In a nice stroke of NBC corporate synergy, radical-left MSNBC host Rachel Maddow appeared Tuesday night on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and when the topic turned to Rush Limbaugh, Maddow insisted that it’s one thing for Rush to oppose Obama’s socialist agenda before it passes, but once it becomes law, he should salute and get behind it:
"It is one thing to say, ‘I hope that this guy's proposed policies don't pass. I hope those don't become the policies of our country.’ But once they become the policies of the country, and they are designed to save us from this economic collapse, you ought to hope they succeed, unless you are hoping for your country to suffer worse in an economic collapse. I mean, actually rooting for the failure of your own federal government is pretty creepy."
This was not Maddow's approach to the Iraq war. After discussing the Obama recovery plans and the ongoing outrage over Bernard Madoff, Leno turned to Limbaugh:
LENO: Okay. Now, Rush Limbaugh is in the news. This whole thing. And this, publicity, he's got to be loving this.
MSNBC cable-show host Rachel Maddow shares much in common with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Both are wonkish former Rhodes scholars in their mid-30s, bright and personable. Each could be perceived as a political outsider, Maddow for being openly gay, Jindal by dint of skin hue and ethnicity.
Their politics are poles apart, however, with Maddow an unabashed liberal and Jindal a staunch conservative. And that Maddow views Jindal as a threat became clear this week.
After Jindal delivered the Republican response to President Obama's address before Congress on Tuesday, he became the recipient of withering criticism from both sides of the aisle. Maddow's critique of Jindal, however, was so over the top that it bore little resemblance to what Jindal actually said --
Regardless of their actions on the stimulus plan, Republican governors are always wrong, at least according to MSNBC talk-show host Rachel Maddow.
The ardently earnest Maddow demonstrated this on consecutive nights this week, first on Tuesday when Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, was one of her guests.
Maddow described how GOP governors are split on whether to accept money for their states from the stimulus plan. Some, such as Charlie Crist of Florida and Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, want the funding while others, including Sarah Palin of Alaska and Louisiana's Bobby Jindal, are "vociferously opposed to the stimulus bill," Maddow said.
Former Guantanamo prison guard Brandon Neely's account of his experiences is "remarkable," Rachel Maddow told viewers of her MSNBC cable show Tuesday night before introducing Neely.
"And tonight, for the first time, in any broadcast interview, he is here, exclusively, to describe what he witnessed and what he personally took part in," Maddow said.
But after listening to Neely's claims, and seeing how Maddow conducted the interview, I wondered if others watching felt the same letdown -- this is an example of all the sturm and drang over Gitmo?
Let's start with the first of two incidents of alleged abuse described by Neely, who enlisted in the Army in June 2000 and was assigned guard duty at Guantanamo in January 2002 as detainees first arrived. Neely now heads the Houston chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War.
A prominent Democrat made news on MSNBC Feb. 11 with his guarantee of new financial industry regulations "comparable" to FDR's New Deal.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., appeared on MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show" Feb. 11 and told the MSNBC and Air America host that things should be done to limit what financial services can do, specifically when it comes to compensation.
"There's no question about it for the future," Frank said. "Look, there's a problem with the American system and we as liberals should be honoring this. The principle that you don't go back and do things retroactively is a very important liberal principle."
Frank "guaranteed" there would be new regulations forthcoming.
Salon.com blogger and author Glenn Greenwald is unlikely to become a fan of former Vice President Dick Cheney, safe to say.
But Greenwald's loathing for Cheney occasionally gets the better of him, as occurred on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" Wednesday night.
Maddow and Greenwald were discussing news of Cheney warning that President Obama risks letting terrorists strike with a biological or nuclear weapon if Obama reverses Bush-era policies for combating al Qaeda.
Greenwald compared protective measures ordered by Bush and Cheney after 9/11 to the worst civil liberties abuses in our nation's past (follow this link for video of the segment) --
Maddow explained how this provision had been in the bill for over 40 years, then played a portion of DeMint's speech on her Feb. 6 MSNBC show.
"Student's can't meet together in their dorms, if that dorm has been repaired with this federal money and have a prayer group or a Bible study," DeMint said in the clip Maddow played. "[S]omeone is so hostile to religion that they're willing to stand in the schoolhouse door like the infamous George Wallace to deny people of faith from entering any campus building renovated by this bill. This cannot stand."
