OUR SILO VERSUS THEIRS: Information emerged from dueling silos!


More emerged Over There: We think of Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colorado) as a sober, sane, solid person. 

In part for that reason, we regard his response to Friday's Rittenhouse verdict as an unfortunate sign of the times. On Friday afternoon, Rep. Crow tweeted this:

REP. CROW (11/19/21): A justice system can't fail if it was never meant to deliver justice for some people in the first place. Today's verdict is a travesty. We have to do better. My thoughts are with the family of the victims and the communities who are hiurting. You deserve reform. 

The verdict was "a travesty," the sane, sober congressman said.

On Saturday morning, we saw that tweet reported on C-Span's Washington Journal. Right behind it came this tweet from Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-New York):

REP. NADLER (11/19/21): This heartbreaking verdict is a miscarriage of justice and sets a dangerous precedent which justifies federal review by DOJ. Justice cannot tolerate armed persons crossing state lines looking for trouble while people engage in First Amendment-protected protest.

To Nadler, the verdict was "heartbreaking" and "a miscarriage of justice." After all, Rittenhouse had been "looking for trouble"==and he had "cross[ed] state lines!"

It would be hard to get much dumber than that, but our tribe will continue to try. Similar tweets by two other Democratic congressmen were reported on the C-Span program. 

(To see the texts of all four tweets, click here. Move ahead to the C-Span program's 24th minute.)

A jury had sat and observed all the evidence. In their infinite wisdom, Crow and Nadler knew that the verdict they'd reached had been a miscarriage, a travesty

In fairness to Nadler and Crow, many Democrats delivered such judgments in the wake of Friday's verdict. A jury had sat and observed every word—but they, in their wisdom, knew better. 

Instant reactions from interest groups were often dumber and worse. That said, our tribe has, with increasing frequency, reacted to jury verdicts this way over the past ten years. 

For now, let's try to be fair! In the case of Nadler and Crow, an observer can imagine that their remarks weren't meant to criticize the jury itself. Perhaps the fault lay with Wisconsin state law—or with "the justice system!"

We can imagine that they would have said, if they had been forced, that that they respected the work of the citizens who sat on the jury.  That is a traditional posture, one the congressmen might have adopted, if forced.

Perhaps that's what the Democratic congressmen really meant! That said, no such posture can be attributed to Rachel Maddow, thanks to her appalling conduct during Friday's 9 P.M. hour.

During Friday evening's Maddow Show, the jury was explicitly denounced. This denunciation came as part of a longer, extremely tendentious account of the Rittenhouse trial and of the original conduct at issue. 

Maddow's journalistic conduct would be hard to excuse. With respect to the work of the jury, her viewers were told this:

"No reasonable person viewing all of the evidence could conclude that Mr. Rittenhouse acted in self-defense."

What a remarkable statement! Earlier that day, twelve persons had (unanimously) ruled that Rittenhouse had acted in self-defense. Now, viewers of Maddow's program were told that no reasonable person—not as many as one of the twelve—could ever have reached such a judgment.

Briefly, let's be fair. 

The remarkable statement we have quoted wasn't made by Maddow herself. In one of the slippery procedures which have come to characterize her approach to tribal journalism, Maddow never characterized the verdict herself.

Maddow didn't characterize the verdict in her own voice. Nor did she ever offer an account of the facts which were under review when the jury reached its judgment. 

She never described, in her own voice, what happened on that unfortunate night in August of last year. Instead, Maddow did this:

She read a lengthy statement by the parents of Anthony Huber, one of the people who was shot and killed by Kyle Rittenhouse that night. In their lengthy presentation, they offered their (highly tendentious) account of what happened on the night of the shootings and later during the trial. 

Rachel Maddow has developed into one of the most slippery and self-protective persons ever seen on "cable news." Because she's so skilled at "selling the car"—and because she's so popular within our own failing tribe—this obvious fact is rarely mentioned within the liberal world.

In this instance, Maddow was extending herself a bit of deniability. She never described any of the events in question in her own voice. 

