The [Wednesday] Papers
In the last few days, having read articles about Rachel Maddow's booming popularity in the Trump era, I once again became disheartened. Why? Because as I wrote in a note to myself about a possible post, Rachel Maddow is a master propagandist masquerading as a journalist.
I won't rehash the Maddow disaster that unfolded last night; you can catch up with that in plenty of other places, though I found this summary from Columbia Journalism Review's morning newsletter to be a good start:
A media frenzy began with a single tweet, and for once it didn't come from the president. Last night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow set the political media spinning with a 7:36 post: "BREAKING: We've got Trump tax returns. Tonight, 9pm ET. MSNBC. (Seriously)." As speculation kicked into overdrive and MSNBC added a countdown clock to its broadcast, Maddow clarified that her information came from a 2005 return.
The scoop Maddow referenced belonged to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and longtime Trump chronicler David Cay Johnston, who had received two pages of the president's 2005 taxes "over the transom." The documents showed that Trump wrote off more than $100 million in business losses, and paid an effective tax rate of 25 percent on reported earnings of $150 million. But MSNBC viewers wouldn't learn that information until almost two hours after Maddow's initial tweet.
After what felt like an interminable wait, Maddow began her show with a customary monologue, providing background on Trump's refusal to release his taxes and telling viewers why they should care. The soliloquy dragged for 20 minutes, through the first commercial break, without any documents being produced, frustrating many viewers. "If you have news, Rachel, please tell us. Soon," ESPN's Bob Ley tweeted. "I'm not young."
And that was just the first. What Maddow produced was barely useful; two pages from a random year that showed Trump paying a relatively acceptable tax rate, even if it did come from the Alternative Minimum Tax provision. The remaining lack of context basically left these documents as a lead to follow, not a finished product of journalism.
But then, cable news is entertainment, not journalism. Never forget that.
Previously in Rachel Maddow Sucks:
* What I Watched Last Night: Blago.
* How Rachel Maddow And The New York Times Enable The Looting Of The Nation.
* MSNBC Is Worse Than Fox. See the links, as well, to the "Who Is Rachel Maddow" item at the bottom of this post.
* Rachel Maddow Has Been Pulling This Shit For Years.
* The Continuing Horror That Is Multi-Million Dollar Rhodes Scholar Rachel Maddow.
* How Does Rachel Maddow Keep Her Job?
* Rachel Maddow Continues To Be A Major League Poser.
* Rachel Maddow Is The Biggest $7 Million A Year Poser Going. As Jon Stewart Would Say, Stop Hurting America.
Amusing Ourselves To Death
Ha ha, Poop Dogg, but the real discussion here has to be the point about taxes. It's not that anyone should pay more than they are legally required to do so. The IRS doesn't want you to do that. They tell you all the ways to lower your tax bill; the federal government offers all kinds of deductions. The problem is that the wealthy have multitudes more ways to reduce their tax bills, procured through lobbyists and campaign contributions working their way on elected officials. (See the work of Barlett & Steele, which should be required reading of every American.) It's like saying, so what Bill Jones only paid a penny in taxes on $8 trillion in income, that's what the law says he can do. He'd be a dummy to a pay more! Well, who wrote that law and why?
Obama's "Transparency" Cost Us Millions.
Health Inspections: Chicago Gyro & Dogs.
The Beachwood Tronc Line: Eyes on the ball.
Posted on March 15, 2017