Saturday, December 03, 2011

Notes From The Other Side:

Morning breakfast of sackcloth and mortification, watching Rachel Maddow and the first half of that dude they have on after her, whose name I can't remember.
  • It struck me this morning that Rachel Maddow is like an exact photographic negative of Rush Limbaugh, rotated about the political axis. The same smugness, auto-back-patting, and "Can you believe those morons on the other side?" schtick. It would not at all surprise me to find that she was consciously aping him. It's obviously a successful business model.

  • You know that line from Cool Hand Luke? The one that goes "There's some men you just can't reach"? Yeah. I think it would be, not only pointless, but actually impossible for me to talk politics or economics or much of anything other than sports, food, or the weather with Rachel. Actually, given my favorite sports and our mutually incompatible beliefs about whether the weather is being actively sabotaged by Republicans or not, we'd have to stick to food.

  • The new dude seems like a nice guy. Definitely, however, a member of that tribe of h. saps that is, like a Prius, incapable of venturing off pavement. Contrasting these docile, soft and toothless creatures with what you'd find in a deer camp or foxhole, I fear that speciation is well underway.

  • The panel on the new guy's show, three liberals and a token metrocon from National Review Online, and I could all agree on one thing: WTF, GOP? SRSLY, WTF?

"Why do you watch this stuff, Tam?" Because I don't generally watch network news and I spend my days on the internet in a political echo chamber. I don't want to wind up as cluelessly insulated as Pauline Kael.


Anonymous said...

If you watch her show and then watch Hannity you can sorta meet those extremes in the middle and that is probably closest to being factual.


Zendo Deb said...

I find listening to NPR less distressing than MSNBC in general and R. Maddow in particular. (But then I can't stand O'Reilly, or Rush either.)

The Brits have pretty good coverage of American politics. Between the Telegraph, the BBC with maybe a bit of Der Spiegel to get the German's perspective, covers most of the stuff likely to get spun over here. (The London Times was best, but they went to that paid model the NYT adopted and dropped a few years back. Of course the London Times is much better than the New York Times.

Zendo Deb said...

And yes, NPR is definitely covering the news from the Left. They had a story on firearms recently that made me want to through the radio across the room. Luckily, I was busy painting, and the radio wasn't on the drop cloth.

Buzz said...

NPR from the left?
Damn, I thought my position against tax dollars for "public" broadcasting was unfounded and irrational.

Anonymous said...

Don't have cable so I listen to NPR to get away from the echo chamber. They are so nice and calm over there, but manage to steer almost every story back to Occupy somehow.

the pawnbroker said...

"...we'd have to stick to food."

Prob'ly a vegan...let me know how that conversation goes.

Lewis said...

My favorite lefty is Glenn Greenwald, but that's probably because for a gay civil rights attorney, he comes closer to having been fitted for a wookie suit than most.

Matt said...

Of course none of us are saying that Maddow is a serious journalist right ? After spending 20 minutes giggling about "Tea Bag" jokes with a guest one night she pretty much gave up the right to ever call herself that.

Not that Limbaugh is either. I despised Clinton as President but when Rush started making ugly jokes about the teenage daughter I was pretty much done with him.

God, I'd give my left nut for some news that actually reports JUST the facts.

Panamared said...

After the first sentence you know which way the story spins. Even with the internet the facts can be hard to find. For the most part I choose to believe the people that have attempted to think before they speak as opposed to those that only feel good about doing the right thing.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the same reason I listen to NPR, read the Wall St. Journal, and occasionally wander to various sections of the blogosphere. It's good to get a variety of perspectives.

Anonymous said...

Someone is copying the most successful person in the history of radio? I . . . am . . . shocked.

Shootin' Buddy

Anonymous said...

Methinks you have slandered the Prius, a bit.

Last year driving my truck into the woods to hunt deer, I met a Prius coming out. No deer on it but the driver appeared to have been hunting.
The road was dirt and rutted dirt at that.

Later saw one on the main drag of town with mud on its back bumper.
The woman was delivering eggs from the farm.

First one I got a good look at had been driven to an Appleseed Shoot.
I won't be buying one, being allergic to Toyotas, but some do leave the pavement from time to time.

JD(not the one with the picture) said...

Oh man, I cannot stand Rachel BSE.

atlharp said...

Network news is a waste of time. MSNBC is a waste of time just from the simple echo chamber of non-sequitors and pointless raging from the roid raged (Ed Schultz) to the down-right prissy (Chris Matthews). I don't have cable and get my news from the interwebz. Using Google News, AP wire, and the various blogs make a far better information experience than some shemale or eunuch ever could. I will say this about Limbaugh-at least I learn something I didn't know as opposed to cable news. Also there is the off chance of having Mark Steyn subbing for Rush. ;-)

Turk Turon said...

