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:
Listening to Rachel Maddow's criticism of Israel for the conflict in Gaza, I was reminded of a cartoon I saw years ago when World War II was still vividly within memory for many Americans.
The cartoon showed a German having built what he expected to be a toy, with the empty box and its assembled contents beside him and a friend standing nearby. The man turned to his friend in exasperation and said -- No matter what they send out, it always ends up a machine gun.
Maddow is like the postwar German industry of the cartoonist's premise -- not much versatility in the product line. Regardless of circumstances leading to renewed conflict in the Middle East, her deconstruction of reality places only Israel on the trigger end of a smoking gun, and guilty for whatever actions led to its use.
Here's what Maddow imparted to her Air America Radio listeners on Monday --
What could have been a fairly apolitical "Career Do's and Don'ts from 2008" retrospective has become an exhibit of how liberal media bias is ubiquitous in digital media. E-mail tipster John Genin informed us of how Yahoo! HotJobs writer Tom Musbach cited liberal heros Barack Obama and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow as worthy of emulation while citing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's wardrobe non-scandal as a warning against corporate expense accounts.:
With the U.S. presidential election and the Olympics as major highlights of 2008, politicians and athletes had a major influence on this year's list of career lessons from high-profile figures.
As demonstrated in the examples below, everyone has career highs and lows, with some more public than others. But learning from them is the key to success. Below are six do's and don'ts that can help your career advancement in the coming year.
1. DO stay focused on achieving your goals, despite adversity or distractions. President-elect Barack Obama succeeded in one of the most lengthy and public of all hiring processes, in part because he kept his cool and kept his eyes on the prize. Another great example of this principle is Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, who won a record eight gold medals in Beijing.
For a left winger who loves the word "nuanced," Rachel Maddow of MSNBC and Air America Radio struggles with simple analogies.
The unacknowledged Democratic agitprop mouthpiece seized on news of Toyota projecting its first operating loss since 1938 as evidence that unsustainable labor and legacy costs are not to blame for Detroit's malaise.
Here's what Maddow said on her radio show Dec. 22 --
The only things certain in life are death and taxes, Franklin famously observed.
To which I'd add a third possibility, one qualifying at least for the status of near-certainty -- liberals condemning what they consider revisionist history, followed by them engaging in it.
It's gotten to the point that I can set my watch for examples of this, weeknights on MSNBC during "The Rachel Maddow Show."
On Tuesday's show, Maddow once again criticized what she perceives as President Bush and Vice President Cheney rewriting the rationale for the US-led invasion of Iraq. Helping Maddow along was author Ron Suskind, a Pulitzer Prize winner who has written three books on the Bush administration.
Here's where Suskind makes the most ludicrous claim about Iraq in recent memory --
"Five pages into Goldman's earnings report this week, Bloomberg News noticed Goldman's very subtle announcement that the firm's effective tax rate this year was 1 percent," Maddow said. "One percent - they paid 1 percent in taxes. Even though they were down this last quarter, they made $2.3 billion in profit this year."
Must have been that full moon. Or "fool full moon" as Rachel Maddow stumbled in referring to it.
If the Newseum is accepting suggestions for exhibits, a possibility comes to mind -- the Pantheon of Unfortunate Punditry. First submission -- Maddow's hilarious revisionism of Herbert Hoover on her MSNBC show Friday. I've watched the segment several times, each time in awe at Maddow's supreme confidence, unrivalled since Ted Baxter in his heyday. I plan to preserve it for posterity, to share with my children as a cautionary tale -- This is what happens when a person makes an utter fool of herself in public.
Maddow told of Vice President Dick Cheney visiting Capitol Hill earlier in the week and warning congressional Republicans that if the GOP blocks the auto bailout, "... We will be known as the party of Herbert Hoover forever," according to the Los Angeles Times.
MSNBC has banished the last bastion of objectivity from its line-up of evening hosts. The network has announced that David Shuster [file photo] will be replacing David Gregory as host of '1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.' [H/t Mike Allen's Political Playbook.] Gregory, his pending Meet The Press appointment no doubt in mind, had been on his best behavior while hosting 1600. Shuster will be under no such constraints.
Though there's not a ruble's worth of difference between their politics, I normally find Rachel Maddow a kinder, gentler, smarter version of Keith Olbermann. Not tonight. Granted, the Countdown host was on hiatus. But even if Olby had been around, he would have been hard-pressed to outdo Maddow for sheer silliness.
The preposterous proposition Rachel propounded? Republicans just don't want Americans to make good wages. That's how Maddow in part explained the decision of Senate Republicans to oppose the Big Three bailout.
Yes -- "perhaps." Hard to believe there are people who harbor doubts about this. Not so shocking to learn they dwell on the left side of the aisle.
Former "Wonkette" blogger Ana Marie Cox, a contributor to Time magazine and The Daily Beast, appeared on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show last night to discuss, among other things, a Los Angeles Times story about Bush cabinet members receiving talking points on accomplishments they can cite from the 43rd president's tumultuous tenure.
Two of the achievements cited are that Bush has "kept the American people safe" since 9/11 and the president's work to curb AIDS in Africa. Maddow and Cox take it from here --
Rachel Maddow is on a mission -- to stop what she perceives as egregious revisionism when it comes to the war in Iraq. And if Maddow has to engage in the real thing to indulge her outrage, all while airbrushing away the ominous decade between the Persian Gulf war and 9/11, so be it.
The media's fave lefty mouthpiece of the moment has been in high dudgeon, her indignation initiated by Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard describing the so-called "Bush Legacy Project."
