OUR RHETORIC, OURSELVES: We watched Rachel Maddow last night!

TUESDAY, MAY 24, 2022

Dissembling all the way down: In fairness, no—it wasn't exactly "rhetoric."

That said, we watched Rachel Maddow last night. At present, Monday is her one night on the air.

We watched Maddow's performance. We'd have to say that what we saw was dissembling all the way down.

Maddow has always been like this. The extent of the harm to our failing blue tribe—to our transparently failing nation—would be hard to overstate.

Maddow is currently on a type of "hiatus," performing just one night per week on our own tribe's corporate cable. According to widespread reports, she is being paid $30 million per year by NBC to engage in this hiatus.

What is she doing when she's not on the air? Pathetically, this is what the AP (and many others) originally reported:

BAUDER (1/31/22): Rachel Maddow, MSNBC’s most popular personality, said Monday she will be taking a hiatus from her prime time show until April to work on a new podcast and that a movie is being made of her first book and podcast about former Vice President Spiro Agnew.

“Change is good,” she said on her show. “Change is absolutely terrifying, but in this case it’s good.”

She said she’s going to help out with the movie of “Bag Man” on former President Richard Nixon’s disgraced vice president, to be directed by Ben Stiller and produced by “Saturday Night Live” executive producer Lorne Michaels.

At present, our "most popular personality" is back on the air, but only one night per week. 

Elsewhere, she's working on a crucial project—a film about Nixon's disgraced vice president, an early propagandist and low-dollar crook—a fellow who was forced out of office forty-nine years ago and was never heard from again.

Try to understand:

Inflation is wildly out of control; parents can't find formula for their babies; Central Europe is being devoured by a vicious, ugly war; crime rates are on the rise; President Biden may be having trouble explaining about Taiwan; and needless to say, immigration.

In the face of these disasters (and many others), Maddow is off in La La Land, feeding her deeply disordered need to locate and showcase the moral depredations of The Others. 

She lost her perspective long ago, to the extent that she ever had it. Still and all, Hollywood fame!

Last night, we were appalled by the non-stop dissembling with which she opened her program. Could NBC possibly pay her $60 million per year to stay off the air for all time?

As for the TV star herself, she chuckled and smiled and mugged and clowned all through last night's opening segment. As part of the entertainment nd tribal reassurance package, she didn't hesitate to tell us that it concerned someone with a funny name:

"Congressman Barry Loudermilk! I mean, one of the most amazing names in Congress by the way, right? Barry Loudermilk! Yeah!"

So she said at 9:12 P.M. Eastern, rolling her eyes as she did. By now, this TV star's spectacular dumbness seems to observe no limits of any kind.

MSNBC has been slow-walking transcript production for months. We take it as fairly obvious why the network is doing this.

We aren't going to do the transcribing which would let us discuss last evening's reams of selective presentation. But we can certainly tell y ou this about the crumbling state of American "journalistic" culture:

At the highest ends, the rewards are too damn high.

We first told you many years ago. You can't have a middle-class democracy with a multimillionaire press corps. 

The wealth and the fame attract the wrong people to start with. To the extent that sensible people end up landing the superstar jobs, you'll see a very strong tendency for them to lose their way—to abandon their principles and their dignity—as their corporate careers continue.

Those who resist disappear forever. They're never heard of again.

Maddow had limited judgment right from the start—but that was mixed with a tremendous ability to "sell the car." She's been selling the car—more precisely, the fully-loaded model known as The Maddow—ever since the fall of 2008, and most of us in our blue tribe are unable to see the problem with what she endlessly does.

Quite routinely, The Others can't see the obvious flaws with their own "cable news" gods. At this time of tribal war, we can't see the flaws with Ours.

Last night, it wasn't exactly rhetoric. It was something worse.

Tomorrow: Back to our tribe's sorry rhetoric?


  1. The millionaire talking heads are paid by the billionaire corporations to propagandize for corporations.

  2. "OUR RHETORIC, OURSELVES: We watched Rachel Maddow last night!"

