THURSDAY, APRIL 1, 2021
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.
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.