Rachel Maddow Attacked By Rightist Media Machine

Rachel MaddowEarlier this week Rachel Maddow broadcast a story that contained a reference to a satirical web site that Maddow and/or her staff took to be real. It was embarrassing, to be sure, but Maddow owned up to it the same day without reservation:

Maddow: Props to them for a brilliant piece of satire, shame on us for believing them. But in a world where China taking over New Zealand is what passes for real analysis on the situation in Egypt, how do we know that’s not satire too?

The latter half of that comment was obviously intended to be ironic and humorous. However, since the professional conservative bashing society has no sense of humor, they laid into Maddow with accusations that she was blaming others for her mistake. For example:

  • NewsBusters: Maddow Blames Beck and Other Conservatives for Her Getting Duped by Satirical Website
  • Fox Nation: Maddow’s Excuse for Reporting Spoof Story as Fact: It’s Beck’s Fault!
  • Pajamas Media: Rachel Maddow gets suckered by Palin hoax, blames Beck
  • David Horowitz’s NewsReal: River in Egypt: Rachel Maddow blames Glenn Beck for her own stupidity

On Glenn Beck’s radio show, sidekick Pat Gray went on an extended rant wherein he called Maddow an idiot and said that she was…

“So deceptive. So deceitful. Such Liars. Rachel, take responsibility for your own actions. Man up. Or woman up, whatever the case may be.”

For Beck and his crew to accuse others of being deceitful is its own kind of irony. Especially when Gray was being deceitful in this very rant. He asserted that Maddow spent three and a half minutes of a five minute segment blaming Beck for her error. In fact, Maddow spent only a minute and a half of an eight minute segment on the subject, and thirty seconds of that was consumed in replaying the original video of her mistake.

These critics should also be aware that Maddow is not alone in getting hooked by a hoax. Fox Nation posted a fake story about Obama emails, without attribution, by the satirists at The Onion. Several right-wingers, including Fox, posted a fake story about a global warming activist who had allegedly frozen to death. Fox, Rush Limbaugh, and others posted stories about a fake college thesis by Obama. Fox & Friends aired a bogus story about jetpacks being purchased by the Los Angeles Police Department. And this doesn’t even count the hoaxes that are invented by Fox, Andrew Breitbart, Sarah Palin, Glenn beck, et al.

It should also be noted that, but for the errant reference to the satirical site, Maddow was making a valid point. At times it really can be difficult to separate satire from reality with regard to right-wing conspiracies. The other examples she used in the segment were that China was taking over New Zealand (Beck), that Obama supports annihilation of Israel (Atlas Shrugged), and that the turmoil in Egypt was a plot hatched by unions (RedState). Those are all real, and all delusional. It’s a shame that the point is being obscured because of the one item she included that was phony.

That is not an excuse for making editorial mistakes. The problem isn’t that there are satirical commentaries that sound too much like actual events. The problem is that conservative analyses of actual events sound too much like satire.


8 thoughts on “Rachel Maddow Attacked By Rightist Media Machine

  1. What part of “shame on US” is passing blame onto others?

    • You are expecting the Fox regime to allow people to recognize where she said they made a mistake?

      In the words of their own:
      “Remember two words…..Deamonize and Marginalize by any means necessary.”

  2. The problem here is this, Mark, no one in the “News Wars” with even a modicum of logic and sense doesn’t know “Fox News” is completely without scruples when it comes to “fair and balanced” journalism, but they also know that a War (in the modern sense of one side facing the other in any arena) requires at least two equal combatants. As they are aware, Maddow’s progressive leanings notwithstanding, she is not a delusional comic barker, so when she does make a mistake they have to amplify it so that it appears equal in negligence. They are basically admitting their guilt with this over reaction.

    (I hope this is readable and makes sense. My brother got married tonight, I’ve been drinking since 8:00 pm and it’s now 6:00 am. I don’t drink and I’m wasted so sorry)

    • Ha!! I was actually reading that and was wondering what the hell you were trying to say. slightly overworded but the point still stands, gave me a good laugh tho. congrats and cheers!

  3. I yearn for the days before the 24-hour news cycle. CNN put the stake through the heart of real news. After they went on the air, they noticed there isn’t enough “meat” to fill a 24-hour cycle so they have to search long and hard for crap to fill time with. Now with competitors, the problem is only exasperated and we get round-the-clock tripe.

    In my day, a Liz Taylor divorce got 30 seconds of prime time news, now Lindsy Lohan gets an “in depth” hour long special on being a thieving dope fiend victim.

    Thus,instead of journalists in prime time, we have vacuous talking heads 24/7. To save money, instead of experts and investigative reporting, the talking heads interview each other and spout press releases as reporting. News has gone from a broadcast public service to entertainment and politics is now a sport. Our gullibility seems boundless sometimes.

    • I agree with your assessment of modern news as entertainment. But I also think that there are plenty of important things happening in the world to fill up a 24 hour news network. Just because the networks are to consumed with trivia and sensationalism doesn’t mean they couldn’t find something to report if they were honest and ethical journalists.

      The reason these nets fail isn’t because of a lack of content. It’s because of a lack of skill and devotion to craft.

  4. The problem with all you liberals, driving around in brand new cadillacs paid for though welfare by my tax money is this: If it were’nt for people like Donald Trump, no one would have a job at all. Rich people were the ones who provided us with resources like oil,wood,air, water and hands. Before rich people, everyone died at birth because there was no one to employ them,or tell them they’re fired. Liberals ( people who think or care ) were the least likely to live even ten minutes or so, whereas conservativs knew instinctivly to invest thier inheritance in the stock market (such as it was back then ). So next time yo work hard all day and can’t pay your bills, remember, it was a conservative who allowed you to work at all.

    • “…brand new cadillacs paid for though welfare by my tax money…”

      It must be time to raise your taxes (or those of the middle class) because my welfare check only covered a used Lexus. 🙁

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