Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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Recently, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell presented what he said was proof of President Donald Trump having loans cosigned by, as he put it, “Russian billionaires close to Vladimir Putin.” And how did O’Donnell prove this? A single anonymous source he claimed was close to Deutsche Bank, the bank that approved President Trump’s loans. Since his show aired, NBC came out and said they could not confirm the identity or the veracity of the claims O’Donnell made. And after a legal threat by the President, O’Donnell tweeted he made “an error in judgement.” Whoopsie!

Great journalism there, Larry. You can expect your Pulitzer for Investigative Reporting on Stories Pulled Out of the Reporter’s Ass any day now.

I know CNN is often slapped with the “Fake News” label (and deservedly so given how many stories they get wrong), but another network may take the crown before too much longer, that being MSNBC. What started out as an alternative to the aforementioned CNN has become the place for Leftists to gather, spread information, and watch like-minded talking heads bring up a laundry list of news stories designed to confirm the biases of its viewers.

As a media observer/critic/mocker, I’ve watched MSNBC’s evolution from news channel to a left-wing InfoWars without Alex Jones’ appeal. And, as you might guess, I have a few opinions on it and the various personalities who inhabit its bubble.

MSNBC

What the Left thinks it means –  one of the only true sources of hard facts and investigative reporting out there

What it really is – what would happen if CNN were run by Millennials

I’ll be the first one to admit I trust MSNBC less than I trust Nancy Pelosi’s plastic surgeon referral, but that’s not without reason. Whatever journalistic practices they had at their inception was removed and replaced with self-important Leftist figure-airheads who can best be called willing mouthpieces for the Left. Whether it’s Rachel Maddow (who I think is Chris Hayes in drag), Chris Hayes (who I think is Rachel Maddow in drag), Lawrence O’Donnell (who I think is a drag, period), or any of the other interchangeable anchors, there are two things that unite them. One, they will advance any and all Leftist viewpoints, regardless of how farfetched they may be. And, two, they suck at real news.

This is going to come as a shock to you Leftists, but some of MSNBC’s critics have an idea or two about what journalistic standards are, or were as the case may be. Take the O’Donnell bombshell mentioned above, for example. Going to press with a single source, let alone a single anonymous source, would get you busted down to reporting on zoning meetings under an editor whose goal is to report news, not rumor. Why? Because newspapers and TV stations can get sued if they get a story wrong and damage a person’s reputation. Yes, even if it’s Donald Trump’s reputation, which is damaged worse than a Ford Pinto gently tapping a wall at Chernobyl.

But that’s not what MSNBC’s editors do. Instead, they allow unfounded and poorly-sourced speculation to go to air without checking the facts first, often with hilarious unintended consequences. Remember when Rachel Maddow hyped a story she had a copy of Donald Trump’s taxes? Turns out she had a portion of the tax forms and it showed…Trump paid taxes. That bastard!

What is also showed was MSNBC wasn’t interested in finding the truth, but was interested in finding a way to get people to talk about their reporting. And after Maddow’s bombshell bombed, it was quickly “memory holed” and her credibility was untouched in Leftist circles. The same will happen with O’Donnell, and the same has happened with other MSNBC hosts like Joy Reid, Al Sharpton, and the late Ed Schultz. No matter what insanely stupid things they said or did, Leftists pretended like those were minor mistakes that didn’t reflect badly on their credibility. Of course, they don’t extend the same courtesy to anyone on the Right…

The problem Leftists face without knowing it is by relying on poorly-sourced information without doing a bit of fact checking on their own because it fits what they believe, they are becoming less informed and more vulnerable to “fake news.” And when it pertains to the President, they will jump on any accusation if it sounds plausible. Granted, the Right does this, too, so it’s not just a problem with the Left. Even so, the Right has relatively few outlets for potential misinformation when compared to the Left. It doesn’t make it right, but it does make it harder to find the truth.

Broadcasting 24/7 isn’t a right; it’s a privilege, one that comes with an awesome responsibility to not cause harm to its viewers or listeners. For the second-highest rated cable news network to be so cavalier with the truth as frequently as it does is frightening because it violates the implied contract between the maker and the consumer. We still put our trust (as misguided as that may be) in media outlets from talk radio to cable news to newspapers to give us the facts. Yet, as recent polling data shows, the public’s trust in the media is lower than an earthworm’s belt buckle. That hasn’t come because the media have done their jobs. It’s because they haven’t, and MSNBC is a prime example of what happens when a member of the media get something wrong.

