Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Another Broken Reed ~ Rachel Maddow

She ain't kidding - and in more ways than one!

From investigative journalist Robert Parry's excellent piece:
When ‘Disinformation’ Is Truth, yesterday. It begins:
The anti-Russian McCarthyism that has spread out from the United States to encompass the European Union, Canada and Australia has at its core an implicit recognition that neoliberal economics and neoconservative foreign policy have failed.

Later in the piece, under section heading New McCarthyism and Maddow:
But it appears now that many liberals and even progressives are so blinded by their hatred of Trump that they haven’t thought through the wisdom of their new alliance with the neocons — or the fairness of smearing fellow Americans as “Putin apologists.”

Meanwhile, mainstream news organizations have abandoned even the pretense of professional objectivity in their propagandistic approach toward anything related to Russia or Trump. For instance, I would defy anyone reading The New York Times’ coverage of Russia to assess it as fair and balanced when it is clearly snarky and sneering.

It also turns out that this New McCarthyism has become profitable for its leading practitioners. The New York Times reported on Monday that the ratings for MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow are soaring with her frequent anti-Russian rants.

“Now, rattled liberals are surging back [to network television], seeking catharsis, solidarity and relief,” the Times wrote, citing a Kentucky woman explaining why she has become a devotee of Maddow: “She’s always talking about the Russians!”

Frankly, for the past dozen years, I’ve wondered about Maddow. I first heard her on the radio in August 2005 when she was a summer fill-in at Air America reporting on President George W. Bush’s Katrina fiasco, which she partly blamed on the deployment of Louisiana National Guard units to Iraq, so they couldn’t help evacuate flooded New Orleans.

It was clear that Maddow was talented and her excoriation of the Iraq War was on point, although – by summer 2005 – it didn’t require a huge amount of journalistic courage to slam Bush over the Iraq War. As I watched her career rise through a regular Air America gig to her show on MSNBC and then to stardom as an anchor on the network’s election coverage, I always wondered whether she would put her lucrative corporate acceptance at risk and go against the grain at a tough journalistic moment.

Now, Maddow’s behavior in becoming a modern-day mainstream-media Joe McCarthy has put my doubts to rest. She is riding high in the ratings by keeping her whip hand coming down hard on the bash-Russia steed. She is putting her career or her politics ahead of journalism.

Like so many other Democrat/liberal/neocon activists, Maddow not only ignores the evidentiary gaps in the Russia-did-it conspiracy theory but she seems oblivious to the dangers of her opportunism. By stirring up this McCarthyistic frenzy, she and her “never-Trump” allies make a rational policy toward nuclear-armed Russia nearly impossible. Thus, she is contributing to the real risk of a hot war with Russia that could lead to the annihilation of life on the planet.

So Ms Maddow, in my estimation too, has traced a downward spiral since 2008, when I wrote, still somewhat starry eyed:

Rachel Maddow: One For The Future? (9 Sep. 2008)

I wonder who'll be on the political scene in the USA around 10 years from now, say for the elections in 2016 and 2020? One name in the future's political headlines which wouldn't surprise me a bit would be Rachel Maddow. She's 35 now, in ten years she'll be just about the right age to run as a presidential candidate, or be chosen as VP, having perhaps done a stint in the House or Senate in intervening years.

Rachel's new TV show, which has all the hallmarks of being "the one to watch" for those keen on politics, was aired for the first time last night. She has been seen fairly regularly on MSNBC all year, doing pundit duty along with Olbermann, Matthews, Buchanan and the rest, as well as presenting a regular radio show on Air America. She strikes me as the type of person for whom US politics is crying out. She oozes confidence, speaks and debates with a no nonsense clarity, clear grasp of issues, but never loses her calm, friendly approach.
After astrological meanderings on her natal chart:
It'll be interesting to watch Rachel Maddow's progress from here on.

However, by June 2012 I wrote in a post HERE:
I no longer watch MSNBC (bad for my BP!) In the days when I did watch, when Rachel Maddow's show first aired, in 2008, I wrote a post about her and her natal chart. That was before the political scales dropped from my eyes. I still enjoy hearing Rachel speak when interviewed outside of her show, but feel now much as Nick Gillespie indicated. He accused Maddow and Maher of being partisan. Well DUH!! They are. Maher gave President Obama's campaign fund $1 million cheque recently. In Maddow's professional eyes Democrats and President Obama can do no wrong. We have no means of knowing how she really feels....................................................Talking heads - all of them, including Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert as well as the MSNBC and Fox crowd are there to serve a single purpose - support for the two political establishments in the USA, to keep the controversy going, keep the country divided.

