Posts tagged ‘Rachel Maddow’

Did This Go A Bit Too Far?

Last Wednesday night there was no hiding the joy of the MSNBC anchors at the total and utter failure of the Republican attempt to bring the country to its knees over Obamacare. Schultz had his usual swagger. Maddow took the usual analytical approach and had an index card for every “ransom” demand the Republicans made and lost, reading each one aloud and tossing it in the air with a “didn’t get that” and a grin on her face.

But for sheer over the top drama betraying a clear animosity for conservatives, the prize must go to Martin Bashir. Martin quoted Oliver Cromwell from his address dismissing Parliament in 1653. Martin said the words apply today. I could not find a link to an intact video of Bashir’s closing moment of his show but I did screen capture the text of Cromwell that Bashir read from in his best theatrical British accent.

cromwell1

cromwell2

cromwell3

cromwell4

It is really hard to gauge how one should react to this. I viewed the Republican shut-down tactic as plain stupid. It didn’t really inspire any animosity in me. So at first blush I found Martin’s dramatic recitation absolutely hilarious. But if we bother to take Bashir seriously, then we must conclude he has a real hatred for at least part of the Conservative movement.

In fact, if we look at the entire “drop dead” reaction of the left to the Ted Cruz inspired revolt, one must draw a much bigger conclusion. The days of liberals saying “I’m a lover, not a fighter” appear to be long gone. We have a government in which each side (with exceptions of course) truly hates the other. While the people of this great nation just want to get up in the morning and go to work, our government is engaged in a multi-level civil war — Democrats against Republicans and Old School Republicans against the Tea Party. The only thing we have not yet witnessed (unlike in other legislative bodies around the world) is an actual fist fight breaking out on the floor of the House. At his point, I wouldn’t rule that out in the not-so-distant future.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

October 20, 2013 at 7:42 pm 254 comments

Akin’s Comment Doesn’t Begin or End with Akin

Today I offer a quick shout-out to Missouri Representative Todd Akin for single-handedly exploding the Republican Party. For the uninitiated, Akin’s comments did not come out of the blue.

They are part of a long tradition of GOP medical gobbledygook regarding rape and pregnancy as detailed by Rachel Maddow.

For those who don’t want to sit through Rachel’s 20 minute presentation, here is a summary of Republicans being stupid:

James Leon Holmes — 1980 — Pregnancy from rape as frequent as snowfall in Miami.
Stephen Freind  — 1988 — Female secretions stop rape related pregnancies.
Clayton Williams — 1990 — Rape is like the weather, relax and enjoy it.
Henry Aldridge — 1995 — Juices don’t flow — it takes cooperation to get pregnant.
Fay Boozman — 1998 — Fear triggers hormonal changes that prevent pregnancy.

So Akin is another in a long line of GOP operatives spouting biological nonsense about rape. Akin is receiving enormous pressure to withdraw from his race against sitting Senator Claire McCaskill. If Republicans think Akin’s exit from the national stage will end the debate, they’ve got some more thinking to do. Akin’s brother in anti-abortion thought is none other than VP candidate Paul Ryan. Ryan and Akin co-sponsored HR3 (an abortion funding bill) that attempted, in its first draft, to refine the term rape to “forcible rape“. Sounds a bit like Akin’s “legitimate rape” doesn’t it? Despite the Romney campaign’s repudiation of Akin’s comment, Paul Ryan has Akin hanging around his neck and if Democrats are smart, that will remain the case regardless of Akin’s future.

While many women believe the life of the unborn takes top priority and forces the decision of whether or not to terminate a pregnancy, there is also a sizable number of women who want complete reproductive freedom, and at the very least, believe that rape and incest are valid reasons for an abortion. Any hopes the GOP might have had to bury Paul Ryan’s record on this subject have just blown up in their faces. Only pro-life absolutist women will stick with Romney/Ryan. The rest could be a lost cause for the ticket.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

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August 21, 2012 at 2:25 pm 742 comments

Who the Hell is Saul Alinsky (and Rachel Maddow Jumps the Shark)

Who the Hell is Saul Alinsky?

