Sunday, June 22, 2014

TV: That awful Rachel BadFoul

Talk show host Rachel Maddow frequently confuses herself with an actress as if she were up for a lead role in a Joanie Loves Chachi reboot.  She treats life as if every day is a fresh shooting script and she can revise and rewrite the past.

This gets her into a lot of trouble.


As feminists, we're not fond of smug and preening men trying to act macho.  So why the hell would we applaud a woman for doing the same?

We don't and we won't.

Rachel Maddow speaks endlessly, trying to bully the 'listener' into submission with her run-on rants.

For example, after "good evening" on last Tuesday's show, she spoke for 1,111 words.

Then she went to a clip.

She opened the show with 1,111 words in a row after "good evening."

Who the hell wants to hear her prattle on?

As a point of reference, US President Barack Obama delivered a speech on Iraq last week that was 946 words long.

Talk show host Rachel surpassed that word count.

And after the clip that stopped her at 1,111 word?  After the clip, she prattled on for 384 more words before going to a clip.

And then she prattles after that second clip.

Guess what, all those words?

That's just set-up to get her to the topic of Iraq:

And this is all happening at the same time as Washington is trying to figure out how to process the legitimately bad news, the legitimately terrible news out of Iraq. I mean, as frustrating as it is to see somebody like John McCain cited as an authority on Guantanamo when John McCain isn`t even an authority on John McCain`s own position on Guantanamo. The reason that John McCain has been ubiquitous in the media for the past week is because he is also supposedly the Republican Party`s greatest expert on Iraq and specifically on war in Iraq. And John McCain, let the record show, John McCain was wrong about Iraq and the war in Iraq, in almost every way that a person can be wrong about something like that. He was wrong about Saddam having weapons. He was wrong about how long the war would take. He was wrong about how big the war would be. He famously said that as far as he was concerned, he thought that maybe Saddam sent the anthrax attacks. John McCain was wrong about whether there might ever be any trouble between Sunnis and Shias in Iraq. Because John McCain was so wrong about Iraq, it is frustrating to see him everywhere, right? On the Sunday shows, on the cable news shows, in the paper with reporters following him around the Capitol now. As if his previous abject and consequentially terrible failures on this exact subject somehow make him worthy of listening to the exact same subject right now. And there`s a lot of this going on right now. I mean, Iraq war architects like Kenneth Pollack and Robert Kagan are getting quoted in "The New York Times" again advocating for another Iraq war, even though the last one they designed was such a disaster. "Politico" quoting Doug Feith. Bill Kristol on ABC. Paul Bremer in "The Wall Street Journal" and on CNN and here on MSNBC. Paul Wolfowitz on MSNBC and on "Meet the Press". Judith Miller, the disgraced "New York Times" reporter the newspaper had to apologize for after they ran her bogus pro-Iraq war stories over and over and over again on the front page, helping make a national case for that war that was false. I mean, Judith Miller, literally her. Not just somebody who looks like her. There she is back on FOX News in this case making the case for Iraq war again. It is very frustrating to see that this is the way that we handle debates about foreign policy in this country. We take people who were so provably, terribly wrong and bring them back and treat them like experts on the very subject they have been so wrong about. It is maddening. Their argument for taking them seriously is to ignore everything they`ve said up to this point. For neoconservative pundits, it`s a guaranteed job security. Pushed for armed conflict and if it descends into chaos, then that`s just reason to push for more armed conflict. There are no consequences for being so wrong all the time. It is frustrating. If you have been feeling frustrated about seeing all these Iraq war architects and cheerleaders back out there doing it again with no accountability, you are not alone in your frustration.

Due to the above, we have to trudge through the sewer that is Rachel Maddow.

First, by Rachel's Rules Of Manly Conduct, she shouldn't be on the air.

Rachel was a War Cheerleader.

She can pretend otherwise now but she spent a full year on Air America radio's Unfiltered stating that the United States could not leave Iraq, saying it was The Pottery Barn rule of you break it, you bought it (she continued to repeat this lie long after Al Franken -- hosting the program that aired right after Unfiltered -- had proven that Pottery Barn has no such rule).

She couldn't find anti-war guests.  She brought on vets every week but couldn't even find vets against the war.  Air America Radio hadn't been on for two weeks before Janeane Garofalo was brining on service members against the war.

Rachel BadFoul didn't want to know about those against the war.

That was obvious during a full year of broadcasts.

So Rachel's a damn liar when she starts soapboxing and pretending that she was against the Iraq War.

But that alone wouldn't get us to write this piece -- let alone sit through her awful and static 'television' show.

Yes, she's two-faced and a hypocrite and a liar.

But most people already know that.

It's only the deeply stupid that think Rachel Maddow is honest or entertaining.

What she is would be dangerous to democracy.

She flaps her gums but never grasps how much damage she's doing.

We were against the Iraq War before it started.

And we can remember the frustration about who got on TV and who didn't, who got on the radio and who didn't, whose columns got published and whose columns didn't.

We were largely shut out of the debate, those of us against war on Iraq.

In the unethical world, the response to that is to demand to shut out others.

That is what she's calling for.

Not a dialogue, not a conversation, Rachel wants to carry out a vendetta.

She wants to shut people out of the conversation.

That's what those of us on the left objected to and now Rachel wants to repeat it but from the left.

There is no justification or excuse for that argument.

'They were wrong!'

We were against the war.

If it had all gone well, would that mean we weren't allowed to speak?

By Rachel's 'logic,' that is what it means.

But if being wrong is the rule for shutting up, shouldn't Rachel?

According to Politifact, they've found 14% of her statements to be "Half True" (which means half false so we're counting it as the lie it is), 23% were found to be "Mostly False," 23% were found to be false and 5% were found to be "Pants on Fire."

You add that up and 65% of the time Rachel is lying.

By her 'logic,' she shouldn't be on the airwaves.

But in the grown up world, most of us know that we're all wrong some of the time.  That's just the way it goes.

Now if she can find people who lied -- the way she lies 65% of the time she's on air -- that's a little different than just being wrong.

If someone knowing lied about the illegal war and this can be established, by all means keep them off the air because they're dishonest.

But dishonest and wrong are two different things.

Let's take Judith Miller, for example.

Was she wrong or was she lying?

We rate her wrong.

We rate her a bad reporter who was too quick to believe official stories.  When she was in Iraq after the start of the illegal war, she harmed the military's mission (and maybe more) by insisting that a unit basically be commandeered by her to search for chemical weapons.

There were none.

But if she was lying in her reporting, she most likely wouldn't insist on searching for them.

We understand she grew more frazzled and frantic as the chemical weapons failed to turn up.

We're not saints.  We laugh at that.

We laugh at our mental image of Judith slowly grasping, "Holy s**t! I have destroyed my own career!"

When did Kenneth Pollack lie?

Or was he just wrong?

Again, prove someone a liar and they don't belong on TV providing commentary.

But being wrong?

Say, for example, spending hours on TV insisting that a census worker was killed by racists and then having it turn out that never happened?

Well if being wrong like that got you banned from TV, Rachel wouldn't have a show now would she?

Rachel likes to pretend she's a journalist.

She's not.

She's a talk show host.

She's not a comedian, she's not a singer, she's hosting a public affairs talk show.

Yet she wants to shut people out of the debate.

That's not how a democracy works.

A democracy is a government that's responsive to (answers to) the people.

And the people can provide their oversight unless things are out in the open.

That includes in the public square where ideas and views can compete for support.

We are against Barack's plan to send more troops into Iraq.

We're against it and we can say why and we can express ourselves.

And we hope that some people will agree with us.

In fact, we hope that most people will.

But in the market place of ideas, we're fully aware we stand a chance of losing on any given issue.

We don't like that but we accept it.

It's democracy and how it works.

But it's only democracy and it's only working democracy when all ideas can compete.

Again, our voices were shut out in the lead up to the Iraq War.  Why in the world would we ever want to shut anyone else out?

Watching Rachel Maddow last week, between grimaces and shielding our eyes, we caught something else.

Rachel wants X voices shut out.

It's so unfair, she insists, that those who were right aren't on these shows, so unfair!!!!

But she's got an hour show on MSNBC Monday through Friday.

What guest did she have on last week who got it right?

She had on Condi Rice's former speech writer -- a fact she refused to inform her audience of.

That's rather strange, isn't it?

She's arguing Condi shouldn't be allowed on programs because she was wrong.  But she had the woman who wrote Condi's speeches on Monday's program -- the only guest on Monday's program -- and she never told the audience, "My guest here?  She used to write Condi's speeches."

Instead, she just identified Elise Jordan as Michael Hastings' widow.

Tuesday, she had Carne Ross on.

Here's how she misled her viewers, "He`s a former British diplomat who resigned over the war in Iraq."


He's a regular Ann Wright!

Remember Ann Wright?  State Department diplomat, retired army colonel, who resigned March 19, 2003 over the Iraq War.

Yeah, Ann did that.  Good for Carne for doing the same.

What day in 2003 did he resign now?

What's that?

He didn't resign in March of 2003?  Well the next month then.


Well when?

A year later.


It gets stranger.  He didn't resign to protest the Iraq War.

In 2007, Bruce Falconer reported for Mother Jones:

In 2004, Ross testified as much to the Butler Inquiry, a British parliamentary investigation into the misuse of pre-war intelligence. His comments were not well received by the British government, which invoked the U.K.'s Official Secrets Act to suppress the transcript of his testimony. Ross resigned from the Foreign Office in 2004 and went on to found Independent Diplomat, the world's first private diplomatic organization, which instructs representatives from underserved and underrepresented countries in how to make their voices heard. Mother Jones spoke with Ross on July 19.


They didn't like his testimony.

So he resigned.

Regardless of why, he wasn't anyone calling attention to the illegal war, trying to stop it before it started.  There's no public record of that taking place.

Then she brought on Glenn Cohen to talk about medical ethics.

Wednesday, she had Barton Gellman on.

He wasn't 'right' about the illegal war.

He was a reporter for The Washington Post and, as a reporter, he wasn't voicing opinions on the war.  Columnists can, reporters are supposed to strive towards appearing impartial.

Thursday's men didn't include anyone who called out the Iraq War.

Friday, no Iraq, but three male guests.

There should be a special circle of media hell for women who host shows that refuse to make at least half their guests women.

1 out of 9 guests on The Rachel Maddow Show is how it works out for women.

Again, there should be a special circle of media hell for women who host shows that refuse to make at least half their guests women.

If she had booked women in equal number (or even just more than one), she could have booked Ann Wright.  Or Janeane Garofalo.

In fact, no one, male or female, put it on the line the way Janeane did back then.  She went anywhere that would have her -- including Fox News -- to say, "Going to war on Iraq would be a huge mistake."

Janeane was right.

And yet Rachel won't book her or anyone else who spoke out against the Iraq War before it started?  Rachel will whine that those who were for it (and Rachel was for it) are still being interviewed and penning columns but Rachel won't invite the ones who were right onto her program?

It makes no sense at all until you grasp that a 1,111 word opening monologue each night requires she speak about something, anything.  And she needs to rail and bully so she'll say anything.

And whether what she says is true or false may matter to Polifact but Rachel could care less.

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