I don’t pay too much attention to MSNBC and Rachel Maddow.
About the only time I watch this kind of programming is when it focuses on me. I usually catch up on YouTube posts, rather than suffer through the tedium and infuriation of actually watching a cable network at which the inmates are quite literally running the asylum.
One of those exceptions came last week when Maddow performed one of her rants about WND. I invite you to watch it so you can judge the levels of incoherence and incongruity for yourself.
It starts, interestingly enough, with Maddow focused on my latest efforts in challenging Barack Obama’s eligibility for the presidency – a banner asking “Where’s the Real Birth Certificate?” flown over the Republican presidential debate in Tampa. The segment shifts rather abruptly and briefly to denounce a book on “The Liberal Mind” written by a top psychiatrist. It then segues, and I use that term lightly, to a WND interview from 2006 (that’s right, five years ago!) with a counterintelligence expert for the Pentagon and FBI who suggested we could learn something about jihadists by studying Muhammad.
What would you expect from what Rush Limbaugh has accurately dubbed “the drive-by media”?
There are two facets to this agit-prop I would like to bring to your attention.
- Maddow has a big mouth but very little courage. The very day Maddow was talking about these issues, another program on MSNBC had invited me to discuss one of them – the flying banner. I agreed. The segment was canceled. MSNBC invited me again the next day. I agreed. The segment was canceled. This happens frequently at MSBNC as well as CNN and Fox. I suspect some of these shows merely invite me to be on hoping I can’t make it. Then they can say, “We invited Farah to be here tonight but he declined the opportunity.” But what strikes me about Maddow is how infrequently she even entertains the idea of interviewing people with whom she disagrees. Does she lack any confidence in her own ability to debate – even with all the advantages of the host seat? Instead, her show is little more than cavalcade of guests who share Maddow’s twisted and extreme opinions. Perhaps more Americans would watch the ratings-starved MSNBC if its ultra-left hosts had the cojones to confront those they accuse on a daily basis. Just a thought.
- Instead of debating her point with me, Maddow called in one of her favorite JournoListas – a guy who may lean even more to the portside than Maddow, if that’s possible without tipping the boat. His name is Spencer Ackerman of Wired magazine, who wrote a story last week defaming a very serious and highly credentialed counter-terrorism expert by the name of William Gawthrop – turning him unfairly into a bigoted cartoon character for his efforts to protect America from future terrorist attacks. There’s no scandal in Gawthrop’s work or his opinions. The focus, rather, should be on the stone-thrower – Ackerman. He should have been fired from Wired a long time ago – or, at the very least, disqualified from covering politics for the magazine. Why? He’s most famous not for anything he has ever published, but for things he wrote that he never intended to be published – namely his candid and inflammatory scribblings on the notorious JournoList. In case you don’t recall, the JournoList was a private Google Group forum for left-leaning activists posing as journalists – people working for Time, Politico, the Huffington Puffington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon, the New Republic and so on. Ackerman, then working for the George Soros-backed Washington Independent, famously called upon his colleagues to deflect attention from Barack Obama’s relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright by changing the subject. When anyone criticized Obama, they needed to be labeled as “racist,” he explained. Even more telling was this Ackerman statement: “Find a right winger’s (sic) and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mass and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a constant state of fear. Obviously, I mean this rhetorically.” What he lacks in subtlety, he doesn’t make up for in impartiality.
Understand what you are dealing with when you watch MSNBC. You are witnessing a media phenomenon that has more in common with the old Soviet-era, official state press organs Izvestia or Pravda than what we once knew, a generation ago, as American-style, professional journalism.
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