Last week, I had two choices for blog topics in my head. One was a pros and cons of Barack Obama and the other was asking who the hell is Saul Alinsky. I chose the former. Then the following Friday night, not one but two left-leaning TV personalities asked essentially “who the hell is Saul Alinsky?” I chuckled to my wife that something must be in the air. What’s putting this Keyser Söze of politics into everyone’s head are the ramblings of GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich who drops Alinsky’s name with the frequency of a thirteen year old girl citing Justin Bieber. According to Gingrich, President Barack Obama is a slave to “Saul Alinsky” and we all must be afraid, be very afraid of “Saul Alinsky liberalism”. These warnings are usually greeted with whoops and hollers from Gingrich’s adoring fans, an ignorant lot who have no better idea of who Saul Alinsky is than I did, but will clap for anything anti-Obama.

So who is this Saul Alinsky? Bill Maher’s summary biography states that Alinsky liked black people, and hence is an enemy of current day Republicans. Of course that greatly oversimplifies things. Alinsky identified with the disenfranchised of all races. He essentially invented community organizing. Of course, Obama having been a community organizer must have inherited all of Saul’s evil traits. To make matters worse, about a year before he died, Alinsky wrote a book called Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals. Alinsky believed that you had to do (or threaten to do) outrageous things to get the attention of the establishment. According to the Wiki article on him, he planned to stage at various times in his career, a fart-in and a piss-in. In the former, a mass of baked bean-filled protesters would disperse themselves among a concert audience and unleash a torrent of offensive odor and sound. In the latter, well dressed black men would occupy public urinals and simply refuse to leave until demands were met. Just the mere threat of these shenanigans got the attention of the powerful.

What I don’t get from the little I’ve read about Alinsky is any sense of violence. The dude saw what he thought were disadvantaged people and rejoiced in pissing off their perceived oppressors. He was clearly an enemy of the status quo when the status quo put its heavy foot on the throat of a powerless minority. This, by the way, extended to Richard Nixon’s “silent majority”. He was just as concerned about disenfranchised whites and their vulnerability to wrong-headed leaders who would offer them the politics of hate disguised as hope.

In the context of Newt Gingrich, as Bill Maher ably points out, Alinsky is just another boogeyman designed to make you fear, distrust or outright hate Barack Obama. Nothing more, nothing less.

Rachel Maddow Jumps the Shark

Let me state two things up front. First, I like Rachel Maddow. Second I do believe in dog whistles. With that out of the way, my friend Ms. Maddow took a leap too far last night in her coverage of the Florida primary. During Newt Gingrich’s “concession speech” (Newt never actually concedes) in Florida last night, he suggested that Barack Obama stop singing, stop being the “entertainer-in-chief” and actually do his job. Out of any context, the comment would seem at least nonsensical and at worst some veiled reference to the stereotypical  “singing dancing black man” so adored (and simultaneously ridiculed)  in our pop culture. But, as always, context is everything.

A couple of weeks ago during a fund-raiser, President Obama sang the first line of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together”. I got a major kick out of it. I thought it greatly humanized him particularly when he so often comes across as remote. But let’s be honest here. When you let your guard down and show a frivolous side to America, your opponents will exploit it. Just go back to 1968 and Richard Nixon’s brief appearance on “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in” where he said “sock it to me?” It was funny. But Nixon haters certainly like to use it in their “laugh at Nixon reel.”  The fact of the matter is Obama DID sing. So for Gingrich to tell him to stop singing and do his job was at worst evidence of Newt having no sense of humor or appreciation for a human moment. It was NOT some example of racism. It did not conjure up images of the minstrel show (as Maddow put it) in any but the most racially paranoid minds.

