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Rhodes Scholar Reporting the News Show Discussion

To discuss what Rachel reports on her show including Best New Thing in the World, The Interview, Debunktion Junction, Moment of Geek, Cocktail Moment et. al.

As others have posted before, I wish Rachel didn't give viewers so much of a Wikipedia description of whatever story she is reporting as well as the constant repeating of words and phrases when she reads her script.

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Although I highly respect Maddow and I really like the way she addresses the issues, I cannot watch her show because of the constant repetition in the same tone of voice.  It makes me crazier than I normally am.

On the other hand, I'm the director of a military museum and when I get to the Cold War leading up to Desert Shield/Storm, I often quote her book "Drift."  It's a marvelous study of the problems we have in this country identifying with the soldiers we so blithely send overseas into harm's way.  Anyone interested in the evolution of Total Force Policy (which I happen to agree with) should read Maddow's book.  It's really, really spot on identifying the problem she aptly calls "drift"* and making satisfactory observations on how to prevent Drift in the future.  

*IIRC, General Creighton Abrams didn't have a name for "drift" but he sure complained about it.  LOL

ETA:  Another thing I really admire in Maddow is her ability to get a hold of an issue she thinks is important and not letting go.  She digs in and shakes the shit out of a topic until all the rot falls out of it.  (One that comes to mind is 133 C St., SE, WDC.  She took that story and just wouldn't let go.  Good for her!)

Edited by Captanne.
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Last night's segment on the Ft Hood shooting and veterans was amazing!

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Rachel's skirted the issue before when she's talked about INFRASTRUCTURE. How damages from snow storms and bridge collapses can minimized by spending money on infrastructure.She's talked about pipeline bursting, oil cars blowing up towns, etc. We spend all this money trying to fight terrorism, when if any of these things happened because of terrorism and not incompetence/bad luck/negligence everyone would be up in arms.  

 

We're cool with towns blowing up because it would have an impact on the companies shipping oil, but who cares about the businesses that were blown up by the rail car or the homes that become uninhabitable because of pipeline spills.

 

I need to go play with my cat.

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Rachel has really been on fire this week.  I've been feeling really angry about how people have been convicting Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in the media and I'm glad she has been talking about it.   And, she's been fair - she's pointing out both sides have been doing it and showed that his Republican Senator has been pretty disgusted by this also.

 

I wonder if she will be on tonight - she hasn't been on the last two Fridays.

Edited by M. Darcy.
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ETA:  Another thing I really admire in Maddow is her ability to get a hold of an issue she thinks is important and not letting go.  She digs in and shakes the shit out of a topic until all the rot falls out of it.  (One that comes to mind is 133 C St., SE, WDC.  She took that story and just wouldn't let go.  Good for her!)

 

I admire that too.  She really shone a light on that whole C St. crowd and let the rest of us know just how politics in DC is played.  Ditto how she's kept the Christie scandal in the public eye no matter how the Republican powers-that-be in NJ want it to be buried.

 

I've always thought that she was instrumental in providing the tipping point for the removal of Don't Ask/Don't Tell when she started giving public face to the soldiers who were being forcibly discharged because of their sexual orientation.  Seeing those people in person and hearing about their military activities and skills, and realizing that the services were losing useful soldiers for a stupid non-military reason helped, I think, to change public opinion on the matter.

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Speaking of digging in, I loved seeing Rachel go after Politifact again. It's ridiculous the lengths that site will go to overlook context and miss the point. I'm not sure what they said this time and part of me is hesitant to look and give them traffic for the usual terrible behavior.

 

And the Martina Navratilova thing really pissed me off when it happened, it basically amounted to victim blaming.

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Heh, I like your name Wax Lion. I have one at my desk, I bought from the LA Zoo. He's blue.

 

I've stopped going to Politifact because they've been so bad at their job.  What Martina Navratilova thing?

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Thanks. I still have a place in my heart for Wonderfalls and Jaye's wax lion.

 

Martina Navratilova went on the Sunday morning talk shows to campaign for ENDA, saying that in 29 states a LGBT person can be fired for being gay. Politifact called that half true because some companies in those 29 states have anti-discrimination policies and some cities have a non-discrimination policy. That honestly struck me as saying that there's no discrimination, LGBT people who want to have protection should just find the right job.

