Monday, January 06, 2014


I was trying to figure out why this National Review story about Rachel Maddow and MSNBC seemed so familiar, and I think I understand:
... In recent months, Alec Baldwin, Martin Bashir, and, most recently, Melissa Harris-Perry have awkwardly crashed into the trinity of sexual orientation, gender, and race, leading many to wonder if there are any adults in charge at MSNBC.

There is one such adult, actually, and her name is Rachel Maddow. Though she provides the network's ideological vision -- MSNBC president Phil Griffin has called her "our quarterback" -- she's neither an executive nor a manager....

Behind [Maddow's] back, colleagues call her "the queen," a not so subtle suggestion that Maddow gets what Maddow wants. And what she wants is a network filled with young wonks such as Chris Hayes, Ezra Klein, Alex Wagner, and Harris-Perry, whose highbrow intellectualism can, she hopes, push the Democratic party, and the country, to the left. On Twitter, Harris-Perry's show proudly uses the hashtag #nerdland. Alex Wagner's move to the 4 p.m. hour, where Bashir's show once aired, has Maddow's fingerprints on it....

As Maddow's foes have suffered, her acolytes have prospered -- chief among them, 34-year-old Brown University graduate Chris Hayes, who last April replaced Ed Schultz....

Maddow ... is motivated by ideology.... "She is actually not that interested in reality; she is the most ideological person I've ever met. That is not somebody you want in charge of your programming, because she might put on a great show, but she cannot make rational decisions -- her agenda is changing America.... She really thinks she is changing America for the better. You can't have somebody like that in charge of your programming."

...It's good to be "queen" -- to be a liberal paid millions by a publicly traded company to spread the progressive gospel. Rachel Maddow, striding about Rockefeller Plaza in her colored sneakers, may be the luckiest woman in television. For now.
This is the same kind of crap wingnuts write all the time about Valerie Jarrett:
President Obama canceled the operation to kill Osama bin Laden three times before saying yes, because he got cold feet about the possible political harm to himself if the mission failed. Instead of listening to advisors from the U.S. military, Defense, or even State, Obama was acting on the advice of White House politico and close friend Valerie Jarrett. Valerie Jarrett?

This account comes from Richard Miniter's upcoming book Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors who Decide for Him. Miniter has written a half-dozen books on the war on terror. He is relying on an unnamed source within the U.S. military Joint Special Operations Command who was directly involved in the operation and planning of the Osama bin Laden kill mission.

Is the story credible? According to Edward Klein, a reporter once asked Obama if he ran every decision by Jarrett. Obama answered, "Yep. Absolutely."

Edward Klein, former foreign editor of Newsweek and editor of the New York Times Magazine for many years, describes Jarrett as "ground zero in the Obama operation, the first couple's friend and consigliere." Klein -- who claims he used a minimum of two sources for each assertion in his book on the Obama presidency, The Amateur -- writes in detail about Jarrett opposing the raid on bin Laden. She told Obama not to take the political risk. Klein thought Obama ignored Jarrett's advice. Miniter tells us he listened to her, three times telling Special Operations not to take the risk to go after bin Laden.

We need to understand the role Valerie Jarrett plays in Obama's private and political life.

"If it wasn't for Valerie Jarrett, there'd be no Barack Obama to complain about," starts Klein's chapter on Jarrett. He quotes Michelle Obama on Jarrett's influence over her husband: "She knows the buttons, the soft spots, the history, the context." ...
It's the same template -- sexism, albeit of a slightly nuanced variety because it seems to allow for the possibility that it would be fine for a woman to do this sort of thing if she were, y'know, qualified, like Condi Rice (or Sarah Palin?). But in each case, the woman not only gains power she doesn't deserve, she seems to do it through some combination of ball-busting and mysterious "feminine wiles." She does it for nakedly ideological reasons (Jarrett's family history is mined by the right for evidence that she's one of a long line of radical lefties). And she gets away with it because a weak man surrenders power (Obama at the White House, chief honcho Phil Griffin at MSNBC) -- unsurprising, right, given that these are liberal institutions, and we all know how liberalism shrinks men's gonads, amirite?