Former Gingrich spokesperson and current leader of the “not coordinated with Gingrich” Super PAC, Rick Tyler, bless his soul, did battle with Maddow and Al Sharpton last night. To my surprise, Tyler who once wrote the immortal words “But out of the billowing smoke and dust of tweets and trivia emerged Gingrich”, ably defended his candidate and made Maddow and Sharpton look pretty pathetic.

You know something? As a black man, every now and then I get a little tired of white folks defending black folks … because sometimes they just don’t know when to quit while they’re ahead.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

February 1, 2012 at 2:32 pm 85 comments

2010: Return of the Whigs

I’m well-known for saying that at current rate and speed, the Republican party is on target to be the Whigs of the 21st century. Based on last night’s election results my prognosis may have been premature. Then again, was it? If you listened to the victory speeches of Rand Paul and Marco Rubio you did not hear the defiant declaration of Bush-era Republicans returning to the helm. On the contrary, you heard a rejection of a political party that had lost its way. Rand indicated he was going to make the Senate “deliberate” on a thing or two. Marco reminded his audience that last night was not a vote FOR the Republican party but rather a rejection of the current leadership.

After listening to a good six hours of talking heads (yes I’m obsessive) I came away with a few perspectives on last night’s mid-term results which I shall share in no particular order:

(For the most part) Nutjubs, Racists, and Misfits Need Not Apply

A few weeks ago MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow mourned the demise of the “macaca moment”. It was her assertion that the type of gaffe that could destroy a candidate the way “macaca” destroyed candidate George Allen in 2008, seemed to go unnoticed and completely forgiven in 2010. Alas Rachel was being a bit melodramatic. One thing we learned last night was that if you send pornographic photos via email (Carl Paladino), use blatantly racist campaign ads (Sharron Angle), declare that you are not a witch (Christine O’Donnell), dress up like a Nazi on the weekends (Rich Iott) or can barely complete a sentence in an interview, with a sex-offender accusation pending against you (Alvin Greene) then you are not going to be elected dog catcher by Americans in 2010. I cannot overestimate what a relief this was to me as I watched the results come in last night.

It’s The Economy Stupid

Liberals will burn me in effigy for saying this but if last night taught us anything it was that we wasted eighteen months on health care reform that most of the nation didn’t want when we should have had a full court press on job creation. Before you stick your pin in my voodoo doll, let me distill this for you. I walk up to you and say I am going to ensure that your employer can provide you with health care and that you cannot be rejected for pre-existing conditions. Your reply, “that’s fine and dandy but I don’t have an employer. I haven’t worked in two years. I’m about to lose my house.” And then I say “but I insist it’s your right to have good health care!” Then I wonder why you don’t vote for my ass in the next election.

There are those who say there is never a “good time” to introduce health care reform. That may be but I can damn sure tell you there are some particularly bad times to do it. If Obama presided over a booming economy, he would have still encountered philosophical opposition to HCR but at least he could have made it  a reasonable priority. Whether or not it makes sense, people prioritize earning enough money to keep their home over good health. That is a social and political reality that the Obama administration, most liberals, and I ignored. Yes, I admit it. I fell in love with the Utopian idea of health care for everyone. I did so ignoring my own underemployment. I was a fool. We liberals paid a price for our principles last night and I’m not at all sure it was worth it.

Some Hispanics, Our Youth and Minnesotans Have Got to Go

If you don’t know when you’re being insulted, you deserve everything that’s coming to you. 30% of Hispanic voters in Nevada voted for Sharron Angle after she portrayed them as a criminal threat to law abiding white folks. Guess what 30%? That makes you a bunch of nimrods, oh pardon me, estupidos! Marco Rubio was right to call out Harry Reid when he wondered aloud how any Hispanic could vote for a Republican. Harry should have wondered how any of them could vote for Sharron Angle.

