Madness and Maddow

The Navy hospital ships promised by President Trump to deploy to New York and Los Angeles arrived on-station as ordered a few days ago. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, presumed for some obscure-to-me reason to be associated with the provision of news to the public, and most recently famed through peddling Russian conspiracy theories regarding Trump’s election for the past three years, had ridiculed the President’s proposed schedule as “nonsense. ” She, or whatever pronoun she goes by, had loudly and publicly claimed that it would be “weeks” before the hospital ships arrived. Instead, the hospital ships arrived more or less to schedule. A lesser news-person would have the decency to be embarrassed over how transparent a prediction-flop this was. Not this Maddow person, it appears. This is not a good thing, and not for the reason first assumed. PBS’ Yamiche “Rolie-Polie-Olie” Alcindor baldly admitted, and in nicer words, that the name of the game for the national establishment news media is “Get Trump!” and anything goes, fair or foul (mostly foul) will serve that end. Well, really – those of us who have been paying attention, especially for the last decade and a half (or longer) have known very well that the name of the game as far as the establishment national news media is concerned, is to enthusiastically smear Republicans and their conservative supporters (no matter how mild or harmless) the pretext, and to excuse Democrats and their supporters, no matter how vile the offense and actions. Nothing new here, move along. SSDD, as we used to say in my active duty days. (Same sh*t, Different Day.)

The sad and ultimately disappointing thing is that, with all of the resources that the national news media might bring to bear on the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic as it affects the United States, they are missing the boat – as catastrophically as Whats-her-Pronoun Maddow has missed the hospital ships. There was a story there … and the establishment Media missed it, missed it by a country mile, so eager were they to Get Trump. The story would be how the two ships were readied to sail in record time – the Comfort was halfway through a refit, at Naval Station Norfolk … and yet, its repairs were finished by heroic effort, provisioned, re-equipped and sailed with a full complement of required crew … in days. Wouldn’t that be an epic tale? Down and gritty with the workers, the personnel who no doubt stayed up around the clock, fitting out the ship to lift anchor and go? Where are their stories, Whats-yer-Pronoun Maddow, and your other View harpies? Isn’t that an epic of interest to the National News Media?

I would guess not. This instance and others serve as a marker, as the national establishment news media goes down by the head, rather like the Titanic, credibility-wise in the eyes of a large portion of the news-consuming public. There are so many other great and fantastic stories, popping up here and there, like mushrooms after a good rain: how innovative restaurants are trying to stay open by being small grocery outlets and providing prepped-meal packages and curb-side service to customers. How big grocery and commercial outlets are offering special shopping hours and delivery service to vulnerable elderly, and like the massive HEB chain, offering raises to their current employees in light of how they have worked like heroes to keep the shelves stocked. How individuals and small concerns are self-organizing to sew and provide face masks to hospitals and clinics. How established manufacturers are turning their assembly-lines to producing hospital masks, gowns, and ventilators – in spite of their usual product-line being something else entirely. There are so many great stories, percolating up here and there, about how local communities are coping … But the national Establishment News Media is focused solely on how anything which comes to their attention in this regard can be used as a slam against President Trump.

Discuss as you wish, and have the heart. What encouraging local media stories have you heard?

21 thoughts on “Madness and Maddow”

  1. Yes, there are real opportunities for successful story-telling…and consequent ratings success and financial benefit…which are being missed.

    There needs to be some focus on WHY the corporate parents of these entities…Comcast in the case of MSNBC…are apparently happy with these assets pursuing 100% political agendas as opposed to doing things that might actually contribute to profit.

  2. Comcast’s roots are in east coast urban cable monopolies via government license. They’re based in Philadelphia, and have always been tight with the urban machines. The competitive landscape may be different now than when they started, but corporate culture is quite sticky.

    my 2c anyway…

  3. Long ago and far away, there used to be places called “Airports” where people would go and wait, and wait, and wait. Someday, children, I will tell you about why the people were waiting. But today, let’s talk about something else.

    In these “Airports”, there were large numbers of what were called “TV Monitors” — you may even have seen one in a museum. But in those long ago days before the Fall, there were “TV monitors” everywhere in “Airports”, brought from a far-away land where a special race of people could make those wonderful devices. And there was a mysterious organization called CNN — but no-one knew what those letters meant. The “TV monitors” in the “Airports” would show pictures of people talking, and everyone waiting in the “Airport” would sit with their backs to the “TV monitors” and ignore what the people on CNN were saying.

    There are many theories about why our ancestors would ignore CNN. Some speculate that the people on CNN spoke in a language that no-one could understand. Some believe that ignoring CNN was seen as a social duty. But the most likely theory is that CNN never existed — it was a myth. Certainly, our archaeologists and historians have never found any trace of CNN.

    Tomorrow, children, we will discuss the legend of “Twitter”.

