US AND THEM THE PEOPLE: Them the people, in the far north...

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2021 misreported to Us: Way up in the frozen north, miles from The Lower 48, the Anchorage city council—it's called the Anchorage assembly—had been holding public hearings about a proposed mask mandate.

By the admission of one "cable news" star, she and her staff had watched the videotapes of those multiple meetings at substantial length. She described these labors on her highly-rated "cable news" program last Wednesday night:

UNNAMED CABLE NEWS STAR (10/13/21): So the Anchorage assembly meetings, we watched hours and hours of the streaming footage from those meetings, and the anger and the overt threats not only were sort of surprising and hard to watch, but did seem to build on each other over time. 

By her own admission, the cable news star and her devoted staff had watched "hours and hours" of footage. That said, had the public meetings really featured "overt threats" against the eleven assembly members? A bit earlier in her presentation, the star had been a bit more specific:

UNNAMED CABLE NEWS STAR: Despite the threats of violence hurled at Anchorage assembly members by the public, despite that intimidation, I should tell you the Anchorage assembly just passed the mask requirement for indoor spaces in Anchorage. Their vote was 9-1.

That said, tonight as we got on the air, Anchorage's Republican mayor who has repeatedly downplayed the virus, issued a veto against the mask requirement. Republicans from the governor's mansion in Alaska to the state legislature have echoed those sentiments.

And you know, we're used to seeing the politics and fighting over this, but in some ways it is a scary situation. The threats of violence in Alaska aren't an isolated or strange thing. This isn't some strange phenomenon just occurring in Alaska. We are seeing elements of this all across the country.

In that passage, she twice referred to "the threats of violence" directed at the assembly members. 

(For the record, the assembly actually split 9-2 in favor of the mandate. Due to a procedural glitch, one member failed to take part in a "do over" of the original 9-2 vote.)

Up in Alaska, Them the People—The Others—had been directing "overt threats of violence" at the eleven assembly members! The cable star had observed this behavior  because she'd conducted "hours and hours" of research, if she said so herself!

Earlier, the cable star had offered examples of what she meant. We offer you the edited clips exactly as she aired them last week. This is the way her exposé about "them the people" began:

EXALTED CABLE NEWS STAR: Last month, the Anchorage assembly took up a proposed mask rule for indoor public spaces in Anchorage. It was not a surprise this came up. As we've been reporting in recent weeks, Alaska has recently had its hospitals suffering under one of the worst COVID case loads in the nation, with even the largest hospitals in the state forced to ration care and literally turn people away.

So in Anchorage, largest city in the state, the assembly met to consider whether there could be an indoor mask rule in indoor spaces in Anchorage. And the public was invited to come say their piece. It very quickly got pretty hairy.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are backing us into a corner. There is nowhere else to go. We will be forced to fight.

You have pushed us against the wall. Please don't do that. Do not incite violence in our city. That's what's happening with this ordinance.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want to go up against some people like us? We`re getting our backbone. We're standing tall. We're locking our knees. We're coming after you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's time to stand up for yourselves, stand up for this country, stop listening to these tyrants.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How long do you think we`ll take this (EXPLETIVE DELETED)? How long do you think this is going to stand? All across the nation, men are gathering. Will the police be with us? What will the cost of freedom be?


MADDOW: "We are coming after you." "What will the cost of freedom be?"

This has unfolded over the past week or so in Anchorage, Alaska. Multiple people have been arrested at these increasingly raucous meetings, including one man who was carrying a concealed firearm when he was arrested.

"Multiple people" had been arrested at these public meetings! At this point, we pause to remind you that "multiple," a slippery and very useful term, can sometimes even mean "two."

At any rate, the major star had offered clips of four different people who spoke during the hours and hours of those public meetings. Apparently, these were four of the people who had made the "overt threats of violence" to which the star referred.

Through long experience watching this star, we've learned to be extremely skeptical concerning the things she says. In this instance, we noticed such facts as these:

The cable star had played tape of one (extremely presentable) woman referring to the possibility of future "violence." She'd also played tape in which one man asked a peculiar-sounding though ambiguous question about the future role of the police.

That said, the star had said that she and her staff had watched "hours and hours" of videotape from the meetings in question. It seemed to us that the four short clips she played didn't exactly support the claim that there had been many threats of physical violence during the meetings in question.