Apparently our young voter count was lower than expected. You know what? All I hear the Tea Party Movement and other conservatives say is how terrible it is to leave all this debt to the younger generations.  Well, I don’t feel one shred of remorse today. They came out in droves in 2008 to vote for the rock star like it was some friggin’ edition of “American Idol”. Now when policy and our future is at stake, they had better things to do. Until the lazy selfish bastards stop texting their BFF’s while watching the latest installment of “Jersey Shore” and get out and do their civic duty by voting, they can choke on my debt.

Finally, Minnesota. What to do about Minnesota? OK I know they like colorful characters. Just look at Prince or Jesse Ventura. And yes I can forgive them for electing Michele Bachmann the first time. But now that we know what a show-boating brain-dead, rhetorically dangerous woman this is, how in the name of all that is good and decent, could she be re-elected? There is only one solution but I will limit this solution only to the sixth congressional district of Minnesota because unlike the average conservative Islamaphobe, I don’t smear the whole with the faults of the few. The solution is that the sixth district of Minnesota must be sold to Canada. I don’t know how much we’d get for it, but it would certainly help bring down the deficit that Ms. Bachmann is so fired up about.

Two Lib Losses that Don’t Upset Me That Much

A good number of our lib heroes survived last night with nary a scratch. Icons like Barney Frank (yeah conservatives … SUCK IT), Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Barbara Boxer and that other boxer from Searchlight, Nevada, Harry Reid. Even that old example of political decay, Charlie Rangel lived to see another day. However there are two losses that don’t have me all that bothered. The first is Alan Grayson from Florida. I have maintained almost from the beginning that Grayson was all show and no substance. In a political climate where there is too much heat and too little light, Grayson generated a lot of the former. Was it great for catharsis? Damn straight it was! Did it move the ball forward in any meaningful way? Not one bit. Grayson was doing an audition to replace Ed Schultz on MSNBC but he was doing it on the tax payer’s dime. I’m not shedding a lot of tears that the audition was canceled.

The other loss that I almost cheered was that of Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania. When Sestak unseated party-switcher Arlen Specter for the Senatorial nomination he made a huge self-righteous ruckus about how the Obama administration tried to buy him off so he wouldn’t run. Honest-Abe Sestak rejected the “bribes”. All this did was fire up the “impeachment” advocates claiming that Obama had authorized political dirty tricks for which he should be punished. A good Democrat would have kept his big fat mouth shut but no, Joe had to prove to everyone what a virtuous guy he was. I nearly vomited at the time and I found him equally obnoxious in his concession speech last night. By the way, his daughter was obnoxious too …

Most Obnoxious Performance on Election Night

That award goes to Joe Sestak’s daughter Alex. Yes, I know I’ve been beaten up on this blog in the past for prodding at politician’s families but I’m sorry, this kid needed a good swift kick in the ass. As Joe attempted to give his concession speech, not five seconds would go by without Alex interrupting him with some pithy comment. Her mother smiled ear to ear with that look you’ve seen on mothers who mistake their children’s rudeness for “just being precocious”. Joe seemed slightly less amused and I was expecting him any minute to scream “I JUST LOST THE MOST IMPORTANT POLITICAL RACE OF MY LIFE …. WOULD YOU SHUT THE F**K UP?????” Instead, Joe just grinned and carried on. At the end of his speech he lifted his “little girl” up in the air and for a split second, I thought he was gonna throw her into the crowd like Alice Cooper throwing a chicken into a mosh pit. No such luck.

Later in the week, I’ll share my thoughts on where progressives should go from here.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

November 3, 2010 at 5:23 pm 453 comments

Thanks and Humility

This week is the week for giving thanks and probably a time for a bit of introspection and humility. Of course, one of the things I’m thankful for are the folks who read my blog, the modest set of folks who follow me on Twitter and the handful of folks who listen to my Internet radio show. As I was finishing off a slice of pumpkin pie last night it occurred to me that eating a couple of slices of humble pie might be appropriate for today’s post.