Long-time CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl interviewed radical MSNBC host Rachel Maddow for the website Wow-o-wow.com and Maddow demonstrated her ultraliberalism by denying Chris Matthews was a liberal (just a "Democrat"), and insisting "If Chris Matthews had an Air America radio show, he’d get torn apart by our listeners...I wouldn’t put Chris and my politics in the same canoe. " While Stahl insisted that MSNBC is trying to be the "un-Fox network," Maddow claimed it’s not really liberal, it’s just trying to "find hit shows."
RACHEL: I do think that Fox is different than other networks. I mean, I think that it is a bit of a political experiment.
LESLEY: But everybody thinks MSNBC is moving in that direction. That that’s exactly what the shift is — where you are — that people there are trying to make you into the un-Fox network, the liberal place to go.
RACHEL: Well, if you think about the way that Fox was founded, though – Fox was founded by Roger Ailes. It was created from his perspective as a political operative. His background was as a Republican activist of the highest order. There’s no equivalent on MSNBC. I think MSNBC is trying to find hit shows.
Once again, inconvenient weather tosses a monkey wrench at enviro-hysteric claims of looming apocalypse, an alleged threat now entering its third decade.
Most recent example: Rachel Maddow's reporting on her MSNBC show Monday night --
Some big global warming news today. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named a special envoy today for climate change. His name is Todd Stern, he was the United States' chief negotiator for the Kyoto Protocol during the Clinton years. Now he will be America's point person at the next round of climate change talks in Copenhagen this December.
And if that's not big enough news on climate change, how about this -- it snowed in Dubai. Yeah, in the United Arab Emirates and it's not the fake, fluffy stuff they make for an indoor ski resort neither. These were big, chunky snowflakes falling on a mountain in the United Arab Emirates for only the second time in recorded history. The occurrence this weekend was so rare that local residents say they do not have a word for snow in their local dialect.
That falls into the rarely overlapping categories of, Wow! Neat!, and Wow! Worrying!
One of the few saving graces from watching "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC? Its unintended amusement value.
Such was the case Friday night when journalist and author Carl Bernstein reined in Maddow during a segment aptly titled, "Talk Me Down."
Before interviewing Bernstein, Maddow enthused about MSNBC colleague Keith Olbermann's "extraordinary" interviews with a former National Security Agency analyst turned whistleblower. Follow this link to see the seven-minute segment in its entirety; Maddow makes this assertion at 2:14 into the clip --
Building on the relative popularity of their 8pm and 9pm slots--Olbermann & Maddow, respectively--MSNBC has begun the search for a personality to fill the currently unfilled 10pm slot. 10pm is currently devoted to a replay of Olbermann's "Countdown."
Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC, is making 10 p.m. a priority now. In an interview on Tuesday in a studio on the Mall, hours after the inauguration of President Obama, Mr. Griffin said that the channel needed a third original show in its lineup.
Among President Barack Obama's abundant initial achievements -- bringing peace to Gaza by the mere specter of his looming presidency, at least according to Rachel Maddow.
Maddow's gooey reverence for Obama was on full display Monday night as her MSNBC show was broadcast live from the Mall in Washington.
Teasing an upcoming segment, Maddow made this confident assertion --
Coming up on part two of our very last Lame Duck Watch, NBC correspondent Richard Engel will join us live with the latest news from Gaza City, for the last legacy of the Bush administration abroad may be Israeli troops pulling out of Gaza literally on the occasion and because (forefinger raised for further emphasis) Barack Obama is being inaugurated tomorrow.
The man hasn't even taken office and we're already witnessing retreat.
During Tuesday morning’s inaugural coverage on MSNBC, when spectators were heard booing President Bush as he was introduced, Chris Matthews seemed to become uncomfortable and criticized the protest as "bad form," remarking, "Don’t do that. Don’t boo, don’t boo, don’t boo." But minutes later, when protesters could be heard singing "Hey, hey, goodbye," co-anchor Keith Olbermann seemed to suggest that he was only bothered by the behavior because it distracted attention from Michelle Obama’s introduction. Olbermann: "Far be it for me to have been critical of anyone critical of this President, obviously, but, unfortunately, during that demonstration, something of the introduction of Mrs. Obama was lost because people were singing the, they still are, the ‘Hey, hey,’ song from various sporting events over the year, towards the 43rd President."
