaetz has created a Gaetzgate—could anything be more fun? Not at the rapidly devolving Maddow Show, which opened last night with another endless monologue about the colorful Gaetz, but especially about his inconsequential pal. 

On Tuesday evening, Rachel Maddow burned away her program's first 27 minutes with this sexy-time sex romp tale. Ignoring commercials, that was roughly two-thirds of her total supply of minutes

Astoundingly, she spent 17 of those minutes discussing the inconsequential pal before getting around to Gaetz himself.

The pal is not a national figure. There's little reason to discuss him at all, butt his ludicrous conduct is too much fun for this cable nutcase to ignore.

Last night, the cable clown was at it again. She started with this apologia:

MADDOW (3/31/21): We're going to start tonight, though, with a little bit of an update on that bananas story that we had to unexpectedly shift gears to cover at this time in the show last night, when the New York Times published late-breaking news about the Republican congressman who is probably the most high-profile, fanatical Trump supporters in Congress, Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz.

The Times last night published the news that Congressman Gaetz is under criminal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for very serious allegations of child sex trafficking.

Now, I swear I'm not going to spend more of my life than I need to following every twist and turn in this somewhat nauseating story, but because we gave you the sort of back-story and context on this last night, I feel the need to update you tonight. Because the sheer bizarreness of this story continued to advance across the course of today and tonight at what appears to be an accelerating pace. This started off weird, it`s getting deep-space weird.

All right, first of all, there's this guy, local Republican elected official in Seminole County, Florida. His name is Joel Greenberg...

There she went again! She said she'd been forced to cover this topic the night before, "at this time in the show." Now, she said, she felt obliged to cover the topic again.

She swore it wouldn't be every night. But last night made two nights in a row.

On Tuesday night, Maddow started her show with 27 uninterrupted minutes on this topic. Amazingly, the first 17 of those minutes were devoted to Greenberg alone.

Last night, she disciplined herself. She spent only 19 minutes on this topic, devoting the first 13 of those minutes to a pointless recap of the legal problems confronting Greenberg, who she kept describing as "the tax collector guy." 

Once again, she spent more time on Greenberg than on Gaetz, chuckling as she went.

Maddow shouldn't be on the air. Wealth and fame have mixed with weird judgment and a lack of supervision, turning her into a low-IQ mess on the air. Last evening, she ended her 19-minute waste of time with this:

MADDOW: So, aaaahhh! 

[Breathes sigh of relief, letting us know that she hates discussing such "nauseating" topics. This is one of her patented cons.]

Like I said, I feel responsible to update you on how that story has evolved from last night. I didn't think it could get weirder, but it is a truly bizarre story evolving with accelerating weirdness over the course of the day today. If it gets even weirder over the course of this hour, I will try to ignore it, unless I have to [sic].

It's just so bizarre and so weird!

In our view, this person should be taken off the air and humanely frog-marched away. In fairness, wealth and fame have led many others astray.

Also, this ridiculous groaner: Maddow was forced to close her program last night with this non-correction correction:

MADDOW: I said earlier tonight that Congressman Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican leader, could not have meant it when he told Fox News this morning that Congressman Matt Gaetz will only be removed from his committee assignments in Congress if he is convicted of child sex trafficking, that potentially being indicted on the charges wouldn't be enough. 

That is what Congressman McCarthy said this morning to Fox.

It turns out that, late this afternoon, he did change his mind on that, as I thought he might have, and he gave comments this afternoon to NBC's Leann Caldwell in which he made clear that, yes, if Congressman Gaetz does, in fact, get indicted for child sex trafficking, that will be enough to remove him from his committee assignments. 

I thought that sounded wrong when he said it this morning. Turns out he cleaned it up late this afternoon, and I am glad to hear it. 


That's going to do it for us tonight. We will see you again tomorrow.

Two notes:

McCarthy is extremely inarticulate. His comments to Fox were unclear, as his comments quite frequently are. It wasn't real clear what he meant.

When McCarthy spoke to NBC News, he did make it clear—Gaetz will be removed from his committee assignments if he is indicted. (There's no reason to assume that he will be.)

That said, the report in which these comments were reported appeared online at 4 PM.  By our reckoning, that isn't especially "late" in the afternoon. The report appeared at NBC News, the site of Maddow's employer.

