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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Rachel Maddow Breaks Through; But Is it Too Late?
Posted by Melina | 3:00 PM
Move over boys; there's a new girl in town, and shes speaking truth to idiocy in the citadel of the main $cream media! Congratulations to Rachel Maddow and especially to...um...US, the American people, for her superb performance today on Meet the Press. To have an intelligent, liberal voice speaking for us in that old white men's forum is huge, and looking around the channels this morning, it seemed that those uptight white guys who run the show were especially pale today, and Monica Crowley seemed to be more of a joke than usual as the token whatever she is...idiot! Even old Eleanor, trying to shout down Uncle Pat on McLaughlin, couldn't hold up in the blinding light of what is surely Maddow's rising star.

More important is that Maddow is the real deal. She is a true-crime-glossy politics geek, who is not afraid to speak the truth and can hold her own beautifully against anyone and anything that the smartest wonk could come up with. For those of us who have followed Maddow since the late great Unfiltered in the beginnings of Air America Radio, this comes as no surprise. How long could they resist with the way the numbers in this country are actually going? After Tucker made the incredibly brave and misguided mistake of casting her against himself, thus showing how stupid he is, I actually wrote a letter to NY Magazine about how great Maddow is and it was published! I cant remember what I said but it was about how horrible Tucker is but that it was a ballsy choice. God, what a choice it was, on so many levels; and I do think that Tucker was mainly inside of his own bloated head in not realizing that he could only look bad up against her.... Cue Willie Geist, frat brother turned "producer" turned asshole pundit.

The troubling thing is that in the face of the incredible lies being spun by the fringy right, its taken this long for MSNBC to allow Rachel the chance to go head to head with the roulette wheel of wingnuts being give free reign across the airwaves.
The troubling thing is that any insane theory can be floated and the closest we've gotten to a voice of reason, besides the one profitable show, also the one island of sane, Keith Olbermann, is Chris Matthews "playing hard ball." It may make for "good" TV to have the likes of Michelle Malkin slither back with her odd predictions and her pouty mouth, or Uncle Pat spouting racism and insanity, but at a point its like shooting fish in a barrel and there is no excuse to keep Olbermann out there on his own, like hes some angry old guy reciting Murrow lines. Also, they never let Olbermann go up against the likes of these morning show regulars.

The problem is that the media looks for the elements of the story and presents it in a way that doesn't look for truth, but rather draws a simple picture that will be palatable to a wide ranging audience and advertisers. As in the health care debacle, there is a conflict so deep in the media being run by large corporate interests with their first responsibility, by law, being to their shareholders and ultimately the bottom line. But also, there is the obvious slant of entire stations towards their CEO and "owner's" political bent.

That's why its pretty funny that as the numbers don't lie, and the tide is turning, the corporate interest must be served, and there is no way that they can get around the fact that has been pointed out to America by none other than Maddow's biggest champion, Keith Olbermann; we are in the presence of a real star. As much as this must stick in the craw of every firmly entrenched media slouch out there, there is a new level of excellence out there and it goes beyond gender and a million other reasons why America might not accept Maddow as a voice of authority. But the overriding element here seems to be trustworthiness, truth and reason, all of which Maddow wields beautifully in the face of some formidable characters.

Her level of comfort with her subject gives her an ease with the camera and her surroundings, as if she was born to do this. Her humor cuts the thick air of threats being heaped upon the American people right now and allows us to think what we've been thinking, which is that things are very, very wrong out there. The words of those who would call anyone who dissents unamerican, dissolve in her bemused smile and the shake of her head, as if she is dealing with children.

Surely she had on her serious face this morning, under the spectre of being pitted against the wingnut from the land of wingnuttia, Dick Armey. David Gregory, notable only in his ability to cut the conversation off, and almost protecting Armey from himself and Maddow, was as annoying as his tweets about his hair and suits tend to be, and frail enough at hard reporting to do Tim Russert proud in the chair of the softball show of all times; the platform for McCain and his friends to run wild, and the show that will put it in writing that they wont ask you about the hookers and blow if you'll just come on! Are there any reporters out there who want to report the truth? If the fantastic claims of the wingnuts make good TV, is it still a sin to give the people what they want, even if it kills some unsuspecting fools who thought it was OK to go to a town meeting with their representatives, or ask for health care...? Isn't there a way to let these folks air their insanity in full and then allow a Rachel Maddow to hammer them until they have to answer, or start with that old chestnut, "youre badggering me, and I cant answer any questions when Im being badgered!"

The media is as complicit in the past 8 years as Cheney and the blind American public are. And now we are somehow supposed to be patient and not appear to be pushing things through too quickly, as Obama seemingly drags his feet on some very important issues; some life or death issues for alot of people. Healthcare is the issue here, as we all know, and the claims are so stupendous as to be the stuff of Soylent Green and The Island, among others.
Sure, its easier to read the talking points and to jump on board than it is to read the bill and do the research and listen to both sides. The dumbing down of the educational system has worked, but its not just that, it's that we are lazy when it comes to running our lives; we want it all on credit and we are willing to give away the country so as to hang on to more precious cash per year, even if we pay more on the other side to the doctors and insurance companies; just so long as we don't have to look at the balance sheet; just so long as we don't have to feel like the poor folks downtown are taking part of our paycheck. And all of this has been supported by a corporate media that has to answer to the advertisers and the shareholders. What's wrong with this picture?