If there had been so many "overt threats," why hadn't the cable star aired less ambiguous examples? We decided to do what you always have to do after watching this heralded "cable news" star:

We decided to fact-check the heralded star. We decided to watch the videotape ourselves!

Unsurprisingly, we didn't see a lot of threats of physical violence when we did. In the several hours of tape we watched, we saw no one getting arrested.

In all honesty, we can't say we saw a single "threat of violence." In many ways, what we saw was even more sobering, may have been even worse.

It's hardly surprising to see this particular cable star misleading "us the people." This particular star  tends to play to the base, sometimes ginning us up as she does—and as we've told you down through the years, it isn't clear that the cable star is always obsessively honest when she provides this pleasing service before we all go to bed, sucking our thumbs and reinforced in our belief in our own tribe's moral greatness.

Here on our sprawling campus, we reviewed several hours of videotape from the four or five nights of public hearings to which the star referred. We even found the videotape of the first two edited clips the cable star played last week—the clips from the UNIDENTIIFED FEMALE who overtly referred to "violence," and from the UNIDENTIFIED MALE who heatedly said, "We're coming after you," to the assembly members.

You can watch the full presentations of those two people, starting at 3:11 of this videotape. They appeared, one after the other, at the five-hour October 7 public meeting, but alas:

Though the UNIDENTIFIED MALE was angry, loud and impolite, he wasn't threatening physical violence that night. Instead, he listed the various recall movements he was working on, hoping to remove particular assembly members from office. 

That was the context in which he angrily said, "We're coming after you." The cable star had removed that context when she told us the very good people about the overt threats of violence being offered by them the violent people!

On the Maddow Show, you'll often see such statements clipped in such a way as to let "Us the people"—us the very good people—believe that we're facing ever worse threats from "Them the people"—the very bad human beings reliably found over there—than we actually are. This is a type of slippery game routinely played on that program.


If the cable star's staff had watched "hours and hours" of videotape; and if the "overt threats of violence" had been so common at those meetings; why did the star have to offer a loud participant in recall movements as one of her four examples? Why didn't she air one of the many other examples in which the overt threats of violence were real?

We think the answer is obvious. Beyond that, we think it involves the ugly way "We the people" get played about "Them the Others" in search of entertainment, tribal certainty and of course corporate profit. 

Our cable stars like to please us in these ancient  ways. When they do, we rush to reward them with high rating and with icon status. 

Having said that, let us also say this:

We watched hours of those videotapes ourselves. We can't say that we saw a single threat of violence, overt or otherwise.

It happened again last Wednesday! Once again, we saw our tribe's greatest "cable news" star playing the old okey-doke with us her trusting admirers. 

In our experience, this particular cable star behaves this way all the time. She even did so again last night regarding the Steele dossier!

Having said that, we'll also say this:

We watched hours of those public meetings, from at least four different nights. And we saw no threats of physical violence, unless you want to count the peculiar remarks made by the (highly presentable) woman who said she had to change her church because of an earlier mandate.

We didn't see overt threats of violence, or any arrests. What we did see was the star's latest con.

That said, what we saw in the frozen north may have been worse than The Threats Which Didn't Bark.  What did we see when we watched the tapes in which long lines of Anchorage residents opposed that mandate?

We'll try to summarize that tomorrow. But what we saw was very sobering in this dangerous hour.

That said, us the people love to fear and loathe them the people. Our imperfect brains are wired this way, despondent top experts all tell us.

Tomorrow: What we did see in those tapes


  1. This is exactly what we like about Amerika, dear Bob: all these unidentified men and wimmin.

    More power to them.

  2. This is just more proof of Summersby's over racism.

  3. There was a person on this very blog, yesterday, trying to gaslight people into believing Republican voters care about something other than bigotry.

    Let's face it, that's more ridiculous than anything Maddow could possibly dream up.

    1. Anyone who isn't a bigot, or isn't perfectly fine with bigotry, left the Republican Party more than two decades ago.

    2. Ain't it the truth? They should just rename it to the Disgusting Racist Party. And we should rename ours to The Morally Great party!

      I love passing my time talking about the #1 issue facing our country today, racism! Never mind that pesky economy, education, foreign policy, campaign finance law, consumer rights, any of that other twaddle! Way too much work.