Pauline Kael? The same Pauline Kael who once told a Manhattan confab, "I don't know how Nixon got elected; I don't know anyone who voted for him."

Anonymous said...

Rush has a sense of humor and can be entertaining. He gores the GOP from time to time with the same gusto as he does the Democrats. And yes, when he goes after peoples kids he's dead wrong.

MSNBC: just liberal, oops I mean progressive, news speak. Never discussions, always lectures.

NPR: Same as above with more hand wringing and less ranting. Better bumper music too!


Kristophr said...

Kids can't choose their parents.

That Rush idjit needs to wait until they move out of their parents house.

Caleb said...

Wait, Rachel Maddow is actually a woman? I thought that was Mark Hamill after a botched sex change operation.

Anonymous said...

"I fear that speciation is well underway."

Happened in 1969; you must have missed it.


Anonymous said...

>>>After spending 20 minutes giggling about "Tea Bag" jokes with a guest one night she pretty much gave up the right to ever call herself that.

Never knew she existed until her comments about a crazy white guy with a scary black rifle incident. AFAIK, she never apologized or even publicly acknowledged her mistaken bigoted comments.

>>>Rush started making ugly jokes about the teenage daughter I was pretty much done with him.

It took me until that hypocrite bought his ass outta jail on drug charges. Did he turn over a new leaf or change his position one iota on the war against drugs? As far as I know he's still in the lock-em-up and throw away the key camp.


Anonymous said...


Rachel Maddow != Contessa Brewer

I guess I need to watch more TV or something.


Jeffro said...

I cannot seem to watch that crap without resorting to yelling and cursing at the boob tube. This only spikes my blood pressure and alarms the cat, so I quit doing it.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Yay! My metro on term is getting wide usage.

Old NFO said...

You're a better person than I, after about 15 minutes of her I either want to throw up, or shoot the TV... And the guy is definitely a 'metrocon'...

Cargosquid said...

At least Rush ADMITS that he's just an entertainer. And his bravado, at least to me, comes across as self-mockery. Maddow is serious. She thinks that she really is a reporter.

Stretch said...

I use to send letters to local National Peoples Radio station. Little things like correcting minor historical errors or mistakes in geography and the ubiquitous clip vs. magazine error heard in gun stories. Only thing I ever got back were "how much would you care to donate?"
They've gone to a classical music format and I seldom hear more than 2 newscast a day. Astounding how many errors of fact they can fit into a 5 minute show.

fast richard said...

I don't recall Rush making ugly jokes about Chelsea. He may have, but I generally ignore any claims about what he has said, unless a link to the audio is included. Anything he has said in the last thirty years has been recorded by someone.

The current standard of discourse permits some pretty ugly jokes about the children of Republicans. I'm not sure what the standard was a dozen years ago.

As for Rachel Maddow, it seems to me the term "Teabagger" has joined the same lexicon that includes words like Spic, Kike, and Dago as markers for bigotry. Someone who routinely uses that kind of language is unlikely to be worth trying to talk to.

the pawnbroker said...

Boy was I wrong, a fact that I'm sure you already know since it was the one conversational subject you left on the table, so to speak...

"For dinner, Maddow is deciding between the rustic pork terrine and seafood sausages – which she insists are surprisingly delicious – but ends up settling for half a dozen oysters (in fact, nine are served) and a small beef and stilton pie."

I even had a mocking topic suggestion: "Bacon; the perfect food"...but it turns out ya'll could have had a nice little fangirl chat about that.

I am repulsed by the woman and everything I've ever heard her say, which admittedly ain't much (see repulsed above). But I hate it when some smarmy twit makes assumptions about me based on his own preconceptions and biases...but that's what I did here, and I'm a dumbass for it.

Tam said...


I still laughed when I read it, although it turned out I was mistaken, too. ;)

Matt G said...

I'll confess to finding her speaking style interestingly effective. It is slow and measured, and gets simple points on the table. Meanwhile, her nemesis, Rush, is grandiose in his speech, stringing compound complex sentences together. I find his style irritating.

Oh, their content? Bah. Who pays attention. They claim to present news in their commentary. But it's all just commentary, not worthy of gleaning news from.

Anonymous said...

Speciation? Morlocks and Eloi?
If I'm going to be a Morlock, I'm going to scandalize the neighbors and shack up with a hot Eloi chick.

to hootie11bravo - the truth is the truth, and nothing but the truth. Halfway between the truth and a lie is just a smaller lie.

staghounds said...

