TUESDAY, MARCH 21, 2023
These are the hacks we have chosen: Last evening, at 9 P.M., former Rhodes scholar Rachel Maddow emerged from the company clowncar.
We thought her lengthy opening segment was the dumbest segment ever. Just like that, her second segment arrived, and it was even worse.
After tumbling out of the car, what did the former Rhodes scholar dispense in that second segment? On the surface, she seemed to be trying to explain why Donald J. Trump hasn't (yet) been charged for those payments to Stormy Daniels.
If Michael Cohen pled guilty to federal crimes in this matter, why hasn't Trump ever been hit with similar federal charges? On the surface, that's the question the orange-shoed star was attempting to answer last night.
On the surface, Maddow was responding to three GOP committee chairmen. They have now claimed that the Justice Department must have decided that Trump had, in fact, committed no crime in the hush money matter. In response, our silliest child started out offering this:
MADDOW (3/20/23): The New York investigation into the Trump campaign having this hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, it did start on the federal level. It was the U.S. Justice Department through SDNY, through the U.S. Attorney's office in the Southern District of New York, that prosecuted Michael Cohen for his role in the hush money scheme, and they got him to plead guilty.
But even though federal prosecutors said they had evidence that Michael Cohen committed that crime at the direction of President Trump and for the benefit of President Trump, they never charged President Trump, and that was sort of flummoxing for a long time. But we do now, with the benefit of hindsight, we do have clarity of how that came to pass.
That's the way the clown show started. It got world-class dumb after that.
To make it harder for outsiders to comment on behaviors like this, MSNBC stopped providing transcripts of its TV shows last year. Below, we'll show you how you can watch our silliest child as she continued this historically stupid performance on last evening's program.
Below, we'll give you a link. For now, we'll direct you to MaddowBlog's Steve Benen, reporting Maddow's "logic" in an equally ridiculous piece of work.
Benen is thoroughly capable. It's very, very hard to believe that he offered this in good faith:
BENEN (3/21/23): As Rachel explained on last night’s show, it’s true that this case was initially a federal case, initiated by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. In fact, they’re the ones who prosecuted Michael Cohen, who paid Stormy Daniels in the hush money scandal.
At that point, did federal prosecutors conclude that the case was simply over and walk away? Not exactly. What they actually found was that Cohen acted at Trump’s direction and to Trump’s benefit.
Why didn’t prosecutors pursue the matter further? According to Geoffrey Berman—the Trump-appointed U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York, who wrote a book about his experiences—it’s because there was political interference from other Trump appointees who ordered prosecutors to end their investigation.
Indeed, according to Berman’s book, then-Attorney General Bill Barr not only intervened in the case, he tried to kill the ongoing investigation and even suggested that Cohen’s conviction should be reversed.
The GOP committee chairs wrote yesterday that federal prosecutors “determined that no additional people would be charged alongside Cohen,” but they conveniently overlooked why they made that determination.
It wasn’t because of a thorough review of the law; it was because Trump’s attorney general told them to stop—because in the previous administration, the brazen politicization of federal law enforcement was the norm.
Benen did in fact give a faithful account of Rachel's "explanation." For the sake of simplicity, let's assume that everything said so far is correct.
If everything said so far is correct, this explains why Trump wasn't charged with a federal crime in the hush money matter as of January 20, 2021. But uh-oh:
After January 20, 2021, Bill Barr was no longer in charge of the Justice Department!
Duh! After January 2021, Joe Biden's appointees were in charge of the Justice Department! And as Rachel's good friend Nicolle Wallace angrily notes five times a week, twenty-six months have now passed, and the Merrick Garland Justice Department hasn't charged Trump with a federal crime in this matter any more than the Bill Barr DOJ did.
Every single day of the week, Wallace rails against this inexplicable failure on the part of the cowardly Garland. Maddow may be off in LaLa Land, but it's very, very hard to believe that Benen doesn't know such things as that.
Maddow has been such a clown for so long that it's always possible that her absurdly triumphant performance last night resulted from genuine cluelessness. But in her ridiculous performance, she only explained why Trump hadn't been charged with a federal crime in the hush money case as of January 20, 2021.
She failed to explain why the Merrick Garland DOJ also hasn't charged him. She didn't show the slightest sign of knowing that this question is being asked, every day, on her own "cable news" channel—and by one of her very best "friends!"
Every blue voter is being insulted when the corporate suits at MSNBC keep putting this crap on the air. It's very, very hard to believe that Benen's post was offered in good faith. Maddow has been so nutty for so long that it's hard to make a similar assessment.
As best we can tell, the Maddow Show hasn't posted videotape of this performance. We can't say that we blame them for that. If our cash cow offered a similar commentary, we wouldn't rush to post it either.
That said, we thought we'd seen the world's dumbest segment as of 9:24 last night, when Maddow's first segment mercifully reached its end. After a few commercial messages, Rachel came back on the air and topped her previous effort.
Why hasn't the Biden / Garland Justice Department charged Trump with a crime in the matter of the "hush money" payments? Is it possible that they don't think a sustainable federal charge can be drawn from Trump's behavior?
We don't know the answer to that, but Hacks Like Ours produce performances like Maddow's. They aim such works at Marks Like Us, assuming we'll come back for more.
None of this has a thing to do with whatever Alvin Bragg is going to do in Gotham. But Maddow has been doing this sort of thing forever, mugging and clowning in ways that help us learn how to love her even more.
Last night's first segment was equally stupid. To watch this entire show, you can click here for the Internet Archive's recording of the nonsense.
Her work was blindingly stupid last night. If we might borrow from Don Corleone, these are the hacks we have chosen.