Maddow's Response to News of Recession: Irrational Exuberance

Hey gang, didya hear the news? It's official, according to Rachel Maddow on MSNBC -- we're in a recession!

Maddow could barely contain her mirth on her cable show Monday in conveying word of the National Bureau of Economic Research reporting that the economy officially dropped into recession last December.

Here's how Maddow described it --

It may not seem like news to learn as we did officially today that the United States economy is in recession. For months now things have seemed really quite recession-like, even to the non-economists among us. But the rules of economic progrostication dictate that only a select group of economics gurus can officially declare that a recession is underway. Today that very special group, the National Bureau of Economic Research, made it official -- America, you are in recession. And according to the experts, it started last December. Now for most of us, this is not shocking information. Some folks, however, were a little bit behind the curve on this one.

Maddow then showed video clips from the last year of three public figures denying the US was in recession -- President Bush, back in April; White House budget director Jim Nussle in July; and White House press secretary Dana Perino in October.

Back to Maddow --

Yeah, each of those statements came during what is now officially known, from the mountains to the valleys, as the current recession! 

You stay classy, Maddow. I half-expected her to break into song, this one in particular.

It's not just that Maddow comes across as brimming with schadenfreude at news of economic misery. She also ignores good news, especially when it comes to Iraq.

Most recent example: The juxtaposition of Maddow waxing apocalyptic last week of a fall-of-Saigon style rout of the US military in the absence of a status of forces agreement between the US and Iraq by Dec. 31.

The Iraqi parliament approved the agreement Thanksgiving Day, fittingly enough, and by a three-to-one margin. Sigh ... so much for another Saigon. Hey, we still have Afghanistan. You never know, things might go horribly wrong there.

Due to the holiday weekend, Maddow was away from MSNBC and Air America Radio until Monday. And MSNBC viewers whose news consumption is limited to Maddow's show have yet to learn of Iraqi lawmakers approving the agreement, since Maddow never mentioned it Monday and Tuesday (although she did on Air America Radio -- why the disparity?).

Another example -- Maddow's blatant distortion back in September of President Bush announcing withdrawal of 8,000 American troops by February. To Maddow's selective ears, Bush said 8,000 troops would not return home until February.

The difference in what the president stated (and put in effect) and Maddow's errant interpretation is significant, especially if you are among the 8,000 soldiers or their loved ones waiting anxiously at home.

Better still, it appears unlikely that any of our troops will be fleeing Baghdad on New Year's Eve clinging desperately to a helicopter, Maddow's hyperventilating to the contrary.

Jack Coleman
Liberated ex-liberal from the People's Republic of Massachusetts