    3. I don’t see much evidence that Republican voters care about any of that stuff you mentioned.

    4. But mh, do we need to wait for evidence that they care about it in order to care about it ourselves?

      You have a twin somewhere on the right, saying there's no evidence leftists care about anything besides racism. Isn't this convenient for the rich elite.

    5. Who says we or I don’t care about those things? Who says the Democrats or liberals don’t care? Somerby never talks about the vast amount of coverage given to the ongoing negotiations to pass the infrastructure bill, for example, or voting rights, just to name two. That is a major focus of liberals right now.

    6. Not according to Digby or Lawyers Guns and Money blogs which are quoted here often. Look at their front pages now and you will see the stories are primarily about the Others and how horrible they are. Not a single word about the infrastructure bill or voting rights, just to name two.

    7. CNN: Donald Trump (yet again) proves there's no bottom

      He's worse than we thought, but we're also not surprised, this happens all the time!

    8. Lawyers guns and money often publishes more than half a dozen posts in a single day. Don’t give up, anonymous. Try looking a little harder for the innumerable stories on the economy, on labor, etc.

    9. Stop fooling yourself. That blog is about the Other and how horrible they are and how morally great our side is. There is very little if any serious discussion of the issues Rationalist mentioned. It's main focus is them. Which is so, so boring!

    10. Loomis is good at Lawyers, Guns and Money blog. He wrote a few weeks ago of the foolishness of the 'economic' anxiety' canard.

      The rest of the bloggers there are complete trash.

    11. God - Loomis even channels Somerby: "The important point here is that even if you think the white working class is somehow so hopelessly racist that we should just give up on them, they still vote. You still have to have them in your nation. A winning coalition does require some white working class voters. "

      You idiots just read the us v. them popcorn though. Wow! Republicans are bad! Thanks for the brilliant insight! ;)

    12. Yeah. The liberals have become so virtuous, we strongly suspect they now constitute a superior race. We have observed so many beautiful examples here.

      Only the Evil Others prevent them from establishing Paradise on Earth. Y'know, like the ones they created in Chicago and Oakland.

    13. This idea that Trump voters come from the "white working class" is nonsense. Trump voters are primarily white males, but the majority are from the white, educated middle and upper middle class, not the working class. What Trump supporters share is their bigotry.

      These days, a growing percentage of working class voters are minorities and they tend to vote Democrat.

      Somerone mentioned Tim Scott the other day. His major contribution to his party is union busting. Working class my ass.

      I am the only one quoting Digby or Lawyers Guns & Money here. Somerby never does (like the non-liberal he is). There is a lot of discussion of unions and working class issues there. Maligning the other takes up very little of their time.

      But I frankly don't see how anyone can claim that liberals are preoccupied with racism when none of the legislation they are trying to pass concerns that at all.

    14. The point from Loomis is still the same no matter what class.

    15. "Vice President Harris and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh are set to announce new guidelines on Wednesday to encourage more federal workers to join unions and to encourage collective bargaining in the federal workplace. "

      New legislation to help federal workers unionize is being introduced in support of this effort.

    16. Introduced. Followed up on and passed? Forget about it. That's the game they play on you.

    17. That's the game they play to help you not see the both sides problem. You're all happy and proud they introduced legislation! Your side is so moral and superior. But do they follow up and pass it? Nope.

    18. The politicians the Others elected are unanimously obstructing it from being passed.

      Perhaps you'll notice the Others not making a peep about legislation that would help the citizens (including the black ones).
      OTOH, the Others tried to overthrow the Capitol when black people's votes counted in an election.
      Weird, huh?

    19. It's almost like Republican voters are more turned-on by bigotry, then with the government helping the citizens. Without the "It's almost like" part, of course.

    20. Then our system is broken and we have to start talking about how to fix it instead of talking about how the other is so horrible. Democratic leadership definitely does not want to do that. That should tell you something. It's a game. You think Democrats who are elected by and beholden to corporations want to have Labor reform? Don't be stupid. Wake up.

    21. 2:20,
      You'll get no argument from me that it's time for the Senate to go.

    22. 2:20,
      Time and again, the Right has shown you're better off working around them, than trying to work with them.

    23. When was the last time that happened successfully? Does that happen successfully consistently? Does that happen successfully enough?