The first slice involves a topic that I have never written about in the main body of the blog but I have mildly debated it within the comments section. I am one of those who champions the notion of climate change and calls climate change skeptics ignorant neanderthals. So, man did I have egg on my face earlier this week when some emails unearthed by a hacker revealed some shenanigans going on with the data supporting global warming. Apparently the following damning sentence was found in email exchanged among scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit:

I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd [sic] from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

When scientists use the words “trick” and “hide” it’s natural for us ordinary folks to become a bit concerned. Climate change advocates say the sentence was taken out of context. Climate change skeptics are ready to throw the baby out with the bath water. While I am not ready to throw the baby out with the bath water, this incident does make me reevaluate what government’s role should be in science. I am almost ready to say that our founding principle of separation of church and state should be extended to separation of science and state. I think it ‘s worth investigating whether science becomes contaminated when politicized. I haven’t figured out when is the proper juncture for government to act on the findings of science but I think in the case of climate change it has become uncertain who is the cart and who is the horse. Scientists have always had a problem with pride of  ownership that can interfere with their objectivity, but this is doubly compounded when politicians get involved and the stakes for being wrong get too high. If you think a scientist has a problem being wrong, you haven’t seen anything until you look at politicians.  Clearly the “climate change movement” has taken a bad credibility hit. We need to restore objectivity and get the politicians out of this for a while (do you hear me, Al Gore?).

The second slice of humble pie involves some intellectual dishonesty on my part. Such dishonesty usually comes back to kick one in the ass and this week I did indeed get my ass kicked. Back in September, I published an article about a census taker in Kentucky who was found hanged under mysterious circumstances. I used the event to prove that the evil right-wing was on the march. The worst offense was the following claim:

Much of the media is approaching this story with caution. Clearly, the investigation is just beginning and this could be either a very bizarre suicide or a “prank” homicide completely unrelated to any political agenda. If either case proves to be true, we should still stop and contemplate this moment. Regardless of what really happened, what are many of  us thinking right now and why?

Well, I should have approached the story with much more caution, like not have written about it in the first place. It turns out that the terminally ill census taker staged his own murder so his son could get the insurance.  The best part is when I say that regardless of the facts we should still contemplate what happened. This kind of reminds me of when my buddy Rush Limbaugh found out that an Obama thesis story he had covered was a hoax and then said the fiction was consistent with fact and therefore didn’t deserve a retraction.

Well friends, sometimes emotional fervor interferes with clear thinking. When the facts of the case dictate that some right-wing looney tune has gone off the deep end, then and only then is it appropriate to get one’s bowels in an uproar about it. You probably won’t see Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow say “my bad” about this one, but you will see me say it.

MY BAD and I hope you all had a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

November 27, 2009 at 6:33 pm 73 comments

Did Rachel Maddow Ambush Blago?

Within the past couple of hours, Governor Rod Blagojevich was ousted from office by the Illinois state senate. I’ve been a fan of Blago ever since his scandal hit the national airways. I’m also a major fan of MSNBC commentator Rachel Maddow. So it was with great anticipation that I tuned in last Tuesday night to watch Rachel interview Blago.

The interview had a mixture of toughness and sympathy. Blago behaved as though he had found an open minded journalist with whom to make his case. Overall, I was impressed by the interview. I felt that while Rachel asked some hard questions, she also reacted empathetically toward some of Blago’s responses.

Then the segment went off the rails. When the interview concluded Rachel gleefully asked her audience whether or not Blago further incriminated himself with some of his answers. She then went the next step and interviewed a former federal prosecutor (who had once prosecuted Timothy McVeigh) to see if he agreed that Blago had made matters worse with the interview.

It’s one thing for a journalist to enjoy a scoop. It’s another thing for her to lull her subject into a sense of security and then exploit his candor (or BS depending on your perspective) for a huge gotcha finale. Rachel seemed to revel in the possibility that her interview might be entered into evidence in the criminal trial that is on the horizon. Quite frankly, I was creeped out by the pleasure she took in this man’s misfortune.