She never said what happened that night. She didn't describe or critique the trial.

Instead, she did a remarkable thing. She read a long, extremely tendentious statement by two grieving parents, while failing to comment on the accuracy of their statement's various claims. 

That statement was full of highly tendentious factual claims—claims which rather plainly called for journalistic review. The statement was built around the unfortunate claim that no reasonable person could possibly have delivered the verdict the jury had unanimously done.  

Such as it is, Americanism lies in the dust when corporate stars behave in such ways. Maddow has been playing such slippery games for a very long time now.

(Full disclosure: We would guess that she, as a carefully-disguised true believer, is in fact fully sincere when she behaves in such ways.)

No reasonable person viewing all of the evidence could conclude that Mr. Rittenhouse acted in self-defense! That's what Maddow's viewers were told. Rittenhouse was still being described as a murderer, despite what the jury had said.

In fact, that's the only thing Maddow's viewers were told about the judgment that jury reached. No alternate possibility, outlook or view was ever expressed.

Beyond that, the lengthy statement which Maddow read was full of highly tendentious factual claims. The giant corporate cable star questioned none of those claims.

For the record, Maddow produced a smaller though revealing snafu later in the program. She read the words of Kariann Swart, the late Joseph Rosenbaum's fianc√©—and as she did, viewers were allowed to linger on a photograph of Hannah Gittings, the girl friend of the late Anthony Huber.

Maddow and her staff didn't seem to know the difference between these two women. But so it goes when propagandists feed their tribes Storyline.

(To Maddow's credit, she didn't report that Jacob Blake was shot and killed last year.)

Journalistically, Maddow's behavior on Friday night was little short of astounding. She quoted no one but deeply interested, grieving parties—and she quoted them at great length. She made no attempt to question, clarify or fact-check the various things they had said.

Her viewers were exposed to no other views. Inevitably, one of the views they heard was this:

"No reasonable person viewing all of the evidence could conclude that Mr. Rittenhouse acted in self-defense."

That was a slander on the jury—but also on basic Americanism, such as it has been.

Maddow has always been highly skilled at the process known as "selling the car." Most often, she sells the tricked-out model known as The Maddow. Sometimes, she sells the larger corporate brand.

Friday night, she offered the most extreme possible views and claims available within the silo of our own failing tribe. She questioned, challenged or clarified none of these views and claims. 

Tribal viewers were asked to tolerate no contradictory information and no alternate viewpoints.

As "cable news" has devolved in the past dozen years, we viewers increasingly get our "news" from one of two dueling silos. With respect to the Rittenhouse trial, we think you should know this:

People who watched Fox News were exposed to a much wider range of information than we liberals were, whether on CNN or on MSNBC. In this instance, the coverage at Fox was actually more informative than the coverage we liberals received.

Your lizard will say that can't be true. We'd say it plainly is.

In the case of the Kenosha shootings and the Rittenhouse trial, information and Storyline emerged from two dueling silos. To liberal viewers, we'll only say this:

With respect to this unfortunate case, it isn't just the false and misleading things we were persistently told.  It's the many facts which  got disappeared in service to Storyline.

No tribe this dumb can hope to survive. No tribe this dumb, this helpless; this desperate, this pathetic, this faux.

Tomorrow: Basic background, disappeared

At long last: At long last, MSNBC has finally posted the transcript to Friday's Maddow program. 

The channel boasts an unmistakable slacker culture. You can peruse the transcript here.


  1. "The verdict was "a travesty," the sane, sober congressman said."

    Disagreement with a sane, sober, congressman whom one professes to admire might cause a sane, sober internet essayist to think twice about his own reaction to the trial.

    Instead, Somerby revises his opinions of those sane, sober voices and calls them dumb. It isn't as if Crow were the only sane, sober Democrat calling this verdict a travesty. Nadler does too. In fact most sane, sober Democrats are expressing dismay over this verdict.

    Somerby should be thinking about where his own thinking has gone wrong, not lumping these sane, sober Democrats into a single tribe and calling it dumb.