  4. Over the past several weeks I’ve read several (3?, 6?) stories of some victim’s ugly, awful, fearful, even heart-breaking experience with CCP-Bat flu taking them to the hospital, a couple or six stories about health care professionals getting overwhelmed by their long hours of caring. And a few (tho not in the media) about similar professionals bored silly because their hospital is shut down waiting for the expected tsunami of virus patients. These real stories do help personalize the data of the curves, making it real. (Sorta parallel to appreciating Sgt Mom’s historical vignettes, which have people as well as facts.)

    But I’ve seen zero stories about what the folks losing jobs are experiencing. I’ve heard a little bit about various enterprises adapting–one cannot watch an evening of TV without one or more fast food restaurants letting us know how its employees are there for us, with videos presentation of them in gloved hands and clean uniforms preparing meals and taking them to the drive-in window. I’ve heard about grocery stores doing the sort of steps Sgt Mom’s OP describes–indeed, I’ve appreciated that benefit, going to pick up groceries ordered and paid for on-line by a shut-in, mobility limited friend, getting these delivered to my car in the store parking lot. (I know that’s been going on for the last 6 or 8 months, but my first experience with it. Still don’t know how that process does not revert to an 1800’s store, since as far as I know no premium has been required for the service). But nothing about the folks out of work, nothing about their facing utility bills and rent in addition to grocery bills.

  5. News not noticed:

    The vaccine for ‘seasonal’ flu has only been about 50% effective this year. Which is about par for the CDC. There is always “effectiveness” testing and people who got the vaccine but nevertheless present with “influenza-like-illnesses” or ILIs can be and are tracked. Who in the news media is digging into that rich ore of data? Did we see a spike of ILI from China-travelers before Corona 2019 was identified? What portion of ILI patients died? Etc.

    Texas among other places has postponed local elections. Governor’s orders. At present the idea is to vote for mayors and sheriffs at the same time as senator and president. How do these down ballot candidates plan to adapt? How do local elections offices plan to provide the VERY long ballots? Etc.

    Net Neutrality was a big deal back in my younger days. Now ISPs are lifting data caps to ensure customers woeking or schooling at home have the Net. So what changed in the past few months for non neutral ISPs. Is there federal stimulus money headed their way as a reward?

    Was there a Russia/Saudi conspiracy to prop up Western economies by lowering oil prices in anticipation of the Corona virus slump? What do economic models show the market would be doing if oil were trading at traditional prices?

  6. Not only that, Maddow has been attempting to FUD chloroquine/zithromyin because, Trump. And, by implication, those who practice the Art of Medicine, using all low risk/potentially high benefit tools at their disposal to save lives, in difficult times.

    The totality of the evidence is that through profound journalistic malpractice, she and her Confederacy of Mediocrities are being injurious to the emotional and physical health of the population.

    She must go. Removed from the airwaves.

  7. I’ve noticed an interesting minor phenomenon. I am getting emails from Costco with offers and sales of big ticket items like appliances and furniture.

    That got me thinking about Costco. Does anybody go there shopping for anything but toilet paper these days? I stood in line for 90 minutes a week ago for the “senior citizens shopping hour” with a thousand others in a line that wound around the building and into the parking lot. Once we got into the store, the line continued to the paper goods section. I was after paper towels and only after I got them, was I allowed to shop for meat and vegetables. I saw no one looking at furniture or appliances.

    Costco, for all the giant crowds, must be hurting financially because all they are selling is low margin goods.

  8. I can handle a certain amount of spin from the left. Nothing wrong with showing your point of view in the best light. But Maddow spews toxic and dangerous misinformation.

    Not just her, either. The cause celebre of COVID-19 is forcing politicians into ever more and more over-reactions that are bad tradeoffs for society.

    One example that comes to mind is when a reporter a few days ago asked Trump “How many deaths are acceptable to re-start the economy”. This kind of myopic focus on only COVID-19 deaths will ensure bad tradeoffs.

    The other day NBC nightly news opened their broadcast with “Tonight, our worst fears are being realized….” This was on the same day that Dr. Birx, in her own gentle way, blew a hole in the Imperial College prediction of 2 million deaths in the UK. In actual fact, our worst fears were being obliterated.

  9. People keep talking about CNN’s low Ratings. CNN gets its $$ from subscription fees. For every $ you sent to the cable Company, CNN gets $X amount. This came up with ESPN, people didn’t seem to realize that ever month ESPN got $3 per month per Subscriber – no matter what. Further, its owned by Warner Media which has revenue of $33,000 Million per year. Total ad revenue for CNN in 2016 was only $600 million. So, CNN can “lose” money forever, and it won’t matter.

    That’s why you have these left-wing media organizations taken over by Giant media companies, it makes them immune from market forces. Don’t like MSNBC? Tough. Don’t Like CNN? tough. You can stop watching, but they can get by with their fees, and international and USA left wing audience.