I lose patience very quickly with being told what to think or feel about something by someone who is supposed to be giving me information. Actually I like it when "news" outlets how bias, it makes filtering much easier.

I always thought that back in the 3 network days, the broadcasters made a mistake by being so overt with their demands that we see things a certain way. Straight factual reporting, and just using "news judgement" to set the agenda and screen out unwanted information would have been more effective.

Plenty of that goes on, but revealing the bias makes it much less effective.

Anonymous said...

"speciation is well underway"

Has been for the past 100 years. When the aliens show up and KEW the cities, Captain Trips is released, or the EPA finally shuts down all those evil coal and nuclear power plants; then the lesson of the fall of Rome will be remembered or not given the current education system. See John Ringo's Troy series.


Spud said...

I listen to both, it's my daily comedy central...
Now Jon Stewart on the other hand, I take seriously.

Firehand said...

My understanding is that when Limbaugh had a tv show, one night said something about a news story about Chelsea Clinton and one of the staff flashed up a picture of a dog. He chewed them out, apologized, and a while later at a party where Hillary was, hunted her up and apologized to her for it. Compared to the outright attacks on Bush' daughters and such, doesn't exactly amount to much.

And yeah, he says up from "I'm here to tell you what I think about things", as opposed to people like Maddow pretending they're straight news reporters.

Tam said...


Maddow's show is specifically presented as presenting "Maddow’s take on the biggest stories of the day, political and otherwise".

It, like Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann, is "infotainment" just like O'Reilly or Limbaugh.

(As an interesting side note, Firefox has put red squiggly lines under "Maddow", "Olbermann", and "O'Reilly", but it knows "Limbaugh". Read into that what you will... :D )

Stranger said...

I have always accepted political commentators audience numbers as a relative indication of the public's political affinity.

La Madcow draws 225,000. Hardly enough to attract enough advertising to pay MSNBC's expenses.

El Rushbo outdraws La Vaca Loco by almost 60 to 1. Making advertising on his three hours a day a highly lucrative investment.

Given MSNBC's paltry audience numbers and the utter lack of intellectual content, Maddy's opinions are hardly worth considering.


Anonymous said...

You mean Maddow is a real human being!?!?!!? I always viewed her as an automatron mouthpiece for the left.
She is so androgenous; I get the heebie jeebies watching her.

Anonymous said...


"According to the latest results from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind Poll, some news sources make us less likely to know what’s going on in the world....Just 47% are able to identify the Occupy Wall Street protesters as predominantly Democratic: 11 % think they are Republicans. Viewers of cable news on MSNBC are the most likely to think the protestors are Republicans. Watching the left-leaning MSNBC news channel is associated with a 10-point increase in the likelihood of misidentifying the protesters."

source: "Some News Leaves People Knowing Less"

Sigivald said...

I don't follow either Maddow or Limbaugh closely.

But I have been exposed to both of them, via others, and I have to disagree.

Not in the broad sense; she is plainly aping his overall schtick, and it is plainly successful.

But I wouldn't insult Limbaugh by calling him a photographic negative of Maddow; I've fact-checked both of them a time or two, and he always comes off better, usually significantly so.

(Pawnbroker: Good on you for that. The apology, that is, not the initial mistake.

Holding ourselves to standards at least as high as we hold others is important, and to be congratulated when demonstrated.

Well, in an ideal world it'd be so common as to be not worth noticing except in the lack, but we don't live in that world... and in any case, fessing up and taking the hit is a manly virtue.)

Sigivald said...

Also, on the echo-chamber-avoidance camp, I use Facebook for that.

Not intentionally, but it works out that way. Happens when you live in the Northwest and know lots of self-identifying Progressives.

Same reason I'll drop a blog from my reading list, even if I agree with much of it, if there's too much "rah rah our team!" politics on it; it's both uninteresting and intellectually sabotaging.

I want either interesting ways to think more aptly in agreement with my preconceived notions, or interesting reasons to change them or question them - I don't want anything Maddow (or even Limbaugh) is selling.

Anonymous said...

I agree Maddow leans left, 'stead of
her net's "Lean Forward" slogan.
But to me, the real Limbaugh of the
Left is Chris (thrill down my leg)
Matthews. She's more bearable to me
than he.
Anon, Don

Thirdpower said...

I've taken my Prius offroad before. First big bump ripped out the wheel well lining.

But I can turn it around in my driveway and still get the storage capacity of a small pickup.