On her MSNBC show Dec. 3, Maddow showed a clip of Bush's interview with Charles Gibson of ABC News where Bush said "the biggest regret of all the presidency has to have been the intelligence failure in Iraq." Many people "put their reputations on the line" that Saddam Hussein's suspected possession of WMD justified an invasion, Bush said, and "it wasn't just people in my administration." This is "not a do-over," Bush added, but "I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess."
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.
Alas, lamented lefty pundit Rachel Maddow of Air America Radio and MSNBC, President-elect Obama may pursue a 9/11 commission-type inquiry into alleged crimes of the Bush administration instead of full-blown show trials.
Maddow also demonstrated her odd predilection toward condemning Bush officials as guilty who've yet been charged with anything, much less convicted, while wringing her hands over the fate of horribly misunderstood terrorists such as Salim Hamdan, bin Laden's "driver."
Here's what Maddow said on her radio show Monday, initially referring to the death of a high-level al Qaeda operative in Pakistan --
Did you know that not a single American soldier was killed in combat last month in Iraq?
(Updated with correction:October marked the first month since the battle of Baghdad in April 2003 in which an American soldier was not killed in combat in the Iraqi capital).
I didn't, at least not until last week, what with the mainstream media's post-surge interest in Iraq dwindling in proportion to the prospect of a US debacle.
Yet even with conditions in Iraq improving by the month, some observers on the Left can't refrain from invoking apocalyptic outcomes for the conflict.
Here's what one of them, Rachel Maddow of Air America Radio and MSNBC, said on her radio show Thursday about the proposed status of forces agreement between the US and Iraq that would allow an ongoing presence for American troops after a UN mandate expires Dec. 31 (click here for audio) --
Is MSNBC being rewarded for having backed Obama? That's what Jim Pinkerton suggests. On this evening's Fox News Watch, the columnist and New America Foundation fellow cited the news that GE Capital, a subsidiary of MSNBC's parent company GE, has received a $139 billion government loan guarantee.
Host Jon Scott opened this evening's show opened with a clip of Chris Matthews [in a story that NB was first to report], saying that he saw as his "job" making the Obama presidency a success. Pinkerton unloaded.
By definition, projection is revealing of what lurks in a person's heart and mind. Arianna Huffington projected tonight, and what she revealed wasn't pretty. So much so, that even her liberal host hastened to diassociate herself from the HuffPo editor. Huffington, grossly misquoting Grover Norquist's famous line about doing away with government, added an infanticidal twist.
Huffington was a guest on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show. The two shed crocodile tears about the diminished state of the Republican party. It was in suggesting that, of all things, she and Maddow should head up a Marshall Plan to save the GOP that Huffington engaged in that ugly bit of projection.
Most recent unintentionally hilarious moment on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC cable show -- her interview with Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie over the upcoming recount in the Senate race between incumbent Republican Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger/reformed court jester Al Franken.
The interview on Wednesday night's show began innocuously enough, with a news caption at the bottom of the screen identifying Ritchie.
Ritchie described the mechanics of the looming recount, which is triggered by state law for margins of victory less than one-half percentage point. The next news caption read, "Sen. Norm Coleman (R) Has 206 Vote Lead Over Challenger Al Franken (D)" (albeit all in capital letters, as with all the captions).
Then came this eye-opener of a caption, presented as fact as with the preceding two when it is an allegation and a kneejerk one at that -- "Before Recount, GOP Trying To Smear Minnesota Secretary of State."
Sayswho ...? All that was needed to make this bird capable of flight were two more words ... "Democrats allege."Adding that, however, might convey an attempt by MSNBC to appear fair and balanced, the last thing its goo-goo viewership wants.
On Monday night’s edition of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, radical MSNBC/Air America talk show host Rachel Maddow rehashed the antiquated argument that since conservatives do not believe in the existence of government, they should not be allowed to run the government: "I like vegans, but it’s like letting a vegan be your butcher. If you have somebody that is really against the idea of providing you the service that you have hired them for, they are going to be bad at providing that service." (Vegans are the most ardent vegetarians, the ones that don't even consume animal products like milk or eggs.)
Typically letting his conservative disguise slip, Colbert joked that Hurricane Katrina was a Bush success, since they wanted to show "the government was able to do nothing."
Wearing the kind of thick nerdy glasses that advertise her self-described reputation as a "policy dork," Maddow was half-joking that she believes in government, that "we only have one and we should try to make it a good government," sparking this exchange:
Just after MSNBC declared an Obama victory in the 11pm hour Eastern time on Tuesday night, the liberal network's tributes to the history (and the defeat of prejudice and the "right wing") flowed naturally.
Keith Olbermann proclaimed: "You've seen those videotapes of Walter Cronkite, the night that man landed on the moon for the first time, when Neil Armstrong stepped out, and he could just barely get out monosyllables. Politically, that's what this is. This is man on the moon."
Rachel Maddow compared it to the Emancipation Proclamation: "Slaves built our national capital, that slavery built the firmament of so much of what we think of as the great founding of this nation. And to have, essentially, to have a moment that means this much that you can put alongside the Emancipation Proclamation in our history, in terms of what the idea of America is, and what the relationship of what Americans are to one another, so we can speak to the world with a clearer voice. I mean, it’s sort of worth crying about."
By the second half of Rachel Maddow's interview with Barack Obama last night on MSNBC, the question Maddow kept avoiding became conspicious.
Surely the earnest MSNBC cable host would ask Obama something, anything about Iraq.
After all, Iraq is the main reason Obama became the Democrats' candidate for president and not Clinton, not Biden, Edwards or Kerry. They all voted for the war and later tried in vain to explain it away. Angry McGovernites who regained control of the party would have none of it and wasted little time anointing Obama presumptive nominee right out of the gate in Iowa.
Take Iraq out of the equation and Obama's just a freshman senator still summoning the nerve to ask McCain the time of day.