Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Maddow shows how it is done

Watch this video and learn. Rachel Maddow had David Frum, former Bush speechwriter (he coined to phrase "Axis of Evil") on her show last night. While Frum makes all the appropriate clucking noises about how awful the rhetoric coming from the McCain campaign is, he attempts to offset that by slipping in a subtle suggestion that Democrats are also to blame when they use sarcasm when responding to Republicans (such as Maddow does on occasion).

Rachel is no dummy. She picked up on what he was doing and stops her planned questions in favor of a calm refutation of Frum's false equivalency. And you can see that Frum doesn't know how to respond. He gets quiet, he hems and haws, he blinks a lot, he looks to the side as if ashamed. He makes a few good trooper attempts to get off the ropes, but he never quite succeeds.

What is doubly impressive about Maddow's performance is that she never once raised her voice during the exchange (Bill O'Reilly would have been shreaking). She just calmly called bullshit on the idea that sarcasm is somehow comparable to calling Obama a "pal of terrorists". Maddow understands that it is this myth of equivalency that allows journalists and "serious" political operatives like Frum to avoid confronting the ugliness that Republicans promote. As long as they can say that both sides do it equally then they are freed from responsibility when reporting on it.

Maddow won't accept that and neither should we.

(hmmm. For some reason the video embedding is working. Here's the link instead).


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