Five hours later, Maddow and her staff of 20 were apparently unaware of these comments when the cable star went on the air. She failed to report what McCarthy had said, then closed her show with one of her patented non-correction corrections, in which she managed to make it sound like she'd been a seer all along.

Quite routinely, the Maddow Show is low-IQ corporate entertainment masquerading as "news." In fairness, wealth and fame have had their way with many people before her.


  1. "A lot of "news" is propaganda. Some is just dumb entertainment. "

    Meh. We beg to differ, dear Bob: all of it is propaganda. Some of it is dispensed in the form of fake outrage, hate-mongering, and some, perhaps, as dumb entertainment.

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  2. By the way, dear Bob, any thoughts on beautiful people -- Mario Cuomo's sons -- and their many adventures?

    Also, on your liberal cult's compassionate cages for children?

    We are waiting, waiting... getting tired...

    1. Andrew Cuomo is going to have to switch parties if he wants that SCOTUS seat.

    2. Мао - российский агент

  3. "We start with the tired entertainment device in which a "[Scandal]gate" is declared. This amazingly tired device dates to the 1970s."

    In this case, Matt Gaetz himself said in a tweet that if he had a scandal, he wanted it to be called Gaetzgate.

    Somerby is apparently unaware of this circumstance. Any lack of originality belongs to Gaetz this time.

  4. "The pal is not a national figure. There's little reason to discuss him at all, butt his ludicrous conduct is too much fun for this cable nutcase to ignore."

    The local pal, as Somerby describes him, is a public official in FL (Gaetz's home state), the elected tax collector. His crimes implicate Gaetz and that is why he is being discussed extensively. Gaetz has been the focus of investigation by the Trump DOJ because of his association with this other person, who has been charged with multiple serious crimes.

    Don't believe Somerby when he calls this associate "extraneous" or "inconsequential." Somerby has his own reasons for using such language about someone who is closer to Gaetz than Somerby would have you think.

    Then Somerby says there is no reason to think that Gaetz will be indicted. There is no way for Somerby to know this, one way or the other. Everyone else with legal expertise is suggesting that Gaetz should not be shooting his mouth off as he is doing and should seek an attorney and follow his attorney's advice, which most likely will be to stop talking about these issues to the press.

    Meanwhile, Trump's associates are begging him not to defend Gaetz. That suggests that the Republicans who know Gaetz are not sure he won't be indicted either. So how can Somerby know?

    Somerby likes to minimize these kinds of sex scandals involving underage girls. He is no doubt unaware that, like Roy Moore, Gaetz has a fiancee who is 12 years younger than himself. Gaetz himself talked about photos of Gaetz and the tax collector guy partying with underage prostitutes.

    But Somerby says that Gaetz will not be indicted. How can he possibly know that?

    The resignation of Trump's strong supporter named as a possible candidate for the 2024 Republican nomination, is surely news and worth coverage by Maddow and other media. Gaetz is showing every sign of being a guilty man about to go under. But Somerby denies it all, nothing to see here, these are not the droids you are seeking, gaslighting us all here to the bitter end.

    The real fun will come when we get to say "I told you so" to Somerby, after the DOJ finishes its investigation of the Trump-supporting guy's complicity in his friend's crimes.

    From Somerby's tone today, you'd think he'd never heard of a Republican sex scandal before (at least, one not involving Trump).

    1. When I watch Maddow I'm 100% satisfied.

    2. So what if someone has a fiancee 12 years younger? That makes them guilty of what?

      There were two Roy Moore "accusers." Not the whole crowd at the time. Somerby merely pointed that out. The media -- in their constant love for sex panics -- was misrepresenting the case against him.

  5. "By our reckoning, that isn't especially "late" in the afternoon."

    I can't believe that Somerby is quibbling about whether 4 pm is late in the afternoon or not. I would say it is, since 1-2 would be early afternoon, 3-4 would be midafternoon, and 5-6 would be dinnertime. 7 is definitely early evening.

    If this is the worst stuff he can accuse Maddow of, he is truly hard up.

    1. On the job, people go home at 5 pm, so 4 pm would be late afternoon when talking about work-related activities.

  6. "On Tuesday evening, Rachel Maddow burned away her program's first 27 minutes with this sexy-time sex romp tale."