  2. "To Nadler, the verdict was "heartbreaking" and "a miscarriage of justice.""

    Somerby leaves out the most important part of Nadler's statement:

    "and sets a dangerous precedent which justifies federal review by DOJ. Justice cannot tolerate armed persons crossing state lines looking for trouble while people engage in First Amendment-protected protest."

    Somerby likes to pretend that this is about Rittenhouse, when it is about maintaining democracy and a just society. Rittenhouse isn't important. The precedent sent by this verdict is very important. That's why the DOJ must investigate what happened during that trial.

    Somerby pretends this is about other stuff, tribalism for example. If he thought about what makes our democracy work, instead, he might reach a better conclusion about the trial.

    1. Yes, armed people should stay in their own states when they want to look for trouble while people engage in their first amendment rights, such as burning buildings and cars and smashing windows. Good point anon 11:19. It sets a bad precedent when they cross state line to do it.

    2. Laws against bringing guns across state lines are to control gun trafficking by gangs and criminals.

      The noise about the state line that was crossed was about trying to invalidate a larger argument by showing that a trivial detail was in error. Somerby got Rittenhouse's hometown wrong, calling it Aurora instead of Antioch. Whoever he was criticizing got the distance between Antioch and the state line wrong (it is 1 mile) but Somerby had the distance from Antioch to Kenosha wrong (it is 20 miles, not just across the state line). Rittenhouse did not drive there himself, but was driven by his sister. One wonders why he didn't drive himself. Is it possible he had access to an AR-15 but not a driver's license or car?

      Rittenhouse didn't happen to be there at that riot. He went to a lot of effort to put himself there, with that gun. And that is the larger point that Somerby ignores.

    3. Defending Somerby is a lost cause when he makes the same kinds of errors as those he criticizes.

    4. You all are just not going to give up the crossing of a state line with a gun thing.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.


  4. As always, thank you, dear Bob, for documenting this tiny portion of the latest liberal atrocities.

  5. "In their infinite wisdom, Crow and Nadler knew that the verdict they'd reached had been a miscarriage, a travesty..."

    Next, Somerby will argue that OJ was innocent too. That trial was a travesty, not because OJ was acquitted, but because it never focused on domestic violence. Women were sold down the river so that a famous football player could be let off the hook. Juries don't always get things right.

    It is an imperfect system designed to give the benefit of the doubt to the accused, because it is better to let a guilty man go free than to convict an innocent man. And yet so many innocent black men have been recently exonerated by DNA.

    Somerby wants to argue the perfection of jury verdicts when there is solid evidence they can and do get things wrong. He doesn't wish to argue the impact on our society of exonerating a killer who then went on and killed another man and shot a third man, while the cops let him walk on by their lines, carrying his weapon. He doesn't wish to consider whether 17 year olds should be exonerated when using an illegal gun to shoot a mentally ill man (while claiming to be a medic).

    No, today Somerby just wants to call names and blame Democrats for seeing clearly what Somerby refuses to consider.

    1. Thanks Corby for the deranged take on the OJ trial.

    2. Awwww...do you think OJ was innocent? That's so cute.

    3. anon 6:16, where did I say anything that implied OJ was "innocent." That's not what I think. You don't seem able to read or to apply reason.

  6. "Earlier that day, twelve persons had (unanimously) ruled that Rittenhouse had acted in self-defense."

    We fully expect that rural conservative jurists will give the same kind of charity to Trump, when he eventually is put on trial for his crimes against the people. That won't make him innocent either. Any more than the all-white juries in the South who exonerated those accused of killing freedom riders were correct in their verdicts.

    All you need is one Q-Anon follower or Proud-Boy supporter or gun nut, intransigent in his or her beliefs, to let a killer such as Rittenhouse go free. That doesn't make him innocent when everyone saw the videos and the men he shot are definitely dead. The only question was his degree of responsibility, not whether he committed that shooting. The jury got it wrong but it isn't Rittenhouse who will pay for that, but our nation's democracy. The next time someone takes an AR-15 to a protest and shoots innocent people, will Somerby again blame the blue tribe? Probably, since his opinions seem to be as unmoveable as those of the red voters and jury members of Kenosha.