I don’t want MSNBC taken off the air, and the same goes with CNN, Fox News, and other news media. (Although, I do think Hallmark Movie Channel needs to seriously cut back on the Christmas movies. At this rate they could run them every day of the year and never repeat one.) What I want is for the media to get back into the news business. And, yes, that requires a bit more effort than asking a Republican when he stopped beating his wife while asking a known Democrat wife-beater what his favorite color is. It means asking tough questions on both sides, not dismissing one side of an issue because it doesn’t line up with yours, and above all else have a poker face better than the ones on Mount Rushmore. We shouldn’t put up with alleged news anchors rolling their eyes, literally or figuratively, when a guest says something that doesn’t square up with the narrative. As we’ve seen, the narrative can be wrong, and when coupled with ideological fervor that makes the Spanish Inquisition look indecisive create an uninformed populous ready to pick up torches and pitchforks at a moment’s notice because Orange Man Bad.

But you do you, MSNBC.

Rachel and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

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There are times when the jokes write themselves, folks. And after this past week, there are a lot of jokes being written about Rachel Maddow’s hour-long reveal of Donald Trump’s 2005 tax returns…that turned out to be a bigger let down than Michael Moore and Rosie O’Donnell tandem bungee jumping off the Sears Tower. And that’s even more of a let down than I was with most of my ex-girlfriends.

Whether the Trump Administration set up Maddow or if she and her crack staff (or staff that’s on crack) just dropped the ball is irrelevant. What is relevant today and for some time to come is how Maddow looked like an utter fool teasing an anti-climax more disappointing than the box office draw from the “Ghostbusters” reboot. How bad was it? When both the Left and the Right are mocking you for your blunder, it’s bad.

Now, many on the Left are telling us to watch the entire show and watch as Maddow connected the dots before passing judgment. That may be true, but that would require us to watch her spend an hour doing a modern interpretation of Geraldo Rivera’s trip to Al Capone’s vault. Or, more accurately, Weird Al Yankovic’s uncovering of what was in Al Capone’s glove compartment from the movie “UHF.” (For those of you who haven’t seen it, it was rooooooaaaad maps!)

As bad as it looks for Maddow now, it is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Her network, MSNBC, has set itself up as the Anti-Trump, All-The-Time Network, and it works for a sliver of the population demanding this sort of commentary in lieu of journalism. Therein lies the problem. By feeding into the demand, MSNBC has taken itself from being a somewhat respectable channel that occasionally reports the news to a channel that cannot be taken seriously. (Of course, I would argue them hiring Al Sharpton cemented that, but I digress.) The hype Maddow whipped up for the not-so-big-reveal only made the Icarusian fall from grace that much brighter.

Sure, the ratings may have taken a bump, but at what cost. Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that Jerry Springer ruled the daytime airwaves with segments so shocking and sensational it gained him the ire of people across all segments of the population. Hype only works if the payoff justifies it. Even if at the 11th hour Maddow realized she had a Triple Nothing-Burger With Cheese, she went ahead with the non-story as though it were significant and real.

Here’s a pro tip for you, Rach. Next time, do your research before you hype your story. That way, you don’t wind up with more egg on your face than a hatchery farmer at ground zero of a henhouse explosion. And if the story doesn’t justify it, don’t hype it.

Although much of the scorn being heaped upon Maddow’s shoulders is justified, I can’t say that I don’t feel sorry for her. She let hubris overrule her reporter’s instincts and ran with a story that played into a Leftist narrative. That can happen to anyone. Just ask the New York Times editorial staff about Jayson Blair. Since the show aired, Maddow has doubled down on the hubris by blaming…get this…the people who bought into her hype.

If I shook my head any more after this turn of events, my skull could double as a paint mixer.

For Maddow to regain her stride and be credible again, she has to do a major mea culpa. Admit the folly of her actions and stay away from sensationalism for a while. Like, say, the rest of her career. If Donald Trump is hiding something in his tax returns, that information will come out sooner or later, but playing to the crowd wanting it to be true will only blunt the impact if it is true. That’s why real journalists don’t play partisan games. They look at the facts, report them as impartially as they can, and leave the opinions to the editorial page and to the readers/viewers.

Until that time, Rach, you will hear a lot of people discounting your reporting.

And a lot of people laughing at you. Primarily me, though.