    Somerby's use of the term "sexy-time sex romp tale" to describe serious crimes against underage girls, is offensive and shows a complete disregard for the harm done to girls caught up in such activities.

    It may be a "romp" to Somerby and I'm sure it was to the men who do such things, but the girls are defined as minors and are illegal because they are too young to give meaningful consent to sexual activity. What happens to them? Somerby may think it is only about some harmless sex, but these girls cannot go back to age-appropriate romantic relationships afterwards because they have not only lost their innocence but do not know how to behave after being sexualized by much older men. Their families may regard them as damaged, and they may think of themselves that way. Sometimes they are coerced into marriages that have little chance of lasting because of the psychological harm involved. Sometimes they wind up with sexually transmitted diseases that impair their future child-bearing ability or do other damage to their health. They may grow to regard sex as divorced from caring and develop a transactional attitude toward it, selling themselves in adulthood to wealthy men, or regarding themselves as good for nothing but sex, having no intrinsic worth beyond that. Sometimes they are unable to extricate themselves from a trafficking underworld and remain embedded in crime. It is not uncommon for such girls to become drug-addicted (encouraged by their handlers). It is not uncommon for them to consider or attempt suicide.

    But Somerby thinks this is just a romp, some sexy-time fun for older men, nothing that needs to be talked about. He thinks Maddow only cares because it is prurient and will appeal to the sexual interests of listeners. He doesn't see this as a crime against the girls involved. He sees this as a crime against Gaetz and his white-supremacist buddies who think women should become wives and mothers long before the age of consent, so they will be more manageable by men and can be kept away from the temptations of those who might be unsuitable partners (keeping the white race pure). Like Somerby, they have no concern for the girls themselves, who are just pawns in some game the men are playing.

    Somerby should be ashamed to talk this way about this topic, but he is so incredibly lacking in self awareness that he gives himself away every time he writes on this topic -- and he cannot pass this topic by because it triggers his own issues. He is obviously identifying with Gaetz, as he did with Moore. He should try using some empathy and identify with those underage girls who are so thrilled to have a grownup man buy them a plane ticket (the teen equivalent of luring a child into a car with a puppy).

    This isn't "dumb entertainment." It is about a crime.

    1. Gaetz is being accused of consorting with adults online and paying travel expenses. That's the main investigation.

    2. P.s. there's no plural "girls" either. It's allegedly one, if that.

      And most of Moore's subjects were above age and never accused him of misconduct. Bob merely pointed that fact out.

    3. Gaetz is accused of meeting adult women online and paying *some* travel expenses. That's the major case. One minor, possibly. And depending upon the state, perhaps not even that.

      Online is how everyone meets and hooks up now. And when did helping girlfriends become "trafficking"?

  7. Yawn. Another GOP officeholder is outed as a corrupt scumbag. What could be less surprising?

    When will Maddow learn that being a corrupt scumbag is now practically de rigeur for the Republican Party?

    When will Americans finally learn that every time the GOP calls Democrats corrupt, lying perverts, they are really just projecting?

    When will Maddow learn that Republicans had to invent QAnon in order to divert attention from actual pedophilia to made up charges of same against Democrats?

    How long before Somerby starts referring to Gaetz as mentally ill, and berates liberals for not being sympathetic?

    To be honest, the American public needs to hear more, not less, about the true nature of the GOP. Maddow is trying.

    Methinks the blogger doth protest too much.

  8. https://www.businessinsider.in/politics/world/news/the-doj-is-investigating-if-matt-gaetz-misused-campaign-money-to-fund-travel/articleshow/81862254.cms

    CNN says the FBI is investigating whether Gaetz used campaign funds to pay for his travel with "girlfriends".

  9. 'Quite routinely, the Maddow Show is low-IQ corporate entertainment masquerading as "news'

    Maddow has run a successful show for years.

    Somerby, despite his valiant attempts to be a useful idiot for Trump, was unable to convince or concern troll liberals into a defeat. For a hardcore, malevolent Trumptard like TDH, this must have been devastating, as it shows once again that he is a useless idiot for Trump. That probably explains why his hatred for Maddow has increased as his Trumptardism becomes even more vicious

    1. I think you have to be a major lunatic to think that Bob Somerby is a Trump guy.