Should we believe our own tribe's facts?


Shirtless Putin, Maddow and Newsmax: At some point yesterday, MSNBC finally posted transcripts for its programs from last Wednesday on.

This means that we can show you what Rachel Maddow actually said—what she actually said about Newsmax, but also about shirtless Putin.

By reputation and (we assume) by fact, Newsmax is one of the farthest "right," and least credible, of the far-right news sites. We offer that as an assumption because, until the current nonsense, we had never gone there.

That said, we suspected that Maddow had done it again on last Wednesday night's program. The foolishness started like this:

Will Putin invade Ukraine again? Maddow began discussing the question in the manner shown:

MADDOW (12/8/21): [Putin] thinks we know for sure that the Soviet Union never should have broken up. He calls that the greatest political catastrophe of the 21st century. He apparently thinks that he should have control of Ukraine, even though Ukraine is a separate country. He kind of likes the idea of a little renewed Russian empire of his own to play with.

So he did send troops to invade Ukraine, and he seized part of their country, and says that's part of Russia. That was several years ago.

He's now threatening to do it again, and the United States does have an ally in this fight. We have an ally in this fight, and an antagonist in this fight. 

Russia is the antagonist. Ukraine is the ally.

Here's President Biden trying to convene the democracies of the world which, among other things, means, "No, not Russia, you're not invited." He's doing that, I think, not coincidentally at the same time that he's brushing back Putin and warning him not to invade our ally Ukraine again.

But again, look at what's going on inside our own country. Look at what's going on in the political right, right now. 

I mean, here's Biden trying to say we lead the free world, right? And we want democracy to once again, you know, fill its sails and be the rising form of government on this globe. We want to leave that both as a Democratic leader and lead by our example.

And here's the cover right now of Newsmax magazine, on the political right in this country: "Vlad the Great. Post-Trump, Putin becomes master of the world."

Cheers, champagne! That's Newsmax magazine this month.

If you listened to Maddow, you would have thought that Newsmax magazine was cheering Putin on—cheering him on with champagne. 

Here's why we instantly suspected that Maddow had done it again:

Rather glaringly, she didn't quote a single word from the actual Newsmax report. She merely showed the magazine's cover, then stated her pleasing assessment about "the political right."

As we noted yesterday, CNN's Brian Stelter did the same thing on Sunday's Reliable Sources program. He was totally wrong on this matter, as was Maddow before him.

Alas! To appearances, neither one of these cable news stars had made even the slightest attempt to fact-check their assessment. Yesterday, we showed you what Newsmax has actually said about its magazine article. 

Newsmax describes its (paywall-restricted) report as a savage attack on Putin. Watching Maddow, the viewer received a more pleasing assessment about what The Others are up to.

Maddow went on to say other remarkably stupid things during this braindead opening segment. As we noted last Saturday, she told us viewers that Fox News was simply in love with Putin. 

Two minutes earlier, we had been watching Sean Hannity calling Putin every name in the book. As soon as we flipped over to Maddow, we entered a far different world.

Concerning those photos of shirtless Putin, here's what the wonderfully entertaining TV star stupidly said:

MADDOW: I mean, all of those pictures of Putin shirtless we got from the Fox News Channel because they show them like on a loop because they've got a thing for him. I mean, that's weird. There is a weirdness around this on the political right, right now.

For the record, Fox News does not show shirtless photos of Putin "like on a loop." (Or at all, as far as we know.) As the uniform chyron on the photographs instantly suggested, the photos all came from a single, 24-second report from the summer of 2017. 

At that time, MSNBC and Fox News had each been running those shirtless photos as braindead cable filler. To its credit, CNN had done so much less often.

Speaking of braindead, Maddow has been phoning it in for a long time now. Please don't ask for more detail about last Wednesday's waves of bullsh*t, but the overall performance can only be ranked as the ultimate insult to viewers. 

It's long past time for Maddow to go. Aside from high ratings and profit-making, there's no reason to keep airing the magical mystery tours she offers her viewers each night.

NBC has promised the world that Maddow will be leaving. Now that they've managed to post their transcripts, could they possibly follow through on that?

Final question:

Should we believe our own tribe's "facts?" Not necessarily, no.

The Newsmax magazine report seems to be a withering attack on Putin. First Maddow, then Stelter, turned that fact upside-down. 

Also, plenty of shirtless photos! "Cable news" can be good solid fun!


  1. "It's long past time for Maddow to go."

    Didn't you promise us, dear Bob, to stop watching dembot Maddow? Didn't you solemnly swear? How come we're at this point again? That's pathetic.

    As for when it's time for her to go, dear Bob, that's really none of your business. She is not there to please you, dear Bob. As long as this dembot is making enough money and serving the establishment, she's not going anywhere.

  2. Who does Somerby think he is fooling?

    Trump is pro-Putin, Hannity is Trump's waterboy; Hannity went so far as to retweet "Make Russia Great Again" back during Trump's reign. Hannity's friend and producer created a news network in Russia dedicated to Putin propaganda. Hannity just had Trump on his show to say that the US should stay out of Ukraine, essentially let Putin do what he wants.

    Good grief, how pathetic is Somerby these days.

    1. Somerby is a gaslighter, who pretends there is something other than bigotry which the Right cares about.

    2. Best comment I've seen in a daily Howler thread in a while @4:52

  3. How can Somerby say what is in that Newsmax article when he still hasn't read it himself?

  4. This idea that our tribe has its own facts is ridiculous. There are facts and misinformation/disinformation, not red facts and blue facts. A fact is a fact because it is true, not because of who believes it. Belief is independent of truth, but we will all have better lives if we can figure out how to believe what is true and disbelieve things that are not true. That's one thing education is supposed to help us do.

    Somerby is seriously mixed up about all this.

    1. Not really. Corby said last week that it was a "fact" that Manafort gave Russia polling data. To her, because of the misinformation to which she exposes herself, it is a fact. But to the rest of the world is actually not. So this is an example of what he's trying to get across to you.

    2. (Corby/mh same moron)

    3. Corby,
      The Republican Party is a death cult.

  5. We're going to need to suspend Republicans from voting, until we find out why they are so into committing voter fraud.