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“The fact that MSNBC host Rachel Maddow focuses excessively on Russia-gate is not new, and it’s not unique—clearly, there is some kind of ratings incentive for cable TV news hosts like her to chase the Kremlin dragon in lieu of topics that you or I might consider more concrete and more important. That’s life on the small screen, and while it’s easy to rue the melodrama and the superficiality, Russia has been the moneymaker since Trump was elected, and it’s not going to change.
That said, there’s a big difference between obsessively covering the Mueller investigation and…this… in the absence any actual connection to actual Russian attacks on our grid, what on earth is Maddow up to here? Is she just using a nasty weather event to stoke the fear that Russia could make it worse? Because that’s definitely what it seems like she’s doing! And fearmongering on that level, with no evidence to support her wild speculation, is deeply irresponsible and extremely reminiscent of the conspiratorial ravings you’d see on Infowars or any other alternative right-wing media source. It’s building an enemy from scratch, and while the Russian government is not a choir of angels, Maddow’s insular red-baiting does no favors to anyone, on any side, and only encourages tribalistic thinking.
If this is what we can expect from her show, or from MSNBC in general, it may be time to retire the idea, once and for all, that we can count on any TV outlet to cover the issues that affect us the most on a daily basis, or to hold our institutions accountable for anything beyond the dark fantasies of a host who has clearly lost the thread.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"On Christmas Eve of 1966, Paddy Roy Bates, a retired British army major, drove a small boat with an outboard motor seven miles off the coast of England into the North Sea. He had sneaked out of his house in the middle of the night, inspired..."
"The book that changed lecturer, activist, and current presidential candidate Marianne Williamson’s life, A Course in Miracles, is not available for free online, but its workbook is. You can find it on the website for the Foundation for..."
"Here are two sets of statements from far-distant opposites in the climate change debate. The first is from Naomi Klein, who in her book This Changes Everything paints a bleak picture of a global socioeconomic system gone wrong: “There is a..."
"Voters who trust their government — and each other — are more supportive of ambitious welfare states than those who do not. Across nations, high levels of social trust correlate with high levels of social spending. The relationship between these..."
"With the presidential campaign under way, expect to hear a lot more about a shiny new toy of progressive economic thinking, “modern monetary theory.” It seems to be the only intellectual contortion that might allow candidates to promise..."
"“We don’t want to fight y’all. We’re not trying to go to jail.” That’s what A$AP Rocky, the 30-year-old New York City rapper, can be heard saying in a video of an encounter with strangers in Sweden that has ballooned into an international crisis."
"Israel’s top officials are considering denying Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib entry to their country due to their outspoken, controversial criticism of Israel’s policy toward Palestinians, not to mention their slurs against American Jews as..."
"For most of our lives, we have been conditioned to share a piece of personal information without a moment’s hesitation: our phone number. We punch in our digits at the grocery store to get a member discount or at the pharmacy to pick up..."