Is Rachel Maddow Becoming a Liberal Glenn Beck?

When Rachel Maddow finished a 26-minute monologue that spanned two segments on her MSNBC program last Thursday night, her grave tones indicated that she thought she’d just delivered a whale of a story. But actually it was more like minnow – and a specious one at that.

Convoluted and labored, Maddow’s narrative tried to make major hay out of a report from Moscow that a high-ranking Russian intelligence official had been dragged out of a meeting, arrested and charged with treason. Weirdly, Maddow kept presenting that barebones story as verification that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin had directly ordered the hacking and release of Democratic campaign emails in order to get Donald Trump elected president.

It was a free-associating performance worthy of Glenn Beck at a whiteboard. Maddow swirled together an array of facts, possible facts, dubious assertions and pure speculation to arrive at conclusions that were based on little more than her zeal to portray Trump as a tool of the Kremlin. Even when sober, Joe McCarthy never did it better.

We might dismiss her performance as just another bit of stagecraft on “MSDNC,” but Maddow was in sync with widespread fear-mongering by pundits and Democratic Party loyalists who think they’re picking some low-hanging fruit to throw at Trump. But what they’re doing is poisonous – and extremely dangerous.

The standard memes demanding hostility toward Putin virtually never address some crucial questions. Such as: What are the plausible results of escalating a new Cold War? Is it wise to push the U.S. government into evermore assertive brinkmanship with Russia? Wouldn’t the degree of success in that endeavor increase the degree of danger that the antagonisms will spiral into a military confrontation and, from there, into a nuclear holocaust?

Such questions don’t seem to bother the likes of Maddow, who has largely built her TV career on mocking, impugning and denouncing Republicans. Fair enough, except when it isn’t – and when it latches onto a Democratic party line of attack: no matter how bogus the reasoning or how dire the potential consequences for humans and all other life on this planet.

Sliding through a kind of time warp, Maddow’s performance on the night of January 26 was akin to what the most extreme Republicans have reveled in doing to incumbent Democrats in past decades – baiting them as accomplices of the Kremlin and warning against actual détente between the two countries.

To be clear: Donald Trump has already shown himself to be a horrendous president in countless ways that matter, from his Cabinet appointments to his numerous corrosive statements to his executive orders on subjects ranging from family planning for women overseas to immigration at home. Why spin into agenda-driven conjecture and illogic when there are so many empirical reasons to directly challenge Trump?

But for countless US reporters and pundits as well as Democrats in Congress, the temptation to attack Trump as a servant of Putin is irresistible.

Norman Solomon is co-founder of and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.

29 thoughts on “Is Rachel Maddow Becoming a Liberal Glenn Beck?”

    1. He’ll be gone in a month. Then I’ll resub to antiwar. I am voting with my mouse and pocket book.

  1. Great story! It’s about time somebody mentioned the ridiculous sideshow Maddow is pulling off. But this isn’t the first time she’s gone off like Glenn Beck. She does it regulary every night in a rant that always lasts at least 20 minutes.

    It’s good entertainment to tune in for 5 minutes to hear the ‘leadup’ routine and then see where she’s trying to go with it.

    The trouble is, she’s hugely popular with the stupid people who tune in to her.

    And sadly, the biggest trouble with this story is that it descends to the level of trying to score points against the Dems. Thereby cancelling out any progress.

    But how is that kind of pantomining stopped? It can’t be stopped when the audience isn’t capable of rising above it and shaming her for her childish antics.

      1. I checked it out–basically a mix of Scotch-Irish and Jewish. None of her behavior here should be at all surprising–The Neocons are just Trotskyites in “conservative” drag.

        1. I see what you’re suggesting. Zionism isn’t really a race but I understand where you’re going in that culture follows tribes and genes.

    1. What, in your opinion, is the proper ethnic mix one should have to give oneself a clear, conservative point of view?

      1. He’s trying to point out; without being politically correct, that Zionists (pro-war theocrats) spring forth from certain groups. His assessment of Neocons is spot on and ironically you, Mork share more similarities with Neocons than differences.
        Authoritarianism is pessimism.
        Govt is the great fiction that you can live off your neighbor.

  2. “To be clear: Donald Trump has already shown himself to be a horrendous president in countless ways that matter, from his Cabinet appointments to his numerous corrosive statements to his executive orders on subjects ranging from family planning for women overseas to immigration at home.” Typical Never Trumper Koch Libertarian bull shit response.

    1. We objectivists aren’t gurus at categorizing political identiarians, so please forgive people like JCMR and myself. Solomon clearly shares biases with Kochs and the Neocon never-Trumpers.
      Please reference Judicial Watch’s assessment of Trumps first week for a reasonable and thought-out perspective from the people prosecuting HRC (doing the heavy lifting).

      1. I am not anti-label. I do oppose labels that are incorrect. Should Norman Solomon be correctly labelled as a neocon? He has been an outspoken Bernie Sanders supporter. As a Bernie Sanders supporter he probably was never likely to be a voter for Trump. I would never label him a Never Trumper as that label was reserved for Republicans. Solomon may have biases that he shares with other groups but that doesn’t make the labels applicable to him.
        Thank you for the reference.

  3. I check in with raych occasionally to determine what the bay area lesbians ( several), in my extended family are thinking. Whatever she says is the absolute, final word; to question Rachel is misogynistic and homophobic. Their other unimpeachable sources are The Economist and huffpo.

    Over the last several years, raych has decried war as she was aggressively promoting the destruction of Syria and Libya. It turned out that these wars she was “against” were necessary to stop the bad men from hurting the children and the quaint little people.

    Then a white heterosexual male became president. Now she’s been ordered to pretend that war is bad. The new, anti-war Rachel is working the batshit crazy/souless propagandist liar angle to good effect. God she’s hot.

    1. Hilarious! Only I think you missed one of her most important motivations. Dress her up in camo clothing, hang a mini M16 over her back, put a army helmet on her head, take her to a safe war zone, and you will have captured her heart and her very soul. To hell with any other ideals she feigns to have from time to time. This bit-h is dangerous because she talks on a level that is clever ‘enough’ for two-thirds of the people.

  4. Unsubbed. Getting the same impression from Solomon as Scott Horton when Horton unfairly criticized Rand Paul for trying to prevent war with Iran. The level of myopathy is concerning to your opthalmologist.

  5. hey norman nobody- just because trump doesn’t feel like funding abortion tourism, it doesn’t make his two week old presidency horrendous. maybe you feel you gotta shit-talk trump at the end of your article just to stay in the lying media club, but it’s a tired reflex that nobody here needs to hear.

  6. Good analogy to Beck, I saw that Maddow show and had the same WTF feeling about it. Maddow has gone down hill since the Bush administration and has proven herself to be nothing more than a government establishment tool. Like Beck and Fox News that spews conservative bias to divide people, she and her colleagues at MSNBC flame liberal bias that also divides people. Both MSNBC and Fox (along with all the other MSM media organizations) are nothing more than government scribes that produce little more than worthless government propaganda and rhetoric and all the fake news you’ll ever want.

    1. And get overwhelming support from Americans or they wouldn’t be doing it. That bitch and her accmoplices haven’t ever come to terms with Hillary’s big loss.
      Never fully admitting that Trump’s win was for the most part a rejection of Hillary. Tune her out, write her a snarky letter, whatever it takes to stop her.

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