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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 Daily Picks
"After five years of war with the Islamic State, the biggest problem for the winners is coping with the losers. The aftermath has produced one of the world’s most perplexing postwar challenges..."
"What do we mean when we say that the “soul of the city” is under threat? Often, it’s really about politics, nostalgia, and the fear of community change."
"...the pendulum of history never stops moving. Indeed, one of the few constants of history is unceasing change. While we seem to be heading in one direction, we must remember that there will surely be pauses, turns, and reversals."
""Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé," premiered early Wednesday and it was the fulfillment of all the ancestors' hopes and dreams. Beyoncé also dropped "Homecoming: The Live Album.""
"Seven in 10 adults ages 18 to 34 received financial support from their parents in the last year, including more than half of those in their early 30s. Almost three in five millennials said they couldn’t afford their lifestyles without the support."
"Social media influencers have helped turn public lands into tourist-infested swamps. And one cantankerous man is fighting back."
"One particular myth that attached itself to Ledger was that his death was somehow a result of immersing himself in the character of the Joker."
"In 2018, for the second year in a row, American publishers released fewer translated titles: 609 books were published, down from 650 in 2017 and the industry high in 2016 of 666."
"Egg freezing had become so routine among my single peers that when I hit 35, I never thought twice. Here’s what I wish I had known."
"When it comes to Passover cuisine, most home cooks know to avoid wheat, oats, rye, and other forbidden ingredients. But what consumers might not realize is just how much cotton they eat during the holiday."
"A masked figure looms over your recumbent body, wielding power tools and sharp metal instruments, doing things to your mouth you cannot see."
"Passover is a holiday that commemorates the Jewish people escaping slavery in Egypt. It is often referred to as the “festival of freedom.” My Passover in prison was at a place called the Wallkill Correctional Facility..."