Krugman nails the elites: We strongly recommend Paul Krugmans column about the work of our willful elites. To read it, just click here.
Tomorrow, well provide an important service! Well extend Krugmans spot-on analysis to the work of our liberal elites over the past twenty years.
Krugmans work has been very strong during that era. Other elites? Not so much.
RACHEL DUMBS US DOWN: Wowjust wow! The stupidification of American liberals hit a new highor a new lowon last nights Maddow program.
What happened was a journalistic disgrace. Such gong-show behavior cant be good for progressive interests.
It all began as Maddow teased an upcoming segment about the Beltway media. She discussed a cartoon from a Virginia newspapera truly comical cartoon which appeared in many outlets, including Saturdays Washington Post. The cartoon mocks those who have tried to give ex-president Bush the bulk of the credit for the killing of bin Laden.
To see the cartoon in question, click this. As she started her segment, Maddow described the cartoon. She actually got this part right:
MADDOW (5/9/11): Clay Jones is an editorial cartoonist for the Free Lance-Star newspaper in Fredericksburg, Virginia. This is his latest political cartoon I saw posted at Slate.com today. In the class "foreign policy," school kid George W. Bush with giant ears gets a D-minus. And school kid Barack Obama, with different giant ears, gets an A with lots of plus signs after it.
This cartoon is post-death of bin Laden, right?
The teacher looks at the papers and says to school kid Obama, "A plus, plus, plus? You must have cheated off George!
In the cartoon, the teacher assumes that Obama must have copied off Bushs paper. How else could he get this thing right?
The cartoon mocks those who have tried to give Bush the bulk of the credit for bin Ladens killing. But as she continued, Rachel said the Beltway media have played the killing that very same wayand she said she could prove it:
I think Mr. Clay Jones in this political cartoon nailed the Beltway media reaction to the killing of Osama bin Laden, the angry darling thundered. This is exactly how the Beltway media is approaching the politics of bin Ladens death. And I can prove it! Thats next.
(To watch this first segment, click here.)
Maddow had made a serious chargeand she said she could prove it. Unfortunately, her next segment was one of the dumbest she has ever doneand given some of her recent work, thats really saying something. In the process, the pseudo-liberal darling worked hard to dumb her audience down.
How stupid can it get on this program? I will admit right off the bat this is petty, Maddow said at the start of her next segment. Ill admit it. But it is also true and it has got to drive Democrats in the White House absolutely nuts.
In fact, Maddows allegation wasnt petty at all. Her charge was very seriousbut her analysis was mindlessly stupid.
As she continued, Maddow copied off Steve Benens paper from Sunday, while failing to credit this source for her work. What follows is the full text of Maddows segment. (To watch the full segment, click this.) According to Maddow, this analysis proves that the Beltway media have been acting exactly like the teacher in that cartoon; they have been acting like Obama copied from Bush in last weekends action:
MADDOW: I will admit right off the bat this is petty. Ill admit it. But it is also true and it has got to drive Democrats in the White House absolutely nuts.
Here it is: Republican Senator Dick Lugar; Republican former presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani; Republican former Congressman Tom Davis; the Bush administrations CIA director, General Michael Hayden; the Bush administrations secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice; the Bush administrations homeland security secretary, Michael Chertoff; the Bush administrations defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld; the Bush administrations vice president, Dick Cheney; the Bush administrations vice presidents daughter, Liz Cheney:
The week the Obama administration announces it has killed Osama bin Laden, thats the guest list on the Sunday morning political talk shows to talk about it!
The Sunday shows are supposedly the apex of political debatethe pulsing, throbbing heart of whats going on in American politics. Is the biggest story in American politics right now retirees from the Bush administration and how they feel about stuff?
Plus, Dick Lugar? Honestly, this is the roster? This is Sunday morning in all of its thundering seriousness?
Now among those nine Bush administration officials and other Republican politicians, there were three outliers: Senator John Kerry; also a former White House communications director named Anita Dunn; and one current White House official, Tom Donilon, the national security adviser. So there were those three.
But the week the Obama administration announces that bin Laden is dead, the invitees to the adults table, the measure of serious and importance in Washington is three-to-one, Bush administration and Republican officials! Why is that?
Truly, that report is stunning. In an even slightly rational world, it would be hard for a person to keep her job after airing pure nonsense like that.
Lets consider this stupid report from the perspective of a dumbed-down, misled liberal viewer.