After reading the right's scheming-bitch porn about Valerie Jarrett, I come away with no idea of what her actual role in the Obama White House is. The same goes for Maddow at MSNBC -- I don't know whether I can believe a word of this story -- its narrative just fits the neo-sexist template too perfectly. (And no, the fact that it was written by a woman doesn't undermine this argument. Plenty of anti-feminist women find these sexist templates perfectly appropriate.)


Ten Bears said...

MSNBC loses all shred of credibility every time it cuts to a ninety second infomercial celebrating the joys of fracking. By the time Maddow airs, it's old news.

The sad part is the degredation of Steve Benen, who I followed, initially, to a third website. These days I visit about once a week, for the Saturday "Week in Dog", which is as with everything else Maddow old news.

No fear.

Kathy said...

The "matriarchy"? Wow, what a terrible thing to have bunch of smart women in charge.

Ten Bears said...

Regardless my disdain, my homeboy from the other side of the mountain Hart Williams notes at His Vorpal Sword has a really good take: it's just business, the number one priority of which is to take Ms Maddow down. Baldwin, Bashir and Ms Perry are but the first salvo. The Dems could indeed learn something from the Retards on this.

Jack said...

Ten Bears,
A couple quick points:

(1) Come on; it's ridiculous to suggest that MSNBC loses all credibility because of the content of its advertising. As a simple factual matter, your assertion is false on its face.

(2) Thanks for the reference to the Hart Williams post at His Vorpal Sword. Very good piece!

Victor said...

Conservatives be vewy scawed of da women folk and their magic vagina's.

They're hoping that probing the vagina's, will make them lose their magic powers.

Ten Bears said...

The media, Jack, is only as "liberal" as its advertisers, and you are very welcome.

No fear.

rent slave said...

These MSNBC commentators were very lucky that Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell was embroiled in scandals when the network was based in the town.Otherwise,he'd had all of them committed to the mental hospital on County Avenue.

Tom Hilton said...

A "former colleague" thinks she's ideologically motivated and not interested in reality? Well, that's a pretty definitive takedown.

Steve M. said...

"Former colleague" could very well be Pat Buchanan.

Roger said...

The piece is written by the dimwit offspring of Assrocket's blogging partner -- the one Assrocket calls "Big Trunk." There's no name attached to any of the insider slams. NRO is providing fan service for its willfully ignorant readers (and employment for the handicapped).

Examinator said...

Ten Bears,
I'm a little concerned about the binary nature and implications of your view of MSNBC.
i.e. that "the credibility of a media group is defined by its ads".
Taking that to the extreme(binary thinking), one should never watch any commercial TV ...I've never seen a Program or ads that I wouldn't/ couldn't see/find duplicity, under explanation, deliberate omissions, obfuscation (lies) in. Ergo no commercial network/enterprise has credibility!
I might point out I can see similar flaws in every human being (except perhaps me and thee and I worry about thee :-D ha ha)
In truth I tend to examinate and evaluate the evidence regardless of the show before making a conclusion on the either the bias of the commenter or the topic under discussion.
the point is Maddow some times provides useful facts and even insights.
e.g. if she waxed pro lyrical about Gay marriage(?!!) then supported USA hegemony in the middle east should I disbelieve what she says about gay issue?
Even a stopped clock is correct twice a day … the trick is to research, research and research some more.
Notwithstanding anyone who takes any singular media site etc as unquestioned gospel …. well.... needs a minder for their own sake. :-)

Ten Bears said...

I do tend to think in binary, I am after-all a computer scientist. Research and analysis? It's what I do, everyday, all day. Often get paid for it.

Commercials are as effective a component of thr Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and crotch-shots on Fox Kool-Aid as the crotch-shots, it just doesn't drip nearly as much sarcastic contempt I hold for the not quite literate bare footed rubes who consume it.

No fear, only contempt.