Our tribe's commitment to total defeat!

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2017

Hooray for Hollywood:
We the liberals have a vast love of political defeat.

We pursue this affair with reckless abandon. Nothing can dissuade us from our self-destructive course. We can't quit our love for defeat.

We've been struck by the vastness of this love on several occasions just in the past day. We think of what we saw on last evening's NewsHour. We think of these fascinating letters in yesterday's New York Times, which we'll discuss in some detail next week.

We think of this childish letter in today's Washington Post, whose (apparently under-informed) author isn't likely to rest until defeat is total.

More on all that next week.

For this pre-Oscar Day post, we'd planned to print the text of a speech written by Paddy Chayefsky for his crazily prophetic film, Network.

It has often been said that Chayefsky wrote Bill O'Reilly twenty-five years in advance. Watching Faye Dunaway deliver this particular speech last week, it occurred to us that Chayefsky also pre-wrote Donald J. Trump.

Let's postpone that too. On this day, our tribe's commitment to total defeat seems overwhelming, plupowerful.

Before the Mayflower: Long before Network, Chayefsky's wrote a series of searching films about the lives of New York City's white working class.

His film Marty won the Best Picture Oscar in 1955, already having won Cannes' Palme d'Or. He even wrote a film, The Catered Affair, in which we were asked to believe that Bette Davis was Debbie Reynolds' mother!

We hope to get to all that next week. Down through the years, our self-impressed tribe has engineered so many ways to seek our own defeat!

We're off an on Oscar-related mission!

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2017

No fish today:
We're off on a mission of national import, an undertaking rich with Oscar implications.

We expect to post tomorrow. We'll have no fish today.

Speaking of corporate American carnage!

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2017

Rachel's latest confession:
Last night, two-thirds of the way through her show, Rachel made a confession.

She's been feeling bad for a month, the corporate star admitted. She started with a videoclip from Donald J. Trump's inaugural address:
MADDOW (2/22/17): For more than one month now, I have wallowed in shame over a mistake I made on Inauguration Day. It had to do with this:

TRUMP (videotape): Crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.

MADDOW: "This American carnage."

For many Americans, that's an understandably terrifying phrase, right, coming from the leader of the free world. But for a very specific group of awesome Americans, the phrase "American carnage" means something else.
That's the way last night's confession started. We viewers still didn't know why Rachel had felt so bad for the past month. But she was about to correct a mistake, as she so famously does.

We're used to that from Rachel Maddow, one of corporate cable's greatest music men. But as she continued, yay yay yay yay yay yay yay! Even as he corrected her own mistake, she promised us big fun:
MADDOW (continuing directly): It means metal!!! The 2010 American Carnage Tour, headlined by Megadeth and Testament and Anthrax and Slayer.

And on Inauguration Day, when I told the history of the American carnage tour and how weird it was to have that metal tour echoed in a presidential inaugural address, at one point, I called the bass player and the lead singer of Slayer Tim Araya.

His name is Tom Araya.

Actually, in the segment, I actually called him both Tom and Tim, because I mis-like-typoed it in my notes? That's almost worse, right? I mean, there's nothing less "metal" than slipping and falling on a typo and thereby inventing a new diminutive Timmy nickname for a metal god like Tom Araya.

I felt so bad. I have felt bad for more than a month. But tonight—

[Pretends to clears throat]

Perhaps an opportunity for a reprieve! Because tonight, right after the show at 10 p.m. Eastern,

[Adopts tone of rock show announcer]

We're going back to American carnage.

[Sycophant laughs off-camera]

Tonight is our special on "Trump: The First Month." I'm co-hosting with Brian Williams and Chris Matthews and all our other friends from MSNBC. It's right after our show, right here.

[Holds up really cool rock tour shirt]

But tonight, I'm going to get American carnage right. I've got my American carnage tour t-shirt. I've got Slayer lyrics tattooed on the inside of my eyeballs. Tonight, I get a second chance to get at least the metal part of this right.

Stay with us. I'm seriously going to wear this shirt during the coverage.
So cool! To watch the whole monologue, just click here. Prepare to be embarrassed by the mugging and clowning, and the endless attention to self.

At any rate, "Yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay!" Or so we liberals said last night, all across the land.

At 10 PM, we were going to see "all our MSNBC friends," and Rachel was going to wear that extremely cool shirt! The TV show starting at 10 PM would be tremendously cool!

That's what millions of liberals said last night. But here on our campus, alarm bells rang. "Check possible fake Maddow pseudo-confession," a flashing red warning light said.

What triggered our "fake Maddow pseudo-confession alert?" According to the print-out, Maddow's claim that she had "mis-like-typoed" Araya's name "in her notes" sounded extremely phony, even by Maddovian norms. Combined with the corporate star's long record of phony face-saving claims, the phrase had triggered an instant alert.

"Go back and see what she actually said," a supervisor instructed.

What did Maddow actually say on Inauguration Day? Did she "actually" get Araya's name both right and wrong, due to the mis-like-typo in her notes? Did she "actually" call Araya both Tom and Tim?

