Rachel Maddow Full of Shit, Judge Confirms, and No One Reports

So I'm minding my own business today, engaged in a little work avoidance and procrastination, watching videos of Joe Biden on Twitter that pretty clearly show how far his dementia has advanced (I won't even bother to link to it, but I've spent 15 minutes watching the same clip to determine if he actually did exclaim "my butt's been wiped!"), and I learned that Glenn Greenwald is over at Substack. Well, well, well, well, well, I said to the cats, hie me over there! What do I find but this tantalizing headline: 

"A Court Ruled Rachel Maddow's Viewers Know She Offers Exaggeration and Opinion, Not Facts"

I truly cannot do this piece justice, so I strongly recommend reading it for yourself. The TL;DR version is that One America News sued Russiagate Maddow, MSNBC, and Comcast for defamation (Maddow proclaimed on air that OAN "really literally is paid Russian propaganda." Any evidence or investigation was present only in a fictionalized reenactment using hand puppets. In other words, right on par with the rest of MSNBC's programming). An Obama-appointed judge dismissed the lawsuit because (allegedly), Maddow's audience knows that her botched abortion of a show is rife with what Glenn called exaggeration, hyperbole, and pure opinion (and what Le Frog calls lies), and therefore the audience knows she's bullshitting.

'Scuse me?

I wish I had a fainting couch to collapse onto, because the vapours are coming fast and hard. (Disclaimer that my comments are full of exaggeration, hyperbole, and pure opinion, so I'm not really reaching for a fainting couch, and you can't sue me!) Mercy me, I do recall! Tucker Carlson and his clown hour, along with Fox, faced a similar lawsuit, also dismissed, also featuring lawyers arguing that the audience knows Carlson and Fox are brimming with it, so no one really believes every single word. If you're paying attention, you'll notice that the Carlson lawsuit was argued and dismissed after the Maddow lawsuit... meaning... could it be... that the lawyers for Carlson and Fox simply used the same argument that Maddow's and MSNBC's lawyers used... and were successful in their endeavour too?

I'd read about the Tucker Carson/Fox lawsuit; it was much ballyhooed at the time, and even in my disconnection from the hustle and bustle of American political carnival, I remember what a Big Deal it was. I do not remember a peep about the Maddow lawsuit though, and couldn't find very much about it after doing some quick online searching (nothing strenuous, but the pitchforks were sharpened and the torches lit for Carlson); again, Glenn does a better job of explaining why corporate media actors are hypocritical scumbags than I can.

Everyone involved with these programs are terrible people, and my blood boils knowing Maddow and Carlson get paid beyond handsomely for their garbage, and so little daylight exists between them in terms of integrity, journalistic practice, and honesty (none. None exists). It also angers me that independent reporting is subject to all kinds of scrutiny on platforms like YouTube and Twitter, while these two utter losers can shitspray anything they want on television to millions of viewers and not only face no consequences, but actually get protected for their efforts with the declaration that *everyone knows* these two are lying liars who lie, okay, so what's your problem?

Well, I've got a smirk a mile wide reading this. Insufferable Russiagate Maddow's ratings have been circling the drain and her tabloid show can't recover (I guess some of us really did need Donald Trump, eh?), and here I am, just learning that a judge has confirmed a full litter box has the same credibility as Maddow. I feel the way one would have when, as a callow youth, one waved an extended middle finger to the turned back of a parent, teacher, or other authority figure. They didn't see it, no one else saw it, only you know it happened, it didn't register, but my goodness, the satisfaction of the moment is *chef's kiss* delicious.

25 users have voted.


snoopydawg's picture

Everyone involved with these programs are terrible people, and my blood boils knowing Maddow and Carlson get paid beyond handsomely for their garbage, and so little daylight exists between them in terms of integrity, journalistic practice, and honesty

Her and Carlson are manufacturing consent and keeping us rubes fighting each other instead of the PTB that are waging war on us. Democrats scared their voters by exaggerating everything Trump said or did to keep them from seeing how democrats and especially Pelosi gave him everything he asked for. They even gave her a pass on not taking the DACA deal that Trump had agreed to. And Trump became gawd to his supporters even though he pulled an Obama on them. I can’t believe how many still believe in him.

Of course Caitlin has been writing about this and here’s another one that is related to what those two are doing. We’ve been ruled by the oligarchs for a very long time. Remember the robber barons of the railroad companies and what they did to ranchers on their future rails. History repeats itself over and over.


The private citizen today has come to feel rather like a deaf spectator in the back row…. Public affairs are in no convincing way his affairs. They are for the most part invisible. They are managed, if they are managed at all, at distant centers, from behind the scenes, by unnamed powers.

- Walt Lippmann 1927

A long time.

18 users have voted.

I feel like I’m riding in the backseat of a '66 Thunderbird with Thelma at the wheel and Louise riding shotgun whilst heading towards a cliff.

@snoopydawg the layers of what a for-profit media is composed of are more and more insidious the more they are peeled back and exposed.

Notwithstanding the lack of immediate attention to this case, I do wonder what the longer-term effects will be, especially for Maddow. Is it too much to hope that kids today will definitively kill cable "news" and we can call it a day? (That said, I am hoping that Keith Olbermann ends up on the same heap as Glenn Beck.)

16 users have voted.

I guess there is just no money in journalism.
She was losing viewership when Trump was beaten. Even Russia! Russia! Russia didn't end her career.
I am always interested in anything Greenwald writes or discusses about law. He i very knowledgeable, and can write. I am happy to see he is thriving post-Intercept.
I am to the point when she comes on, I leave the room. Sometimes, the building. And that judge is dead wrong. People who watch her BELIEVE every word she tells them. Carlson, too.

16 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

@on the cusp with a little segment. At the time, I thought it was a good thing, and now I wish I'd spent no time watching either of them. I never watched Maddow's show, but I was a regular Olbermann viewer in the early aughts. I do not recognize today's Keith Olbermann; it's as though his brain was replaced with a mouldy vegetable at some point.

I too am really happy to see Glenn writing somewhere post-Intercept. I would like to see Jeremy Scahill dump that mess too.

17 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Le Frog

And their jobs back then were to keep us pissed at Bush so we didn’t notice democrats colluding with them. It’s why I saw through their "Trump is bad" routine this time with the amount of coverage he got before and during. Took me too damn long to see the game.

I do not recognize today's Keith Olbermann; it's as though his brain was replaced with a mouldy vegetable at some point.

Maybe. Depends on whether you think he’s just doing his old job or if he really believes what he’s saying. It’s a toss up.

14 users have voted.

I feel like I’m riding in the backseat of a '66 Thunderbird with Thelma at the wheel and Louise riding shotgun whilst heading towards a cliff.


I don't know what he believed then or what he believes now, but what I recall at the time was that Olbermann did a better job of backing up his reporting with evidence. It may be the case that I look back on Countdown with rose-coloured glasses; as I mentally compare his arguments against invading Iraq on the basis of lies to his on-air meltdown after the 2016 election, maybe he made career moves that have nothing to do with vegetables. Either way, disappointing.

9 users have voted.

@Le Frog @Le Frog @Le Frog Then, I discovered he got fired for contributing to a Blue Dog Democrat from Arizona, Gabby Gifford. I watched a few of his shows on the tv channel owned by Al Gore. It was awful.
I haven't appreciated any of his contributions since then. He lost me.

6 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

@on the cusp and at one time he would sometimes appear on MSNBC or other basic news shows, as did Dr. Cornel West, and other like minded people, even political comedy commentator Lee Camp, but except for the very rare occurrence that no longer happens.

At the very best all we get is a very watered down version of their message by someone totally misrepresenting them all and that's where they, Glenn Greenwald etc., start appearing almost anywhere they can spread their message and that's what is most important. Spreading a message, not necessarily which platform is being used, but what is being given to that audience.
But it's not being treated that way by alternative media and it's followers. Look at Glenn Greenwald's twitter stream and no matter what the subject is in the comment stream there's always attacks on him for appearing on Tucker Carlson's show, "Hey ya gonna appear on Tucker's White Power Hour today?". It doesn't matter what information he was providing the largest audience on cable news.

There's many videos of Glenn Greenwald calling out Tucker Carlson for racist remarks and attacks on immigrants among many other things, so his appearances on that show doesn't mean he subscribes to same viewpoints of that host.Something he has to explain constantly.

"Greenwald responded, “First of all, I think every cable show uses people,” explaining, “I used to go on MSNBC all the time at the beginning of the Rachel Maddow Show because I would go on and bash Bush and Cheney and I would argue even in the early Obama years that Bush and Cheney ought to be prosecuted, and Rachel Maddow would be like, ‘Hey, here’s the great journalist Glenn Greenwald to tell us why the Republicans are…'”

“So, you know, that’s why she was putting me on, because it served the narrative and the stories she wanted to tell. That’s how cable news
so I know that the reason I go on Fox is because Tucker has a story that he thinks… I’m an important piece of and can tell,” he said. “That’s true of every show though, like why do you think CNN picks the people it picks? Because they’re promoting the message it wants to serve.”

“The difference though is that, as you guys wrote a book about, the traditional categories of left versus right are either breaking down or at least metamorphosizing,” he argued. “They’re changing, they’re being redefined, and so you know I’ve gotten to do things on Fox like talk about the evil Jair Bolsonaro twenty minutes before he made his first and only live appearance on that network.”

Greenwald also pointed out that “Tucker was one of the most prominent defenders of me when Bolsonaro was trying to imprison me, which made a huge deal… was a huge deal in Brazil.”

“When I wanted to talk about the persecution of Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, I got to go on Tucker’s show to do it and reach an audience that — even though they may not agree with everything I’m saying in the moment — by being able to communicate with them, and have an open channel of discussion with them, at least if they trust me they’re gonna give me a fair hearing,” he continued. Which is what you want, right, if you believe that the things you’re saying need to be heard and are important.”

Greenwald said that “it’d be so much easier to isolate myself in echo chambers where everybody applauds me,” but added, “The reason I started writing was because I wanted to bring attention to things that I thought the media was ignoring, not that the media was already covering.” ( all emphasis mine)


9 users have voted.
The Liberal Moonbat's picture

Please don't call them that. Actors deserve better.
These aren't "actors" you're talking about; they're liars.

"We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth."
― John F. Kennedy

13 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is declared mentally ill for describing colors.

Yes Virginia, there is a Global Banking Conspiracy!

Righteous rant Le Frog.

Noping out on the dangerous and coordinated lies told by the hired help on the television is an excellent decision, I wish more people would make it, but I think a lot of people fail to appreciate just how much they're being manipulated by the media. Not just about fiction masquerading as facts, either -- their morality is one of the main targets. Most regular "tv news" watchers are permitting their morality to be eroded away and they don't even notice it's happening.

Personally I could never really handle tv news on an emotional level, which weakness more or less saved me from this fate. Even as a teenager I could feel my blood pressure rising to dangerous levels watching things like the Iran-Contra hearings and fuckin Fauci lying about AIDS, and I'd wind up hot mad at all the olds in charge for what felt like forever. I hated how powerless it made me feel so I never developed tv news watching as a habit, I always read my news in an attempt to "stay informed". As print journalism moved onto the internet, increasingly I ditched out on publications altogether and tried to go directly to the source of a story as often as possible. If SCOTUS issues an opinion, I don't need to know what Rachel or Tucker or NYT or WaPo thinks about it, I can read the fuckin opinion myownself, then I can read the dissent, then I can read dozens of lawyers arguing about it and make up my own mind.

Once in a while I walk through a room where someone has a news channel on the television and I am just mouth agape at how bad it's gotten while people are still consuming it. In the first episode of the Jackass series Johnny Knoxville does a stunt called Poo Cocktail where he willingly puts himself into a full portapotty and then has a giant truck flip it over, and this is the perfect visual representation for the current state of US newsmedia -- a dumbtough peasant wearing grossly insufficent biological protection while being shaken-not-stirred inside a Poo Cocktail.

11 users have voted.

@Reverend Jane Ignatowski

about the same time Walter Cronkite retired

like your analogy of infotainment becoming poo stew

9 users have voted.


Of course I remember Cronkite but I was so young when he was delivering the news that I had no way of distinguishing whether he was doing a good job or a "good job". A lot of people older than me and for whom I have a lot of respect still respect Cronkite, but in retrospect, and at least to me, the coverage of things like the Kennedy assassination looks shady. My mother was only 12 when Kennedy was shot, though, so it's nigh on impossible for me to completely understand the cultural norms of the time, I can only watch it through a genx lens.

Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
I don't know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels
Look around for the friends that I used to turn to, to pull me through
Looking into their eyes I see them running too

Thank you for posting that video, the artist is new to me and her sound is so lovely!

11 users have voted.
usefewersyllables's picture

@Reverend Jane Ignatowski

"Jackass" is "Idiocracy", taken as an instruction manual...


6 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.

Lookout's picture

https://taibbi.substack.com/ ...who I find to be a voice of reason. Gave up on MSM news long ago.

The ruling in Madcow's case is reminiscent of the DNC election manipulation case in FL. The judge ruled the DNC is a private organization and therefore can cheat and mislead in any way it wants. Obvious election fraud (at least in the primaries) is legal. How convenient!

13 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”