Rachel Maddow

Political Hay

The Left’s Hackish Response to Bowe Bergdahl

By 6.6.14

Bowe Bergdahl’s name has been emblazoned across cable news chyrons all week, but on Tuesday Rachel Maddow was talking about a different American POW: Jessica Lynch.

Maddow opened her show with a lengthy recollection of the 2003 rescue of Lynch, who was captured after her vehicle was ambushed on the third day of the Iraq war. Lynch was initially portrayed by the Washington Post as a hero, a “little girl Rambo” as she later described it, who went down guns blazing and riddled with bullets. The story proved a myth; as Lynch quickly clarified, her gun had jammed and she wasn’t able to shoot anyone.

For Maddow, freeing Lynch was analogous to freeing Bergdahl because both had complicated backstories. Only in Bergdahl’s case there are these damned right-wingers we must contend with. She played a montage of conservatives objecting to the prisoner swap that freed Bergdahl. After a phony pregnant pause, she concluded, “On the American right, in Republican politics and in conservative media, there apparently is nothing to celebrate in an American prisoner of war coming home after five years.”

Media Matters

Rachel Maddow Is Smirking

By 1.22.14

Rachel Maddow is smirking today. That, of course, doesn’t distinguish this from any other day. Maddow’s smirk has become part of her now-predictable style, along with the chirpy delivery, the dressing-up of partisanship as wonky pragmatism, and the endless repetitious snark after playing clips. (“What was the name of the act there? Hoot-Smawley? Known to everyone else as Smoot-Hawley?”) But Maddow has particular reason to be self-satisfied today. Chris Christie is trailing Hillary Clinton in a new poll by eight points, thanks to the Bridgegate scandal that Maddow’s network, MSNBC, has been covering relentlessly.

Another Perspective

Putting Plagiarism in the Past

By 11.18.13

Accusations of plagiarism have mushroomed from a minor scrape with the media to a wave of bad press for Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. The senator’s reaction to the allegations has been criticized as bombastic, adversarial, and tantrum-like at times. What can Paul do to salvage this situation and continue with his career?

Rachel Maddow enjoyed exposing Paul’s plagiarism. She put on her best Jon Stewart imitation, mirthfully sharing details about how Paul’s speech at a Ken Cuccinelli fundraiser nearly mirrored the Wikipedia plot description of “Gattaca." Grinning all the while and on the verge of frothing at the mouth, Maddow waxed about how this might impair Paul’s future political ambitions.