    It is inappropriate for Somerby to adopt the title of a feminist book about women's health (from the 1970s), 'Our Bodies, Ourselves,' in order to spew his hatred of Rachel Maddow.

    1. From Wikipedia:

      "Our Bodies, Ourselves is a book about women's health and sexuality produced by the nonprofit organization Our Bodies Ourselves (originally called the Boston Women's Health Book Collective). First published in 1970, it contains information related to many aspects of women's health and sexuality, including: sexual health, sexual orientation, gender identity, birth control, abortion, pregnancy and childbirth, violence and abuse, and menopause. The most recent edition of the book was published in 2011. The book was revolutionary in that it encouraged women to celebrate their sexuality, including chapters on reproductive rights, lesbian sexuality, and sexual independence.[1] The move towards women's active engagement with their actual sexual desires was contradicting the popular gendered myth of "women as docile and passive," and "men as active and aggressive" in a sexual relationship."

      It should be obvious from this description, what a deliberate insult it is for Somerby to grab the title of this important feminist book in order to viciously attack Rachel Maddow, someone who exemplifies feminist progress as the first gay woman to be a prominent and successful cable news host, author and political commentator. That this is occurring in the context of the brief reversing Roe v. Wade, makes the insult to women greater.

      This is, of course, deliberate. It reveals what a cheap snot Somerby is. It clearly shows his misogyny and hatred of women, even more than when he said that Chanel Miller shouldn't have gotten drunk if she didn't want to be raped.

      Whatever respect Somerby once earned for pointing out press malfeasance during Gore's presidential campaign is surely gone with this kind of crap. Today, only conservative trolls defend Somerby. And this crap today is an example why.

  3. "According to widespread reports, she is being paid $30 million per year by NBC to engage in this hiatus."

    1. There are no "widespread reports" that she is being paid $30 million to go on hiatus. That is a lie.

    2. Maddow is obviously being paid $30 million a year to perform whatever role she is currently occupying on MSNBC one night a week, not to be absent from it.

    3. Maddow is hugely popular. Without her, ratings for the timeslot (occupied by Ali Velshi) have already dropped 26%.

    Somerby's hatred of Rachel Maddow doesn't excuse his lies about her.

    1. I don't like her show at all.

  4. "Inflation is wildly out of control; parents can't find formula for their babies; Central Europe is being devoured by a vicious, ugly war; crime rates are on the rise; President Biden may be having trouble explaining about Taiwan; and needless to say, immigration."

    Somerby is majorly confused. Maddow is not the president of the US, she does not hold any role in government. IT IS NOT HER JOB to deal with these national problems. News will go on and the planet will turn no matter when she decides to retire or take on other challenges. When Jon Stewart left the Daily Show to do a movie, Somerby didn't complain. Trevor Noah took over and has been doing fine. Presumably, so has Jon Stewart. The case is the same for Maddow. She has the right to go on with her life too.

    And notice the paradox of Somerby claiming that she is horrible on air, but then excoriating her for leaving in the midst of national crises. He needs to make up his mind whether he wants her to stay or thinks she must go -- as he has called for her to be fired on numerous occasions.

    Today, he is just being a huge asshole. He cannot find anything to hit her with, so he complains about her leaving after telling her to go. What a confused, sad old man Somerby has become!

  5. "We first told you many years ago. You can't have a middle-class democracy with a multimillionaire press corps. "

    Yes, Somerby said this, but he didn't explain why. We have a first-rate baseball team whose members are paid multi-millions and it doesn't seem to affect their playing at all! I don't think our movie stars are worse actors because of their salaries.

    Paying someone a high salary would tend to discourage payoffs and bribes (they don't need them if they are rich), assuming that would corrupt journalists -- although there is no evidence they are corruptible that way. Does Somerby think Maddow has been going easy on anyone because of her salary? I have never seen Somerby make that case, or show any sign of other corruption. He just complains because she mugs on camera -- and that really seems like a matter of style, not malfeasance.