  10. “People keep talking about CNN’s low Ratings. CNN gets its $$ from subscription fees. For every $ you sent to the cable Company, CNN gets $X amount.”

    Surely, though, viewership is a factor…at least the negotiations as to how the cable subscription fees are allocated.

  11. I haven’t willingly watched a news program since around 9/12/2001. I concluded that they were a null source of information and everything I’ve seen since confirms my judgement. I stopped listening to Limbaugh about the same time, not because I disagreed, but because, after 14 years of listening, I pretty much knew what he was going to say, and with the internet, I had the same raw material available.

    I find that I’ve missed an entire generation of news “anchors”. The last I saw of Anderson Cooper he still had all his hair and was on ABC at 4:00 AM when I was getting up to go to work. I find it amusing to watch from a distance as they all fight over what’s left of their declining audience.

    Whenever I do see a snatch for some reason, I’m always struck by how boring they are. They are either going on endlessly about something that I’ve been aware of for days or weeks, or something utterly trivial, often enough, both together.

    When news papers started, they were a luxury and were avidly passed around among those that couldn’t afford them. Between advertising and the steam driven press, the cost dropped until it became trivial and has stayed there ever since. We have reached the point where few are willing to pay any appreciable amount for “news” and the rest seems perfectly content to graze over what they can get for free while at the same time, advertisers have either decided that they don’t need to pay for eye balls, or have adopted such intrusive advertising that they are blocked by anyone with the least technical savvy.

    The exception to the advertising debacle would seem to be the annual super bowl. Nobody ever asks if the adds actually make anyone want to buy the product in question if the product is even discernible.

  12. Oh, thanks for that link, Gringo – the HEBs that we go to have been magnificent, although I think their staffs were a bit shell-shocked that first weekend. Things have about returned to normal at both of them, in the last few days; we found just about everything we needed, although there were still some empty spaces on the shelves.

    The National Establishment Media is missing so many excellent stories in all of this. There are so many places where decent people are carrying on, and pitching in to help in so many ways, large and small. There are reporters, even film personalities who could make their name on the home front; they could be a 21st century Edward Murrow, or an Ernie Pyle, a Bob Hope, even … instead they’re snarking about Trump and hoping that conservatives and flyover country types all catch the Wuhan plague and die. It’s surreal, this sheer bloody inept blindness on the part of all but a handful of local media.

  13. A twofer, crazy and stupid. He must have been one hell of an engineer.

    It’s so obviously Trump’s fault, I’m surprised they even charged him. Just another victim.

  14. And now, it appears that the Dem leadership is all hot-to-trot on accusing Trump of not taking the Wuhan virus seriously, and blathering about hearings and reviews.
    Sigh. Another deep sigh.

    Let’s see – the Daughter Unit and I began to see stories percolating up on (IIRC) the Daily Mail about this horrific flu virus in China in and about late December. OK, China – regular source of horrific flu epidemics since … whenever? January – enough rumblings about the Wuhan flu to attract serious attention. By mid-February, we were concerned enough to stock up late in the month; extra TP, cold/flu remedies, additional stocks of shelf-stable and frozen grocery items we were fond of. So we were freaked out enough about all this to spend extra money by the end of February, beginning of March!

    We are ordinary citizens, with no particular access to back-channels and secret reports – but we had a sense that this was coming. (So did the senior management at HEB, according to the link above, and they had all of that back-channel/international communication available and made damn good use of it, as I can attest as a local consumer) … it’s just astounding to me, that the Wuhan corona-virus seems otherwise to have taken so many other media and political bodies by surprise. It’s a black swan the size of a flying Velociraptor. How could they not have seen it coming?

    Well, really – another reason to doubt the ability of our so-called elite. They didn’t see this coming. And now they try to blame everyone else for their shortcoming.

  15. “Surely, though, viewership is a factor…at least the negotiations as to how the cable subscription fees are allocated.”

    In the shorter term, viewership is a factor because they’re trying to sell ads, and if they don’t have eyeballs to watch the ads, they can’t charge as much.

  16. I’m with MCS – the major media and worst than useless to me. I don’t allow them to waste my time nor befuddle the facts.

    I’m like the Alien in Kubrick’s “Man Who Fell to Earth” screaming “keep them out of my mind!”

    They do take a dip of the cable subscription fees. Where I live, I can’t get an internet hardwire feed without something called “eLife” TV which has absolutely NOTHING I want to waste time on.

  17. I spent some time in New Mexico back in the 60’s. At that time the countryside was full of abandoned small towns. I asked some the people why and they said it was because the schools had been centralized, so the families moved so their children could go to school. There were probably other, economic, factors, but the school explanation stuck in my mind as non-obvious.

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