A liberal viewer might be very angry after watching Maddows report. That viewer had been led to believe that the Obama administration got the shaft on Sunday mornings programs. Almost surely, that viewer would have thought that Republican viewpoints got three times as much attention as those of the White House.
Three Democrats did appear on the Sunday programsas outliers, Maddow scornfully said. That notion is utterly foolish, of course. But that angry liberal viewer would surely think it was true. Indeed, that was the entire point of this hapless report.
According to Maddow, those Sunday guest lists have got to drive Democrats in the White House absolutely nuts.
How dumb can Our Own Rhodes Scholar be? From watching this pathetic report, a liberal viewer would surely have thought that one current White House official, Tom Donilon, the national security adviser appeared on Sundays shows as a bit of an afterthoughtas an outlier. That notion is utterly false. As we noted yesterday, Donilon was the featured guest on four of the five Sunday programs! (The featured guest on the fifth program was Kerry, another Democrat.)
On all four of those programs, Donilons segment opened the show. On all four shows, his segment was longer, sometimes much longer, than the segment which featured Republican or Bush Admin guests. Meanwhile, was the White House angry about this treatment? Obviously, Donilon was on these programs because the administration had made him available as its official spokesperson.
Was Donilon as outlier? Was he swamped by all those Republican guests? Consider one example:
By today, the full transcripts for ABCs This Week are available. Here are the official word counts for that programs various segments. Note the time devoted to Donilon as opposed to the time given Rice:
First segment: Interview with Obama adviser Donilon (2315 words)
Second segment: Interview with Pakistani ambassador (1531 words)
Third segment: Interview with three ABC correspondents (2141 words)
Fourth segment: Interview with Condoleezza Rice (519 words)
Fifth segment: Four-member pundit panel (2720 words)
Donilons outlier interview led the programand it was more than four times as long as the session with Rice! But then, as we noted yesterday, Donilon got about twice as much time on CNNs State of the Union as Lugar, the programs Republican guest. On Meet the Press, Donilon got about twenty percent more time than a three-Republican panel.
On Face the Nation, Kerry led the program. He got about fifty percent more time than Rumsfeld, the programs Bush Admin guest.
Maddow painted a delusional portrait of Sundays line-ups. Rather plainly, she had copied off Benens equally hopeless paper. For our report on Benens work, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 5/9/11. A few weeks ago, Rachel announced that Steve is her favorite pundit.
Each of these miserable pseudo-lib hacks deserves a failing grade for his or her work. For her rather obvious plagiarism, Maddow should visit the dean.
Lets mention a few other minor problems with Maddows report:
If you watch the segment, you may hear Maddow snarking at the idea that Lugar would be a guest on one of these programs. We have no idea why she copped that attitudeexcept that snark is her trademark.
In fact, Lugar is one of the sanest Republicans left in the Congress. Beyond that, he is the ranking Republican on the Senate foreign relations committee; for that reason, he was a fairly obvious person to consult for the Republican viewpoint. It is the established norm within our major news shows to sample the viewpoints of both major parties. We have no idea why Maddow seemed to think that Lugars inclusion was strange.
Second, please note the trick Maddow played in listing those three Democratic outliers. She made it sound like Donilon was an afterthought, even though he was Sundays dominant guest. And she described Anita Dunn in this hackish manner:
A former White House communications director named Anita Dunn.
Sad. As every hack in the world of talk knows, the use of the dismissive term named is a way of suggesting that Dunn is a minor playersomeone youve never heard of. This trick is normally employed to denigrate ones opponents. In this case, Maddow used this formulation as a way to suggest that Dunn is an insignificant player.
Were sorry, but that isnt true. When Dunn served as White House communications director, she was often put on the air to represent Obamas viewpointto speak for the president. Sunday, she appeared on State of the Union, countering someone named Tom Davis in a balanced, two-member panelon the same program where Donilon got twice as much air-time as Lugar.
The dumbing-down of conservative viewers has been going on for a very long time. By way of contrast, the dumbing-down of liberal viewers is a fairly new project.
Weve been increasingly struck, in recent weeks, by Maddows many clownish errors. Liberals got treated like fools last night. Have we mentioned the way The One True Channel has been aping Fox?
More to come: We postponed a report on Maddows devolving standards due to the release of Obamas long form. We expect to do that report in the next few weeks.
For a sample, just click this. Headline: The facts in Benton Harbor get in the way of a good story for Rachel Maddow.
On the air, Maddow called this column thoughtful and smart. But wouldnt you know it? She forgot to say what this column had said.
So it goes as this willful child finds her way to the bottom. Multimillion-dollar corporate employment tends to produce such results.