    Somerby, of course, doesn't mention the van than mowed down parade goers in Waukesha (also Wisconsin), among them a group of dancing grannies, because we don't yet know why that happened. But we can expect an increase in domestic terrorism following this verdict, even if the motives will be less clear than those of Rittenhouse, the damage will still be borne by the innocent.

    Somerby misses that point entirely, or he has chosen not to deal with it. He pretends that these many sober congressmen are just following their herd, not recognizing a threat to our sane society brought by those who take guns to protests or think it is OK to mow down pedestrians with vehicles, as occurred in Charlottesville. We can only hope that verdict is better than this one in Kenosha.

  7. "Her viewers were exposed to no other views. "

    There are no other views to be expressed by mainstream America. You have to go to Fox to hear the justification of Rittenhouse's actions.

  8. Somerby, the man who never takes responsibility for any opinion and always uses the voices of others to speak thoughts rational people abhor, today accuses Maddow of using the same tactics he does.

    Maddow is a journalist. Why shouldn't she report other people's opinions? Journalistic ethics say that journalists should not be part of the story, they don't make news themselves and when they do, they stop reporting. So Maddow is doing her job appropriately.

    If the voices she reports are all saying things that Somerby disagrees with and that he considers to be wrong, perhaps Somerby should reconsider his own views. Perhaps he should consider why liberals are speaking with a single voice on this. He should also stop calling himself liberal when his own reactions are so different than those of the sane, sober members of the left.

    I have no doubt that Somerby will find lots of validation for his beliefs at Fox and alt-right twitter and websites. Reports are saying that social media posts have been 9-1 in favor of the Rittenhouse verdict. Also, many of them have been coming from Eastern Europe and Russia (like Mao).

    Instead of calling liberals names, Somerby needs to accept responsibility for his own right-wing views and come out as a conservative, something everyone seems to know about him except himself. He needs to state his own opinions directly without cloaking them in 60s folksongs or quotes from Aristotle, and specious quibbles over details (as if those could discredit the whole of a person's opinion). Somerby needs to be honest for a change and stop worrying about whether Maddow is earning more money than he does. She is doing her job well and her viewers like that about her. That is, after all, why Somerby keeps attacking her.

    1. Somerby is a liberal. You aren't

    2. Please provide any evidence beyond Somerby's say-so that he is any kind of liberal. I'll bet you cannot do it.

    3. anon 6:09, of course he is a "liberal." For just a few examples, he greatly admires Martin Luther King. He clearly favors democratic candidates. His strong distaste for Trump is obviously apparent, and he makes plain that Trump's election was a bad thing. He always expresses the view that the right wing media distorts the truth (though in some instances gets things right, or more right, than the'left" wing counterparts. He blames Bush for getting us into the disastrous Iraq war. He has defended Hillary Clinton in the face of attacks by the so-called liberal media. I honestly don't have all day to "prove" this to you, (a futile task because you don't seem capable of applying common sense. The truth that TDH is a liberal" is overwhelming. You, and others with poor reasoning skills seem to think that just because someone finds flaws in the current liberal narrative, they are trumptards. I don't think you really are a "liberal", because a liberal wouldn't be an irrational know nothing who lacks the ability to think critically, or to apply reason in an objective manner. I don't agree with a lot of stuff TDH says, but the tenor of the attacks against him here is bizarre.

    4. You have provided a list of your own opinions, but no actual evidence. If the criticisms of Somerby bother you, just read his articles and not the comments.