Ironically, just a minute earlier, Matthews seemed to praise his network for embracing Obama’s "change," and remarked that the spectators at the inauguration were part of MSNBC’s audience.
Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the January 20 inaugural coverage on MSNBC, which aired at about 11:32 a.m.:
Look no further than New York Times columnist Bob Herbert's recent appearance on "The Rachel Maddow Show" for why its namesake should invite guests who don't share her worldview more often than the current once-monthly clip, the better to sharpen the discourse.
Herbert appeared on Maddow's MSNBC program Jan. 13 to describe why he opposes President-elect Barack Obama's plans to double US troop strength in Afghanistan from the current 30,000 soldiers.
What follows is a transcript of the conversation between Maddow and Herbert, with my criticism afterwards. Words that are italicized indicate emphasis by the speaker, words in bold represent my emphasis --
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow used the occasion of President George W. Bush's final address to suggest that he was to blame for the destruction of New Orleans as well as the felling of the World Trade Center.
In her Thursday program after the President's farewell to the nation, with a photograph of Bush in the right of the screen that included the disgusting caption "Goodbye, Good Riddance," Maddow continued with the attacks that have made MSNBC a journalistic disgrace for years.
At one point, she even scolded the President for not doing an exit interview with either her or Keith Olbermann (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
Desperately hoping to capitalize on their sole star's newfound celebrity, Air America Media has renewed Rachel Maddow's contract and given her a coveted -- and rarely seen -- single-hour radio show during morning drive.
"Rachel is a unique talent with an unlimited future," said Air America CEO Bennett Zier in an email press release. "We are delighted that Air America remains her radio home."
Maddow's morning show starts Feb. 2, its time unmentioned in the press release, simultaneous with "The Ron Reagan Program" expanding from one to three hours weekdays from 6-9 p.m., where it will absorb Maddow's current two hours in the Air America lineup.
"We're elated with Maddow's continued commitment to Air America," said Air America senior vice president Bill Hess. "As millions of Americans now know, Rachel has become a breakout star and our affiliates and listeners will continue to benefit from her wit, intelligence and insight."
You know the type -- the runner who tags early on a sacrifice fly. The pitcher who scuffs the ball for better break in his curve. The base-stealer out by a mile who spikes the shortstop.
In the ballgame of political punditry, Rachel Maddow is that kind of player. And apparently it matters little to Maddow that her team, with Obama as its captain, is way ahead in the score.
Most recent example: Maddow twice making a demonstrably false claim about remarks by President Bush in his final press conference on Monday. In previewing a segment during her MSNBC cable show that night, Maddow said this --
Today, still-President Bush insisted the federal response to Hurricane Katrina wasn't slow and that he inherited the recession.
Don't listen to folks in the media claiming conservatism is either dead or dying, for on Monday night the premiere of Fox News's "Hannity" attracted more viewers than CNN's "Larry King Live" and MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show" combined.
And, in the critical demographic of folks aged 25-54, host Sean Hannity, now flying solo without longtime co-host Alan Colmes, bested his liberal competition by wide margins suggesting that it's not just older people interested in conservative views.
Here are the specifics from TV by the Numbers.com:
On Tuesday’s Countdown on MSNBC, after a segment with the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson at the end of the program in which he and host Keith Olbermann lambasted Sarah Palin over her recent interview with Esquire magazine, the Countdown host made a crude joke at Palin’s expense as he introduced the Rachel Maddow Show. Olbermann: "But, apropos of Palin, I can’t remember who said this, but it came to mind: What’s the difference between a governor of Alaska and a pitbull? You can train a pitbull to occasionally keep its mouth closed. Do you know who said that? Because I can’t remember."
After laughing hysterically, Maddow responded: "No, I can’t. No, that’s new to me. Is that the safe thing to say here?"
Below is a complete transcript of the exchange from the Tuesday, January 13, Countdown on MSNBC:
Back in the summer of 2003, members of the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater on Cape Cod sponsored a public forum with the memorable title, "Dissent=Democracy: A Teach-In on the 'New McCarthyism' ".
Speaking as panelists were historian Howard Zinn, authors Norman Mailer, Sebastian Junger and Marge Piercy, actor and playwright Eric Bogosian, director Andre Gregory and other left wingers. The event was organized by Jeff Zinn, son of Howard and a director at the Wellfleet theater.