Is the addition of Rachel Maddow to the Sunday lineup a good sign, or is it desperation by a corporation that has been forced by the numbers into doing something that it really doesn't want to do? Time will tell, and I predict that Rachel will have that seat if she wants it, or any other position at that claptrap "news station."
We owe a debt of gratitude to Olbermann for his key role in using his numbers to give a hand up to another sane voice in the wilderness. The fact that he has those numbers have been looked at as some anomoly, or we would have seen this type of programming explode...change is slow, but its coming....

You will, no doubt, see the videos of her fantastic smack down of Dick Armey (posted below, and here is the transcript.) The question that I have is why is this guy in the government, and why, even if he was elected by some stupid-heads, does he deserve a forum to spin his tales? Maddow has shown great restraint and has given these matters all serious consideration, and manages to address the concerns of the denizens of wingnuttia seriously rather than spitting her coffee all over them in hilarity, while Armey hems and haws, and blocks and weaves, changing the subject every time Maddow strikes near a nerve, with Gregory cutting off the real hammering questions necessary in these matters. So Armey walks away never having to admit the truth or answer a question in a straightforward manner, and MSNBC has its great TV, and around we go; and who is hurt by this? Why, of course, its the American people who sorely need some sort of true north in this debate. They want to be told about it because they don't want to have to read 1500 pages, (of 4 or 5 lines to a page, but still understandable, I guess,) but there is no one to trust anymore in this game.

My suggestion is to try to pick out what sounds totally off the wall and use your minds, as Olbermann said, to think about this. If you're still unsure then read about it, at least, from some reputable sources; multiple sources. And if you're still unsure then read the freakin' bill!

Here in long version, is a clip from today...check it out because it really is some good TV, and stay for the truthful information that Maddow is trying to tease out of the pompous asses surrounding her. I hope to see alot more of this sort of thing...the truth, I hear, is in style right now....

c/p RIP Coco

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Great article! I assume you do know that Dick Armey is NOT in the government, by the way (?).

Blogger Rhode Island Rules said...
I love Rachel's face in this clip as if she is smelling something putrid (which she is). No Dick Armey is NOT part of official government anymore, just like Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay, but that doesn't stop news stations from having them on for their valued opinions...cough, cough.

Rachel did well, but she definitely demurred to Conrad and Armey when they spoke over her. I realize she doesn't want to come across as too "strident" as to be labeled a bitch, but Armey was soooo condescending as he is with all women that he deserves to be manhandled.

Here is what we want...We want these assholes to be called out when they are lying. If you noticed, Armey knew full well when he had been "caught" and tried to change the subject. We want the liars to have to answer on live camera - pony up or shut up.

Rachel - just do it. We support you. You can run rings around these bloated entitlement yahoos. I want to see them melt down on camera. Now that would be must see TV!!!

Blogger Jill said...
I understand why she did it but I wish she hadn't let the "Moveon.org ran ads comparing Bush to Hitler" lie continue. For the uneducated: Moveon.org ran a contest in which they asked people to submit ads. ALL submissions were posted on the organization's web site. The "Hitler" ad (which was actually quite good) was yanked from the site as soon as the furor (heh) started and NEVER ran as an ad under the Moveon.org banner. So Armey FLAT OUT LIED. It was not relevant to health care discussion so I see why she let it go when Gregory wouldn't let her tell the truth, but it is relevant to Armey's credibility. I only hope that a lot of women were watching Armey's smug grin at filibustering Da Wimmenfolk Who Have No Business Talking Shop With the Boyz.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I don't give a damn about who said what to whom when.

Obama is NOT a leader. We need to hit Pelosi over the head with the introduction of a bill for impeachment of the president.

The wingers will support it. The evidence is there after 6 months of war crimes by this administration. I think that a lot of the more sensible Democrats will support it.

Joe Biden is not my dream president, but I simply don't see how he could be more useless than Obama.

Single payer.
End the wars.
Take care of the veterans.
Nobody starves.


Blogger Melina said...
...oh yeah, and what then?...Obama is a fine leader, but he is coming in on a mess of epic proportions. I never thought I'd agree with everything he did or didn't do...and for god's sake, our left wing is ready to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
The Bush phenomenon came about now only over the past 8 years, but the groundwork way being laid for decades...so, don't act like its gonna take 6 months to fix things.
If they cant even get to prosecuting Cheney and Bush, how can you expect for them to IMPEACH Obama!! Are you kidding?
this was the best candidate that we could get, even with 8 years to plan...and thats OUR fault.
This system is broken but you have to be willing to work on it in the first place and take the patient steps necessary to stop digging at least.
Its all horribly disappointing, and the only thing to do is to stop with your complaining rhetoric and let them know what you think in the upcoming election.

You have to have a plan in place, and your suggestions fall on deaf ears to a country that wouldn't even stop Bush and Cheney and American people who believe whatever they hear; Y'know, Obama is trying to kill grandma!

The best thing to do is to start to plan now for 8 yrs from now, when you will be able to launch your candidate who will deliver this socialist utopia that you suggest. I am in total agreement with you but I don't see it happening by us trying to start a movement to impeach Obama...The American people are just not that brave or pliable....more like, start working to get more funds into education so that the next generation wont be as stupid as their parents!

So what else you got?

Blogger Ryan said...
For God's sake Anonymous, do you expect Obama to magically clap his hands and all of our ills will be healed? Perhaps blink his eyes and all of our wants be fulfilled?

People like you do not seem to understand, we started down this road A LONG time ago and Obama just happened to run head first into it.

Give President Obama time. There is absolutely nothing he's done that would remotely require an impeachment.

God, Bush Jr did a lot more and had nothing done to him.