My feelings were only compounded after I watched Barbara Walters interview Blago on ABC’s The View. With Barbara, there was no pretense of sympathy. With an almost mocking smile, she demanded that Blago come clean and she basically told him he was wasting everyone’s time with his evasive answers. If Barbara had then turned around and interviewed a prosecutor about Blago’s responses, I would not have been surprised. Blago knew at the end of the Walters interview that it did not go well (ok … maybe he didn’t, he is a bit delusional after all). But with Rachel Maddow it was another story. Blago left that interview thinking he had a chance to state his case and then Maddow turned around and stabbed  him in the back.

All I want from journalists is consistency. I’m from the Mike Wallace school of journalism where if the goal of the interview is to eviscerate the subject, then the process is clear and unambiguous. When Mike has finished with you, your guts are spilled all over the floor. Rachel’s mistake, from my perspective is that she turned a non-gotcha interview into a gotcha interview after the fact when the subject was no longer there to defend himself. Perhaps I’m also bothered that Rachel wanted to be part of the story. That is a phenomenon that is happening way too often lately, where news reporters and commentators want to BE the news instead of report on it.

Despite Rachel’s efforts and those of the Illinois senate, we haven’t heard the last of B-Rod. He will continue to entertain us right up until they put him behind bars.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

January 29, 2009 at 9:18 pm 10 comments

Take Names, Kick Ass or Move On

On her MSNBC eponymous show, Rachel Maddow has been singing a tune of late that bothers me. Don’t get me wrong. I am usually a big fan of Ms. Maddow but lately it seems that Barack Obama’s recent victory is just not enough for her. She wants blood. She wants folks to take names and kick ass.

Rachel Maddow

Rachel Maddow

First example was a few nights ago when Rachel was disgusted by the fact that “convicted felon” Ted Stevens (that now appears to be his official name — Convicted-Felon-Ted-Stevens) received a standing ovation in the Senate upon his final speech to that chamber. Now fine, it IS against the rules of the Senate to give anyone a standing-o after they speak. But that was not the real source of Rachel’s dismay. She felt the Senate was honoring a disreputable individual. My loyal readers already know that I think the whole Stevens thing was much ado about nothing. Now that the 85 year old man who has, after all, devoted the better part of his life to service to his state and his country is about to limp into the sunset, what’s the matter with a little applause? I’m sorry folks but Ted Stevens was by no means the worst that the Republican party had to offer.

Then a couple of nights ago, and again tonight, Rachel got into an uproar about the likelihood of  Bush “war crimes” going unprosecuted. Now I’ll be the first to admit that in moments of liberal rage over the past election cycle I’ve called for Bush and especially Cheney to get called on the carpet. Even in my earlier plea to leave poor Ted (the internet is a series of tubes) Stevens alone, I contrasted him with our current dastardly heads of state. Now that Obama has won, I’m finding myself of the thought that cooler heads should  prevail.

We are in the worst financial crisis since The Great Depression. We are fighting two wars, neither of which directly involves probably our greatest threat, Pakistan. What purpose does it serve now to divert our nation’s attention to prosecuting Bush administration officials? If this were the best of times and not the worst then I might consider it but with all we have on our plate, it just seems like an exercise in vindictiveness. Maddow’s guest tonight, Jonathan Turley, George Washington University law professor, argued that to let the Bush administration’s crimes go unpunished would encourage future administrations to do the same. Prosecuting war crimes would send a clear message to the international community. I argue that the best message we can send about war crimes is to STOP THEM! Obama has pledged that there will be no torture, no extraordinary rendition on his watch. For the time being this is good enough for me.

Finally, tonight Rachel took what can only be described as a gratuitous kick in the groin to John McCain, Arizona Senator and recently defeated Presidential candidate. McCain gave a press conference today which few reporters attended and only MSNBC carried live. Ms. Maddow seemed to take great joy in how “pathetic” a display this was. I have never been an apologist for John McCain. He ran either by his own design or that of his handlers a despicable campaign. With VP candidate Sarah Palin as his kamikaze pilot, he stirred the ugliest instincts in his supporters. But I am a firm believer that success is the best revenge. Obama won. McCain LOST. Not only did McCain lose, but from the moment he began his concession speech to this very second he has been nothing if not gracious and conciliatory. He has exhibited the kind of class it would have been nice to see during the campaign. Today’s press conference was no exception. Not only did he admit that the Republican party needs to change, he also refused to throw Sarah Palin under the snow mobile. So, why can’t Rachel Maddow let it go? What more does she want from the man?

On January 20, 2009 we close one of the most troublesome chapters in American history. It is my sincere hope that from that day forward, Barack Obama takes names and kicks ass to ensure that this country gets back on the right course. As far as the past is concerned, let the history books pass judgement on the events of the Bush administration and the Republicans and the McCain campaign. We need to move on. There are just too many important things we need to do looking toward the future. We don’t have a minute to spare on the past.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

November 26, 2008 at 12:58 am 6 comments

What Does “Countdown” Have Against Andrew Johnson?

OK. I know this is not of any great significance but it gets under my skin all the same.

Back in May, Rachel Maddow was subbing for host Keith Olbermann on MSNBC’s “Countdown” when she was discussing precedents for presidential impeachment. Along the way she made a remark about the impeachment of “Andrew Jackson”. Ehhhhhh, no. The president in question was Andrew Johnson, Abraham Lincoln’s successor. At least Rachel corrected herself after the commercial break.

Last night, when David Shuster was subbing for Keith Olbermann it was deja vu all over again. This time the trivia tidbit was that “Andrew Jackson” had pardoned the entire Confederacy in an act of reconciliation. Yikes! There was no Confederacy to pardon when Jackson was president (waaaay before the Civil War). Again, the president in question was Andrew Johnson.

Could it be that Keith Olbermann is more careful about what he is reading off the teleprompter so he catches these dumb mistakes before they leave his lips while his substitute hosts can’t seem to keep up? I don’t know what the problem is but I wish the “Countdown” research staff and the substitute hosts would get their act together, at least for the sake of the kids who might be watching and may want to learn something.

Needless to say I’ll be paying close attention to “Countdown” on Friday, November 21 when whoever is hosting the show that night makes the following faux pas:

Tomorrow marks the 45th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Approximately two hours after the shooting, Vice President Andrew Johnson was sworn in as the 36th President of the United States.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

November 18, 2008 at 1:23 pm 6 comments

Appeasement and Impeachment

MSNBC had a field day when Chris Matthews on “Hardball” nailed conservative commentator Kevin James on whether or not he knew what the word appeasement meant. After some 24 attempts at getting an answer, Chris finally got Kevin to admit he didn’t know what he was talking about.

In full self congratulatory mode, on “Countdown with Keith Olberman”, Friday night guest host Rachel Maddow interviewed Chris about the confrontation and they shared their concern that words, especially hot button words, be used properly. Unfortunately, earlier in the same episode, Rachel noted a political anniversary by saying that back in 1868, “the Senate actually came close to impeaching a president”. For an analyst and a network so intent on the proper use of words, Rachel and MSNBC blew it big time. The president in question, Andrew Johnson, did not come “close” to being impeached. He was impeached. He was NOT convicted. What Rachel should have said was that the Senate came close to convicting and thereby forcing out of office a president. To make the mistatement all the more glaring, she identified the president as Andrew Jackson. Fortunately, after a commercial break, she corrected that whopper but neglected to correct her use of “came close to”.

If MSNBC is going to self righteously pound its chest over historical accuracy, they need to do some fact checking before opening their mouth.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

May 17, 2008 at 7:35 pm 1 comment


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