Yet for a public gathering devoted to "dissent" and one equating it with democracy, something was conspicuously absent when it came to the panel -- dissenters.
Here's how it was described in a story that ran in the Cape Cod Times on Aug. 8, 2003 --
The high-wattage panel of writers, artists and performers (Jeff) Zinn pulled together for the forum, the proceeds from which benefit the theater, purposely does not include people from the political right.
"They've got their own forums," Zinn says. "I'm not required to provide balance; I'm not PBS."
Jon Stewart likes to scream at video of President Bush, but when the radical left arrives on the set, it’s all hearts and flowers. Stewart interviewed MSNBC wild woman Rachel Maddow on Wednesday, and he was so gooey and positive, it sounded like he was going to ask for a date. He began: "Our pleasure to have you. Congratulations on your well-deserved success. It's a lovely program and yours is a lovely voice to have out there on the air." It’s "lovely"? Then he told Maddow she was like the pretty blond woman character on The Munsters:
STEWART: Did you ever see The Munsters?
MADDOW: Oh yeah.
STEWART: Here's what I think when I watch MSNBC. You're Marilyn.
MADDOW: Thank you. Okay.
STEWART: But everyone else over there is f—ing nuts. Now I'm not going to tell you who Herman Munster is, But I will tell you I believe Chris Matthews is the dragon who lives under the stairs.
Maybe Rachel Maddow watched one too many clips of Bill Clinton during the '92 campaign claiming George H.W. had "driven the economy into a ditch" and that things were as bad as they'd been since the Depression. In the course of trying to lower expectations for Obama to the max on her show tonight, and tracing the history of the economies previous presidents inherited, Maddow claimed that "Clinton took the oath during an economic downturn."
Uh, no. He took office in the midst of an economy that was growing at a fast pace. Don't take my word for it. "Fast pace" was the way economic growth was characterized at the time by the . . . New York Times.
During her screed last night about Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., MSNBC's Rachel Maddow made an unintentionally revealing comment --
Accountability -- every one of us who lived through the Bush administration has a measure of it as an American. Those of us who lived through it as Americans who were also members of the United States Senate, we have a big measure of it to contend with.
Yes, mon ami -- "we."
Last I checked, Maddow fulminates at MSNBC and Air America Radio but has not been elected nor appointed to the US Senate. Then again, Maddow is not a duly designated spokeswoman for the incoming Obama administration either, but this doesn't prevent her from acting as such.
MSNBC host, Rachel Maddow complained yesterday that the Obama family was stiffed by the Bush administration, because the next leader of the free world and his family, who are moving into the White House in two weeks, could not stay at Blair House due to lack of vacancies. Instead, the Obama family will stay at a fancy Washington hotel.
MADDOW: The next leader of the free world and his family arrived in DC over the weekend, and they are living in a hotel room. The Obama kids, Sasha and Malia started school today at their new school in Washington, so the family had asked to move in this weekend to Blair House which is right across the street from the White House.
Presumably a last minute replacement for the possibly NBC banned Ann Coulter, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow appeared on Tuesday's "Today" show to drop invective about the Bush administration's "torture" policies. Instead of the rousing bit of Barack Obama bashing and criticism of the fawning coverage of him by the liberal media that would've surely been delivered by Coulter, "Today" viewers were treated to the following slam of Bush policies via a Maddow defense of Obama's choice of Leon Panetta as CIA Director:
RACHEL MADDOW: Well, I think that he made a bold choice in Leon Panetta, and we have seen from Barack Obama a lot of leadership by building consensus, by making people not disagree with him about important and hot-button issues. But on Panetta that was an, "elections have consequences" moment. If you were in the Bush administration and which, with, with warrantless wiretapping and enhanced interrogation, torture. With rendition, with these other controversial policies in the intelligence community, that's not going to be a career asset. And if you were a Democratic senator in an intelligence oversight role, while all these things were happening, your objections may not be the most important thing for this new president looking to make a clean break.
Maddow appeared during the 7am half-hour where, according to the Drudge Report, Coulter was originally scheduled to have been slotted before being bumped/banned. The following is the full transcript of the Maddow segment as it was aired on the January 6, "Today" show: