Friday, October 16, 2009

Fractured Fairy Tales

I have long been an admirer of MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. But no more.

She remains bright, articulate and extremely well informed. Rachel is obviously a hard worker and tireless in her research and documentation. She prepares for each show and each interview with a thoroughness I can only wish every television and radio host would emulate.

She then completely wastes her talent and all her effort with fractured fairy tales. Instead of real discussion and real information, we get partisan political grandstanding, puff pieces of self aggrandizement, false guests that are either lightweight pseudo opposition fall guys or embedded supporters of Maddow's preordained positions. At least 90% of each show is personal attacks. It's a rare night the 10% is about issues or ideas.

It would be generous of me to assume that no real, articulate opponents of her progressive/liberal positions are willing to appear against the bright and aggressive Maddow. Perhaps that is true. Perhaps every real conservative quakes in their collective boots at the mere thought of a confrontation with Maddow. But I doubt it.

More likely is the Rachel and the powers at MSNBC program each night like bloodsport in the Roman coliseum with sacrificial lambs to be slaughtered by the powerful and very hungry lioness that is Rachel Maddow.

Blood flows and the crowd cheers.

Meanwhile we the viewer learn nothing. If we really want to understand the actual and true position of conservatives we must change the channel and watch Sean Hannity, who hosts the right wing mirror image of the Maddow Show.

At least Sean Hannity had the courage and honor to engage in a long and thorough interview with Michael Moore and actually let Moore make his positions clear and complete.

What we Americans really need is to see Maddow in a format where she really interviews real guests and has genuine discussion about the issues and not just the name calling and demonizing of Republicans we see each night.

Rachel, you are a lot better than this. You deserve a better format. And you're capable of holding your own in a real, honest and fair debate of facts and policy.

I dare you to try. The viewers will flock to your door and your rating will go through the roof. More importantly, your viewers will be well served.


Vigilante said...

All that said (& read), it has to be added that Rachel Maddow is a national treasure.

Lee said...

Wizard, when you first stated the virtues of Rachel Maddow, I was intrigued enough to watch and and really found her wanting. While one of your favorites on radio, MSNBC has made her into another Olbermann.

Calling Americans For Prosperity President Tim Phillips a "parasite" and "bad for the country"?

On one hand spreading the AstroTurf spin on tea party protests only to set up and actual one?

Declaring that differing on Obamas Foreign Policy is Unamerican?.

How about her defense of Acorn?

Or just out and out hypocrisy?

the WIZARD, fkap said...

Lee, The breaking point for me was the Tim Phillips interview. My problem wasn't the berating and name calling as much as Maddow avoided any real issues for 18 minutes straight. She never asked Phillips a single important question about health care or the objections his groups had to the current and proposed plans before Congress.

Maddows only effort was to demonize Phillips for his background and employment history. It was a sad and pathethic 18 minutes in which Maddow sold her soul forever.

I genuinely wanted to cry.

Vigilante said...

Cry? I was amused. Phillips and Maddow are well-matched! I wanted to stand up and cheer for both and would have but It's better not to excite my Doberwoman when she's sleeping.

(BTW, Go Acorn!)

MadMike said...

I love Rachel Maddow and would pursue her if she were not gay, not that there is anything wrong with that. America is an extraordinary country to allow such tolerance for those different than us.

Her show is spot on and her analysis of current events and political intrigue is remarkably prescient and expertly delivered. She is every bit the master that Olbermann and Mathews have proven to be. Go Rachel!!

(Go Acorn and Free Condoms to all)

Vigilante said...

Not very sporting of you, Michael, not to pursue a fair lass just because she's gay. Now, if it's because of age that you're begging off, then the rest of us would be more understanding if not (in my case) empathic.

Lee said...

Maddow, Olberman, whomever... They spout opinion as entertainment. At some point people stop taking them seriously for one reason or another. Or vote with the remote. Do any of the opinionated talking heads really try to gain the hearts and minds of the public? Nope, thats not what they are after. Do they have any "power"? Only oblique at best.

They either get cheered or jeered depending upon those whom are watching. They are more polarized then ever, as that seeem's to be "how things are done."

In a world where sound bites hold more sway then arguments. Government officials dictate what news can be aired, or who owns news. Where fact checking Comedy sketches are journalistic exercises. Hard questions are avoided when a possible awkward answer might be uttered. Where your stance on an issue depend flip flops depending whom is in charge.

Can we really expect seekers of truth?

Vigilante said...

Lee, that's why we - both of us - are on the 'Net. To sort this stuff out!

Lee said...

Update: Maddow video to watch The quote of note in this piece is "The expression of opinion about the news is not the difference between Fox and the rest of the news media. The difference between Fox and news is that Fox is now actively organizing and promoting a protest movement against the U.S. government."

Really? So that would mean MSNBC is in the same boat by that criteria.

Oct 7th. Promoting a protest movement against government

Hypocrisy .vs. Truth

Vigilante said...

I concede you three points for a field goal, Lee. Tim Rutten in the Los Angeles Times agrees with you, sort of. I could say more, but won't trouble to because Wizard has moved along with a fresh post.

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