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TRMS is on point with the Cantor upset tonight! I loved Steve K's thinking-out-loud about the possibility that some dems voted in the open R primary.  I turn on the internet machine, and see an anecdotal confirmation of that very thing on Andrew Sullivan's site. Now, granted, it's one anonymous comment, but I bet there'll be more unearthed as the days go on. If true, man, that's some kind of devious awesome.

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Though, the strange thing is from watching Rachel's show the past few weeks, Cantor's loss wasn't that surprising to me.  When she had that story of when he was booed and lost getting his guy elected, it was a clue of what could happen. 

Edited by M. Darcy.
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Yes, when she showed Cantor at that town meeting or whatever it was and he wasn't being fawned over by the crowd, that should have been his wake-up call that his Tea Party support was turning against him. 

 

A lot of the TRMS segments give a tip-off on what is going to be the "next big thing", once people really think about the information being presented.

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I had no idea that people have been vandalizing James Chaney's grave all these years.  Seriously - its not enough that they tortured and murdered him, they can't even let his grave rest in peace.   I am glad that Rachel talked about Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner.  I'm one of the group who regard them as heroes.  Years ago I wrote a column for our organization's newsletter about the importance of voting and it started off with a reference to them - basically saying that they had been murdered so people could vote so don't forget to vote. 

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^^^ Decades after his death they come after his grave stone.

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The lady at the cemetery (whose top I was coveting, it was so colorful and summery!) was interesting too. I may have been projecting, but when she answered the 'how do you feel when the stone is vandalized?' question with a thoughtful sigh, I could swear she was giving herself a moment to think of an answer other than a disgusted 'haters gonna hate.' She certainly showed more grace than I would've.

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Anyone remember the Margaret Cho joke about the incontrollable rage she felt upon seeing a racist bumper sticker? That's how I felt during the report about James Cheney.  I was just screaming at the TV, "What the fuck is wrong with people?" Jeering and throwing stuff at mourners? Vandalizing a grave for decades?

 

I recall an interview with one of the stars of Mississippi Burning where they talked about working under a code name and cover stories. For fear for their safety, they would tell people they were doing a teen sex comedy about college kids on spring break and all the equipment that was marked bore the name of a different movie.

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More info I learned from Wikipedia - after James Cheney's funeral, the Goodman and Schwener familes and others helped the Chaneys to leave Mississippi and move to New York. 

 

You know, I am really glad that Rachel and the other MSNBC shows are on.  None of the other stations really talked about the Supreme Court decision about buffer zones and about I'm guessing none of them pointed out the fact they have their own buffer zone.   They all thought the soccer game was a more important story.   But other channels haven't covered the assault on women's rights are much as Rachel does so I shouldn't be that surprised.

 

And, last night was awesome!  Rachel said National Airport!  She didn't use the R word. 

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I knew Rachel would go batshit with that decision about the buffer zones. 

 

That is absolute bullshit.  I was listening to NPR on the way home and one of the Operation Rescue fuckwads said that he doesn't want to yell or scare the women, but to gently describe to them the horrors of what is going on inside the clinics.  Really, sir?  How many abortions have you had that you have first hand knowledge of what happens? 

 

I was screaming at the radio and I'm sure the driver next to me at the light thought I was insane.  

 

What about trespassing on private property?  If these clinics aren't on public property, why can't the owner of the building stop anyone who doesn't have a reason to be there get away from the doors?   I work in real estate and we don't allow whatever jack ass wants to stroll around our buildings and harass tenants and their guests.  We ask them to leave and then tell them if not, we'll have the arrested for trespassing.  I've run off people in the building trying to sell fake paintings and perfume, to boys out in the parking lot on their skate boards.  

 

It was one step forward, two steps back for Indiana yesterday.  The ban on same sex marriage in the state is lifted, but the Supreme Court finds a way to ruin the day anyway. 

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I think the clinics with buffer zones abut public sidewalks. For which trespassing laws are insufficient.

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But I heard someone say they walk right up to the door.   The public sidewalk is parallel or on the perimeter of a property, The walk from the public sidewalk to the entrance is not.  I've developed enough properties to know that.  So they cannot be on anything that the city/county does not maintain.  Anything that is within the land deeded to the owner of the property is private. 

 

Yes it sucks that they're even allowed that close, but going right up to the door.  That's trespassing. 