      No. Because it's a game. It's a show. The Repubs are playing the heel and the Dems are playing the good guy (and 'introducing' legislation). You don't realize you're watching a show. You always have someone to hate. You always have someone to blame it all on. Meanwhile the corporations always win. It's designed that way to fool you.

      Both sides systematically dismantled unionization of workers and both sides will do zero to reestablish that as a reality on a significant scale. Ever.

      It's all a show!

  4. ...and what we don't like about Amerika, dear Bob, is this sort of thing:

    Police Suggest Possible Charges for Those Who Filmed Rape on Train

  5. “Multiple people" had been arrested at these public meetings! At this point, we pause to remind you that "multiple," a slippery and very useful term, can sometimes even mean "two."

    But this time, it happens to mean “four:”

    “Anchorage police say four people were arrested at an Anchorage Assembly meeting on Wednesday night, including one man who was armed, during heated testimony over a proposed mask ordinance.”

    Discord over masks escalates with arrests, Holocaust comparisons at the Anchorage Assembly

    Fact checking can be your friend, Bob.

    1. "...over a proposed mask ordinance."

      Eric Garner died for our sins.

    2. Link:

    3. The arrests you cite here are from 3 weeks before the meeting Maddow claimed led to arrests. Is it that you cannot even do basic research? Or is it your reading comprehension?

    4. She spoke of “meetings of the Anchorage assembly”, that’s “meetings” plural. She interviewed a reporter with the Anchorage Daily News who said this:

      “we did see a lot of arrests. This has been going on for six meetings over two weeks, and just ended this week. And during that meeting, first meeting we saw several arrests.”

      The “issue” was masks:

      “Discord over masks escalates with arrests, Holocaust comparisons at the Anchorage Assembly”

  6. Somerby is downplaying the current state of affairs:

    DOJ to Investigate Threats Against School Board Members | Education News | US News

    School Boards to Biden: Protect Us! | Education News | US News

    DOJ to launch task force to address rise in threats against election officials

    1. Yep, it's always been "musings on the mainstream "press corps" and the american discourse" - labeled as such clearly at the top.

      Poor standards of journalism, news for entertainment, and a failed national discourse. And the means do not justify the end when it comes to sloppy journalism. Especially when the end result is a dumbed-down discourse amongst a bunch of dumbed-down thumbsucking adherents.

    2. His “musings” questioned whether Maddow was right about “multiple” arrests.

      She was. I did some “fact-checking” of my own.

      There is a real and significant increase in threats across the country at meetings just like this one. This is a fundamental problem for democracy. Perhaps you can understand that. And perhaps you can understand that I only pay attention to Maddow when Somerby mentions her. My comments do not come from an “adherent” of hers. I follow what is actually happening.

    3. The arrests you cited were not over the meeting and issue Maddow was discussing and claimed led to arrests. That's the musing. How is it that you miss that?

    4. Yeah sorry mh, I wouldn't lump you into what I called "dumbed-down thumbsucking adherents". I was speaking generally.

    5. How is it that people getting irate in local govt meetings is a threat to democracy, but it’s righteous protest to tear up cities and businesses to the tune of a billion dollars, to try to burn down the condo building of a mayor, and to cause other govt officials to need amped up security for their homes and family?

    6. If you are going to say that the reporting was wrong, you need to provide a cited source, as mh did, and not just call people stupid. The arrests did occur at the Anchorage meeting and the violence did escalate across multiple meetings. That is established FACT.

      Somerby hints that it didn't happen because that is how he rolls. He assumes his readers will be too lazy to check his disputes and will just consider Maddow to be factually challenged, as he has been claiming for years. His accusations never hold up under scrutiny.

      Cue Cecelia to tell us how brilliant Somerby is. Cecelia, violence at public meetings and threats against public officials who are doing their jobs are a threat to democracy because we vote on actions and then the losers go along with the winners of that vote to enact what the majority agreed to do. We don't threaten violence to coerce an outcome and we don't attack those who are doing what they are supposed to as public servants.

      None of the violence is consistent with democracy, no matter who is doing it. However, you need to look closely at who exactly is participating in such violence and not attribute it to the wrong sources (e.g., antifa or BLM) when it is coming from the right.