    But she is at the head of Somerby's shitlist. Ahead of Don Lemon and Jamelle Bouie and Joy Reid and Ta-Nehisi Coates, and all the various female journalists on the NY Times and the female professors who are interviewed on cable news, and the female professors and authors who Somerby grits his teeth while watching, because there is clearly something about being female, on-air and successful that bothers the heck out of Somerby.

    Meanwhile, today Somerby is spewing vitriol without substance, because he has given up transcribing anything and won't tell us what Maddow did wrong yesterday. We suspect it was nothing much. Because she doesn't do that bad a job. It seems to be her very existence that Somerby considers a crime -- and that is what bigotry looks like.

  6. "The wealth and the fame attract the wrong people to start with. "

    Maddow has a bachelor's degree in public policy from Stanford University and a doctorate in political science from Oxford University. Her thesis is titled HIV/AIDS and Health Care Reform in British and American Prisons. She has written three books, one on the role of the US Military in American politics and one on the influence of oil on foreign relations, the third was Bagman, about Nixon's VP's corruption. Somerby doesn't consider corruption in government to be an interesting subject these days -- why not, with all that is going on with Trump's children and his other greedy appointees during his term in office? Maddow has also won several Emmy awards.

    So, who is Somerby to say that she is the "wrong kind of person" and only attracted by her high salary? Obviously, Somerby cannot see how impossibly petty this tirade is making his seem, how small a man he looks when he writes this stuff.

  7. Many media liberals have crossed the line into out and out lying and deception. Remember, a court found that Maddow's show consists of exaggeration, hyperbole, and pure opinion, and therefore her viewers don't assume what she says is factually true even when she uses the language of certainty and truth when presenting them.

    That is some crazy stuff. Tucker Carlson used the same defense a year later.

    Corporate liberals and conservatives are liars.

    1. Even children can tell the difference between opinion and fact. Not you though.

  8. The people who scorn wealth are those who have it. Those without money apreciate its importance in supplying the necessities of material security. Somerby likely has plenty to live on, so he can joke that journalists don’t deserve to be paid. Today Somerby blames the inequalities of capitalism on Rachel Maddow when he himself could start the trend by giving away his retirement nestegg to charity. If cable news hosts are overpaid, so are standup comedians. Everyone is probably overpaid except teachers.

    Somerby hasn’t complained about doctors being overpaid since covid started. Where is his journalistic integrity?

  9. This is why we need Rachel Maddow to be paid big bucks:

    From Driftglass: "So, for the past several years (decades, if we're being honest, but I don't want to get into a whole thing just now) the most important domestic news story, bar none, has been the Republican party finally coming fully out of the closest as a fascist white nationalist cult that is trying to destroy our democracy.

    Almost every other story involving politics in this country -- the theft of a SCOTUS seat by Mitch McConnell, the insurrection, the rise of Tucker Carlson, the election, administration and renomination of Donald Trump, the blithe acceptance Republicans in congress will block everything, the no-holds barred Republican assault on voting rights, the no-holds barred Republican assault on abortion rights, the invention and propagation of the CRT lie, the Replacement Theory lie, the Don't Say Gay stuff, the blood-libel hysteria over the imaginary burning of imaginary fetuses to power streetlights, and on and on and on -- can all be subsumed under the general heading of "The Republican party is fascist white nationalist cult that is trying to destroy our democracy".

    You know it. I know it. And tens of millions Democrats know it."

    And Rachel Maddow knows it too. And when she is paid $30 million per year to do her show, she can tell the American public the truth, because her $30 million insulates her from economic pressure that might otherwise prevent her from telling the truth about Republicans.

    And that is why Somerby attacks her so frequently, without any actual reason, except that she has blown his cover. And no, the liberals are not just as bad as the conservatives. Not even close.

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    1. Q. How many Right-wing accusations are really confessions?
      A. All of them Katie.