      1. Somerby has never said he has voted for any liberal candidate. He criticized Biden, Harris and all of the Democratic presidential candidates as "terrible candidates". Not very liberal.
      2. Somerby never said he voted for Clinton against Trump, nor has he ever supported her as a candidate. He has called her a failed candidate, a disastrous candidate. His attacks on the way the press treated Clinton are only in support of the way Gore was treated during his campaign, not to defend Clinton.
      3. Somerby has not said that Bush was responsible for the Iraq war. He says the press is responsible because of the way it treated Al Gore
      4. Somerby roomed with Al Gore at Harvard and that seems to be the source of his support for Gore, not any liberal values.
      5. He has said so many things that are not liberal, defending Roy Moore, Brock Turner (who was found guilty of rape), and now Rittenhouse. He was against the impeachment of Trump (saying it would overturn the results of the election), he saw nothing wrong with Trump's manipulation of Ukraine to find dirt on Biden, he has never criticized Betsy DeVos on education issues, he doesn't support equal pay for women, he supports all the attacks on the left on the basis of PC, cancel culture and wokeness (all right-wing memes), he never says a word about important liberal issues, and his biases against women and LGBTQ+ people are evident (attacks on Don Lemon, Anderson Cooper, Rachel Maddow, Charles Blow, and any black or female professor he can find), and an ongoing hatred of expertise that is consistent with right-wing anti-intellectualism, not the left's support for K=12 and higher education both.

      You only think he is a liberal because he keeps saying he is liberal. But a liberal is someone who holds liberal views and supports liberal causes (not perfectly, but consistently). Somerby holds conservative views and supports conservative politicians and figures (such as Rittenhouse, Roy Moore, George Zimmerman). Somerby does not support BLM. He quotes Andrew Sullivan (approvingly) more often than any Democratic pundit.

      You don't have to agree with any commenter here. In fact, you can be just like Cecelia or David. No one would care. But you shouldn't be trying to spread disinformaton about Somerby by pretending he has done things he manifestly has not. All of the commenters here have been here long enough to have seen for themselves what Somerby has and has not said.

    5. anon 10:16, your incorrigible. Nothing you say here is accurate or makes any sense.

    6. Whoa. You're actually consuming word-salads this large? Without any indigestion?

      Ah, sure, lawyers training...

  9. "within the silo of our own failing tribe"

    Somerby is not liberal. He is not a member of the blue tribe. No one has given him the secret password to our silo.

  10. The kid killed two unarmed people with a machine gun. He had a gun; they didn't. Whatever they did to R surely wasn't life threatening. His gun didn't have to be fired. And most certainly they didn't deserve to be killed.

    It's too bad Wisconsin doesn't have a manslaughter charge, which might have resulted in a conviction.

  11. "No tribe this dumb can hope to survive. No tribe this dumb, this helpless; this desperate, this pathetic, this faux."

    Gosh, if only one could win an election by calling the other party names! Oh, wait, that's what Trump did. But it didn't work when it came to the popular vote, so he had to get Russia to help him steal the election. And it worked even less in 2020, so he had to stage an incompetent coup attempt. And now he is president in exile, still calling names and blaming his loss on his own party (tribe).

    Meanwhile, the left is failing so well that we just passed a major infrastructure bill. By any reasonable measure aside from press coverage, Biden is doing well as president. And he won without the intervention of any foreign government.

    Somerby has lost touch with reality to the point that he thinks that simply asserting that Democrats (who outnumber Republicans) are failing will cause hapless readers to believe him and watch Tucker instead of Maddow, because there are magical facts that made it OK for Rittenhouse to shoot unarmed people, that we weren't allowed to hear, but would make the verdict seem clear to us, but Somerby cannot tell us what those were. He can only rant against Maddow and call us all dumb.

    What a persuasive argument!

  12. This is Cecilia's day.



  13. Shouldn't y'all dembots already be shrilling about what a great guy Darrell Brooks is?

    What, haven't received your talking points yet?

    1. Oh dear. Who knew that you're so traumatized by the arrest of racially oppressed Mr Brooks.

    2. Darrell Brooks, the medic, who went to Waukesha to protect a used car lot?

    3. Did he now? Is this your new shining talking point, dear dembot?

  14. I partly agree with critics of the jury's decision. Although I think the acquittal was probably correct, the jury's decision was made easier by the dreadful job done by the prosecutor. A more able prosecutor might have gotten a conviction for something. Not murder 1, but some lesser charge.

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