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In urban areas, entrances are right at the sidewalk, there's no distance from the sidewalk to the front door. I agree that those facilities that have a set-back, or driveway, or the like will have grounds, but I'm betting the local police can't/don't want to staff up for the daily onslaught buffer zones ameliorated.

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Well get ready for "Rachel Tears SCOTUS a New One", Chapter Two, after the Hobby Lobby decision. 

 

Gear up, ladies. We've got a war to fight. 

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Not just ladies! Every man who shares incomes with women who work is affected by this too!  I'm trying to convince myself this kind of thing will lead towards single payer more quickly. Otherwise it's just too fucking depressing. 

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Remember when I said how the other news isn't covering this as well as Rachel. Tonight on ABC World News the Supreme Court decision was the 7th story mentioned. You just know this will be the first story talked about by Rachel.

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I never object to having Dahlia Lithwick on teevee. I bet she'd be fun to have cocktails with. Seeing as I'm still trying to drink away my frustration with this asshole court, it would be nice to make it fun.

Edited by attica.
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I'm sure Rachel would be happy to be the bartender.  I hear she is an awesome bartender at the White House Correspondents Dinner afterparty. 

 

Can I say how happy I am to see familiar handles on these posts? 

Edited by jjj.
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I love the format that she's settled into with the long Block A and then generally an interview.  Nobody else goes that in-depth regarding the usually biggest topic of the day.

 

Best "punditry" in the business!

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I really liked the Jeh Johnson interview. It's nice to see somebody in an important job who clearly is smarter than all the bears, not just the average ones. Unlike recent Horse Association doofuses.

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Indeed @attica.  I absolutely hate the breadth and the name of Homeland Security, but it is comforting to see the thoughtful gentleman currently in charge.

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Thank heavens for decent public officials like Judge Clay Jenkins of Dallas County.  I found his factual monotone recitation very moving as he listed the reasons Dallas was going to help small children who are undocumented and who are currently being sent to something that he described as basically a jail while waiting for action.    Thanks for introducing us to him, Rachel, and I look forward to the follow-ups you requested. 

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So Science has confirmed that all the Oklahoma earthquakes Rachel covered a few months back are indeed the result of fracking. I expect we can see a story on that soon.

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Rachel just did a 24 minute opening story about the history of hookers in Congress and the White House briefing room. She went all the way back to the early 70s, showed a piece from Tucker Carlson about David Vitter and generally went to the moon and back. I woke up with a bit of insomnia just before 3CDT but luckily she seemed to cure it for me. Oh yeah, the purpose of the story was to report on the latest news about the Sen. Bob Menendez story that Cuba was possibly involved. Thanks Rachel for putting me back to sleep.

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In that long intro, that she left out the detail that Vitter's hookers were of the 'we'll put you in diapers' variety seems a lost opportunity. Then again, she gets points for including a bit of her appearances with Tucker sans anchor-makeup.

 

I was surprised she lobbed that big honking softball at Wendy Davis about why she thought Abbott changed the dangerous chemical notification rules. It was a good point to make and WD hit the pitch, but it struck me as clunkily done. 

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I forgot how much fun it is to shout "Hoo-ahr" at the screen whenever Jeff Ganon appears on the screen. There's a part of me that always wants to give the media some side-eye for downplaying that Ganon was a prostitute. If that happened in a Democratic White House, I don't think that part would be overlooked.

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I never get tired of those LBJ tapes. (Today's segment around 9:50.)  And they still top the new Nixon conversations Rachel played at the end of the program.  (I thought his conversation about "the gays" had been broadcast previously, maybe on another show.)  Hearing LBJ talk about need more room in his pants for his nuts and bunghole is such a window into his complete lack of personal finesse.  Yes, I have heard Doris Kearns Goodwin talk about some of the excruciating circumstances under which she had to interview him. 

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I couldn't believe it when Rachel said that the VA funding bill has been held in committee and no one (other than her) was paying attention to notice. This is one of the many things that makes her so great, she doesn't look to the rest of the media -- print or TV -- for cues for what to cover, she's great at following stories everyone else is missing.

