TUESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2022
Last Wednesday, she mugged and she clowned: We're so old that we can remember the start of Our Own Rhodes Scholar's career in the racket called "cable news."
She got her start as a sidekick for Tucker Carlson! The leading authority on her career recalls her arrival as shown:
"In June 2005, Maddow became a regular panelist on the MSNBC show Tucker, hosted by Tucker Carlson."
Actually, Carlson's MSNBC program had a different name at that time. In real time, Larry Parnass offered a fuller account of the matter in the Daily Hampshire (Mass.) Gazette:
PARNASS (6/15/05): Broadcaster Rachel Maddow of Cummington, who got her start on [local] airwaves, is now working both ends of her day to inject a liberal perspective into the day's news.
On Monday night, Maddow, who spends her weeks in New York City, debuted as a regular panelist on a new MSNBC cable TV show, ''The Situation with Tucker Carlson.''
Maddow is now closing her weekdays with the TV program, which runs from 9 to 10 p.m. daily, after opening them with her nationally syndicated drive-time program on the Air America Radio network.
She said Tuesday she expects to appear on Carlson's program four or five nights a week. The MSNBC studios are in Secaucus, N.J., across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan.
In fairness, Carlson was substantially less ridiculous then. In total fairness, the same was true of Our Own Rhodes Scholar.
Today, the cablemates have risen to the top of the ranks in so-called cable news. Over at Fox, Carlson is the top-rated personality in the entire field. The Scholar is the highly popular, top-rated personality at MSNBC.
When Maddow was ascending to prominence, she was being sold to us liberals as Our Own Rhodes Scholar. She was just so super smart, we were persistently told.
A vast array of gong-show incidents followed. Offhand, we think of the week-and-a-half of teabagger jokes, often aimed at regular people, one of the ugliest episodes we've ever seen on cable.
We think of her ludicrous feigned incomprehension concerning her misstatement the previous day, on Meet the Press, about the gender pay gap.
We think of her claim that she only bought her first TV set because she and Susan got blackout drunk—so drunk that neither one could remember going online and ordering the infernal machine.
We think of the way she kept playing Governor Bentley's thrilling sex phone call tape, repeatedly claiming that she was embarrassed and that she'd never play the (utterly pointless) audiotape again.
There have been many other ludicrous incidents and episodes. Those four come quickly to mind. (Don't make us think about Flint.)
Sadly, the network vouched for The Scholar's ridiculous story about buying that first TV set. So it goes when someone in corporate "cable news" is exceptionally gifted at the skill of "selling the car," as it's known on corporate suites.
Maddow was sold to us as Our Own Rhodes Scholar. Steadily, she has evolved into Our Own Cable News Clown.
On a nightly basis, she provides us with tribalized entertainment, along with highly selective presentations in support of preferred Storyline. We love her for providing these gifts, much as The Others love Tucker.
The mugging and clowning are quite persistent. So is the sheer stupidity The Scholar now brings to her nightly air—and so it was last Wednesday night, during her first nine minutes.
Last Wednesday night, Our Own Rhodes Scholar may perhaps have been enjoying one of her "manic" outings. She opened with reference to a minor but pleasing news event, as did everyone else on pseudo-liberal cable that night.
She opened with that minor news event. But dear God, the wonderful, mindless fun which prevailed in the program's first nine minutes, before the fabulous cable news star even identified the evening's key event!
We'll speak this week of those first nine minutes—more precisely, of that evening's first 9:15. She mugged and clowned and misstated freely, giving us ways to feel all warm and cuddly as we tucked ourselves in for bed.
Over on Fox, her former partner may have been engaged in even more ludicrous conduct; we don't plan to go back and look. This week, we'll be talking about our own tribal star—about the product she keeps providing as she allegedly prepares to go off the air.
In that opening 9:15, she mugged and clowned and misstated facts and handed us tribal pleasure. In the next three days, we'll walk you through different aspects of that performance, recalling what Jon Stewart said:
Long ago and far away, he once told the rising star to stop all the cable news clowning. Her job was more important than his, he directly told her that night.
In that particular instance, we'd have to say Stewart was right.
At any rate, she started out as Our Own Rhodes Scholar. We were told she was just super bright.
We think you should see where this experiment has gone. Our nation is sliding into the sea, and the way we've enjoyed Our Own Clown's work is an unmistakable part of that ongoing major disaster.
Tomorrow: As she starts, an idiotic framework