Broken reeds - so many of 'em to left and to right, so many I used to admire, but now see the error of my starry-eyed ways!


James Higham said...

I'm starting to think Trump leaked that himself.

Twilight said...

James Higham ~ HUH? I suspect you refer, not to my post but to Trump's tax return "revealed" by Rachel Maddow last evening on MSNBC, which I don't watch but have read about just a few minutes ago

R J Adams said...

I haven't yet read Robert Parry's piece, only your excerpt, but I agree wholeheartedly with his view of this latest round of McCarthyism and general Russia-bashing. Not one iota of evidence has been revealed to connect the Russian government with the DNC hackings. This movement by the U.S. media back towards the neoliberal elite as a sort of overreaching pendulum swing against the Trump administration is quite crazy. I said before the election that the choice was the frying pan or the fire. They chose the frying pan. Any swing back towards the fire can only have one result.
Rachel Maddow is no different from all the others who rise to fame through mainstream media. The power and the career prospects go to their heads (remember NBC's Brian Williams?) and they lose any true perception of reality. The BBC's Katty Kay is another grand example of a once dedicated and factual reporter, now risen among the exalted ranks of political commentators to hobnob with the Washington elite, and convince herself she's one of them.
Having seen the alleged Trump 'tax return', or at least the part Maddow got her hands on, there's obviously nothing on it to cause concern. Which leads me to agree with James Higham that it's a deliberate plant from inside the White House, meticulously timed to take the media heat off the Republican's latest healthcare debacle?
PS I've now read Parry's article and I'm in total agreement. Politicians are pastmasters at finding someone else to blame for their failings. Using Russia in this way is not only disgustingly arrogant (it grossly debases a nation whose history goes back to 862 A.D. - a little further than America) but also highly dangerous. While I believe Putin sufficiently intelligent to not trigger a nuclear war, the same cannot be said for Trump. Putin will only be pushed so far before retaliating in some form, and that retaliation might well prove sufficient for Trump's fragile ego to overreact, with devastating nuclear consequences.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ Thank you for this - I agree 100%.

These times, as well as being "interesting" have become extremely clarifying too - as to who is on which side of the fence, who (the few) stands with The People - or 99% of 'em.

I'm intending to brush up on Russian history. I'm already surprised to find that the Vikings were among those there very early on! Heck, Russians and East Yorkshire tykes like me might have shared ancient ancestors! Vikings raped and pillaged all over East Yorkshire, and York. ;-)

LB said...

Me thinks they (including Rachel Maddow) "know not what they do." I don't think Rachel would like the future she's helping to create.

LB said...

Very intelligent comment, RJ. Seems you're describing (in part), what happens when we succumb to the very real and dangerous temptation of wanting to be part of a particular group, rather than serve serve some greater altruistic principle or truth.

Twilight said...

LB ~ You're probably right - they are not thinking far enough or widely enough ahead - "big picture". They consider only their current position as well-paid puppets, but are even blind to the puppet part, so it seems. I honestly thought Rachel was better than this, and Keith. They had me fooled for quite a while.

Twilight said...

Comment from JD in England (he's having difficulty getting through Catchpa thingies)

Don't know her but I have heard the name. From what I have gleaned she falls into the category of "IYI" - Intellectual Yet Idiot!

Just before reading your post I had been reading this -

Very long and rather obscure bit of philosophising but in the middle of it he referred to the rise of the "IYI" - 'these self-described members of the “intelligenzia” can’t find a coconut in Coconut Island' which came from somebody called Nassim Taleb.

Here is Taleb's piece -

In short, these people's only skill is the ability to pass exams set by people like themselves which, of course, makes them unemloyable in any meaningful way so they all become politicians/journalists/pundits etc
No wonder the world is in such a mess! :)
Both pieces are worth reading in full if you have the time.

Twilight said...

JD ~ Many thanks - I shall go read those pieces in the morning, in full.
IYI - that's a good one! :-)