Edited by Wax Lion.
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I've tuned into Rachel's show the last couple of nights because I've been wanting in depth coverage on the refugee crisis at the border and what is going on with that. Unfortunately, the show has done a horrible job covering the crisis. I don't know if it is because Steve Kornacki is there instead of Rachel or if the producers haven't done their research, but it is so frustrating to watch. His interview with Jose Diaz-Balart was just awful. He came into the interview trying to push his point and wasn't listening or understanding what Jose said. It was like watching an interview on CNN. So incredibly disappointed. When is Rachel back?

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The show really suffers when she is not there,  since she writes the whole thing and constantly re-writes it right it up to the minute.

 

Though I am surprised with Kornacki we aren't getting wall to wall Jersey bullshit.  Yeesh, he played that to death, well most of them on MSNBC did, it was almost as bad as the missing plane on CNN.

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I was sick of the NJ stuff but it was the only subject matter that I think Kornacki has done a good job reporting on. He just doesn't have the depth of knowledge to understand other issues. I wish Rachel would have a different fill-in when she is out for that reason.

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I'm guessing she is out for the week, which means I am, also.  It makes me realize I'm really watching for her contributions and ability to interview.  Kornacki could be good for a segment or two, but can't carry an entire week. 

 

By the way, what happened to the final repeat of the show, which used to be 1:00 AM Pacific Time?  For the past few days it has been "LockUp!" at 1:00 AM.  that is NOT what I want to see instead of Rachel's show!

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By the way, what happened to the final repeat of the show, which used to be 1:00 AM Pacific Time?  For the past few days it has been "LockUp!" at 1:00 AM.  that is NOT what I want to see instead of Rachel's show!

 

This is aggravating me as well as I often set my dvr to record those middle of the night repeats.  I wonder, if it's to do with competing against CNN and it's running of documentary type shows at that same time.

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I usually like Steve Kornacki but the past few weeks I don't know what's been up with him. First he was terrible guest hosting Hardball. I wondered if he trying to mimic the style of the show but then his TRMS appearances were just so off.

 

Anyway, I came he to say I loved Rachel's cry for the media to be more cynical in their reporting and resist the urge to report something uncorroborated just because it fits what we want to believe about Russia.

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Yeah, that first segment Friday was brilliant. She started with a great big "fuck what you heard. That's all fan fiction." And then, just as I was starting to think (and, frankly, fear) that she was about to reveal evidence that suggested Ukraine was responsible, BOOM, she showed some pretty credible, damning evidence of the rebels' responsibility. Loved it.

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So glad to see Rachel making a Friday night cocktail -- mint julep tonight (which I would never drink, but I do enjoy watching her measuring and muddling and using a hand-cranked ice shaver).  They actually let her run over a minute into the next hour to finish it.  "Cheers.  Happy weekend.  Go to prison."  Somehow she connected it to Rand Paul and his statements about the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but I could not begin to reconstruct the connections. 

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My childhood household had one of those ice-crusher things, and I had no memory of it until I saw Rachel using it! I remember it being more unwieldy than it seemed to be for her, but I was a wee thing, so maybe that's why.

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Odd challenge:  Shepard Smith got doused with water to raise money for the foundation commemorating the NC State women's basketball coach who died of breast cancer; part of the event it to invite the next dousee.  He challenged Rachel and two others also to get doused -- for which he would pay $50 each to the fund.  Or, Rachel "has to pay" $250 if she does not want to have water dumped on her.  Seriously, $50?  Worth a *lot* more than that.  Curious to see if this gets any more coverage.  Classy thing for Rachel would be to make a bigger donation than $250 and skip it.  Real high road would be to make a larger donation and still get wet.  But why not invite your own network, Shep? 

 

http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/tag/shepard-smith

Edited by jjj.
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I have never lived in Virginia, but the apparent greediness of the former governor's wife (and governor?) is fascinating.  If the Washington Post story (which Rachel reported on today) has an accurate witness list, this trial could last beyond the end of summer -- giving Rachel an opportunity to highlight the low points of that governorship.  As Rachel said, "It's a spectacle." 

 

Virginia Governor's trial -- Washington Post

 

 http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/robert-mcdonnell-trial-to-cast-unflinching-light-on-virginia-couples-friends-marriage/2014/07/26/7499feee-1347-11e4-8936-26932bcfd6ed_story.html

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I live in Maryland and I love how Rachel is reporting on the McDonnell scandal. She is so gleeful when she is out front on a story and it finally pans out and hits the national media.

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