    7. You just engaged in the usual anonymouse tactic of turning any question or quibble with your summation into a de facto endorsement of the extreme opposite position

      Thanks for the lesson in U.S. civics. Those reasonable statements of yours illustrate that the months long riots were an obvious threat to democracy and to the rule of law.

      Im grateful also that you openly attribute all the violence, burning, and looting to the right.

      It illustrates your seriousness in these questions.

    8. What you term “riots” were peaceful protests by BLM that were co-opted by criminal opportunists and right-wingers yearning for civil war. That has been reported numerous times. Can you say “Rittenhouse”? All of the violence was wrong but BLM was largely peaceful.

    9. There’s no doubt that BLM was co-opted by Antifa and other white leftists, generally in stylish athletic-wear screaming at the police and business owners and throwing things at them.

      There were copious videos on Twitter nightly.

      On the other hand BLM did march into local neighborhoods for the expressed purpose of letting them know that they are not safe in their enclaves either.

      Anonymices spent months justifying violent protests as the natural and last resort response to systemic police violence and the willingness of the powers that be to tolerate it. Violence, burning, and looting were then described as the desperate response to oppression and was what got attention and facilitated change.

      You’ll never be able to sell your ludicrous revisionism to the larger public.

    10. Who is arguing the rioters (police) in the cities shouldn't also be arrested for their violence?

    11. Anonymouse 12:51am, how quickly you forget.

      It’s only property… (they said, as more than 60 Service members were injured by rioters attacking the White House).

    12. From the same source: "A total of 11 injured employees were transported to a local hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries." Such as being spat upon or kicked and bruised. Only 1 arrest was made.

      No liberal here has referred to human injury as "property damage". That is your invention, Cecelia. You seem to think that when law enforcement officers participate in rioting that those who are attacked should not defend themselves. If those being attacked by peace officers were armed and intending to fight, the injuries would be more severe and more people would be arrested.

      Look up how many journalists have been injured while covering these protests (which you insist on calling riots). They are being attacked by police and Proud Boys, not protesters.

    13. You just minimized eleven Secret Service agents needing treatment and over forty more being injured in some way during an attack on the White House as being nothing. An attack on the WH was nothing. .

      Whenever anyone complained about the riots they were told that the things people worked for all their lives were nothing and insured nothing at that.

      Now it’s about rioting police officers and right wingers.
      during protests that weren’t riots.

      In six months you’ll have morphed the Summer of 2020 into a modern version of the Crusades.

    14. When The Superior Adherents of Liberalism riot, rape, and murder (mostly each-other), it's because WHITE SUPREMACY made them do it. End of story.

    15. I'm sure Cecelia was a big fan of Saddam Hussein gassing his own people too.

    16. Cecelia,
      Here's another existential one to think about.
      How is it Eric Garner gets choked out for not complying, while police flaunt the law regarding mandated vaccines?

    17. Anonymices, you can’t even stay with your revisionist nonsense for two minutes.

      Here you go again trying to justify the street violence.

    18. Those protesters, using their First Amendment Rights to call for holding the police accountable, weren't going to tear-gas themselves.
      When the status quo is challenged, violence is often the tool used in response.

    19. The police used violence to cancel culture the protesters.

    20. And journalists covering the protests too.

  7. "(For the record, the assembly actually split 9-2 in favor of the mandate. Due to a procedural glitch, one member failed to take part in a "do over" of the original 9-2 vote.)"

    For the record, when there is a "do over," the second vote is the official one. That makes it the one Maddow reported. The earlier vote is irrelevant and it is not a mistake for Maddow to ignore it and report that the result was 9-1.

  8. "If there had been so many "overt threats," why hadn't the cable star aired less ambiguous examples?"

    I didn't find the examples "ambiguous" at all in their threats. Recall that these threats are occurring in the context of the 1/6 insurrection and resurgent alt-right violence that provides the muscle behind such threats. The women who Somerby found so presentable would not be the one engaging in violence necessarily. All Trump has to do is dog whistle to his neo-Nazi friends, militia members, Oath Keepers, Boogaloo Bois, Proud Bois and local variants who are slavering to start the next civil war -- as Somerby said just a week or so ago. (That's what the hint about the police was about -- given that so many in uniform are being sentenced for their violent acts at the Capitol.)

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