If we're talking about "the segment" she did on her program that night, then no, she actually didn't. Nor did she mistakenly call him Tim "at [only] one point."

In that opening segment a month ago, Maddow referred to "Tim" Araya throughout, as you can see in the videotape of that time-wasting segment, and then in the accurate transcript.

She never said "Tom Araya" or "Tom" at all. To appearances, the multimillionaire corporate star may have made that up.

(Did Maddow mention "Tom Araya" during the afternoon coverage of Trump's address? If she did, by the time she went to air that night, she had Araya's name totally wrong. She got it wrong at all four points.)

Maddow's a real piece of work. Persistently, she refuses to admit mistakes, even on something as pointless as this. Adding to the pathology, she spent years convincing us liberal rubes that she insists on correcting her own mistakes! Her cons seem to know no end.

In the current instance, she apparently wanted us viewers to think that she knows all about metal and such. We'll guess she thinks this would her seem cooler and weirder than us. She does tend to play that card.

In fairness, this silly discussion was mainly offered so Maddow could talk about herself and showcase her really cool rock shirt. Rachel Maddow was selling the car. It's something she constantly does.

Whatever explains the peculiar claim about the mis-like-typo in her notes, this was Maddow's latest weird confession. Meanwhile, good times! During the 10 PM hour, Brian and Chris let her clown about her wonderful shirt.

They're three of our "MSNBC friends." All our friends were present last night, letting a giant star clown.

Rachel's ridiculous broadcast: Below, you see the way the Maddow Show started on Inauguration Day. In this long, time-wasting piddle, Maddow referred to "Tim" Araya four times. She never mentioned "Tom:"
MADDOW (1/20/17): Thanks for staying with us for the next hour. Happy Inauguration Day to you as well.

For all Americans, it's a happy Inauguration Day because any time we have an inauguration, it means that our republic still exists. And the continual, you know, renewal of there being new presidents is a process that continues. That in itself formatically [sic] is a good thing.

[Slaps rim shot on desk]

Who's with me? Come on!

All right. I have somebody to introduce you to on this fine inaugural Friday. His name is Tim Araya. Tim Araya is the bass player and lead singer for the band Slayer, and being the lead singer of the band Slayer is a job—actually being anybody in the band Slayer, it's a job that has specific requirements that don't apply to all that many other jobs in life.

One of the things you have to do if you're in the band Slayer is you have to really wang your head around a lot.

[Sycophant laughs off-camera]

All the time. Every time you play in public, any time you shoot a video, everything.

You know, it's one thing if you're, like, in a metal band for a year in high school and you're 16 and basically made of rubber, right? But the guys in Slayer have been doing this for a very, very long time. They've been doing this for decades. They're a very successful band. They haven't gone away.

But the guys in Slayer are now old guys and there are just these seven little vertebrae in your neck in all of our necks. And once you're no longer in high school and you're an awesome metal dude who has started to turn gray, right? And you're still wanging your head around as part of your day job, those little vertebrae in your neck don`t like it when you do that for decades.

And so—there is he is. In January, Tim Araya got cervical radiculopathy, which is a bad thing. And in order to deal with his cervical radiculopathy, he had to get surgery on his neck. And that was a drag for him. It was also a drag for a bunch of other aging metal dudes in his band and other bands.

It was also a drag for their fans because him having to get surgery delayed the mega metal all-star tour that was due to start in January, 2010. This was an incredible tour. This was not just going to be Slayers. This was going to be Slayer and Megadeth and Testament all playing the same concerts, all playing at the same night. This was an incredible tour.

And because of the surgery, the whole tour had to get postponed because the Slayer guy had to get an anterior cervical discectomy to deal with all the consequences of all of his decades of vigorous head banging. And, you know, nobody knew if the show would be able to go on, but lo and behold, it turns out the Almighty smiles even on bands named Slayer and Tim Araya recovered and we did, in the end, get—this is the important part, look at the top there, see the red banner at the top there, bloody background?

That's right, the American Carnage Tour.

You can still buy posters, you can still by commemorative posters from the American Carnage Tour.

It's funny. By the time they got to their Canadian dates, they changed it to the Canadian Carnage Tour. But when they were in America, it was the American Carnage Tour. As you see on the poster there, it was the meeting of metal titans, Slayer and, Megadeth and Testament and even though it had been in doubt, it had to be delayed, it did happen. And for a certain generation of metal fans, that was metal heaven on earth. Slayer and Megadeth, same night.

And before today, if you were looking for American carnage in our national cultural life, that is what it was. It was when Slayer and Megadeth toured together in 2010 after the Slayer guy had his neck surgery and nobody knew if he'd be able to make it. That was American carnage before today.

Now, as of today, American carnage will be forever known as the theme for the inaugural address of the 45th president of the United States...
With that, four minutes had been burned from her show. It's known as killing time.

To watch this piddle, click here.

Rachel has felt really bad for a month. "At one point," she got his name wrong!

HOW WE GOT HERE, CONTINUED: Exactly five weeks too late!

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2017

Part 4—Cable stars praise Levin:
Last night, Ezra Levin was interviewed, and lauded, on The One True Liberal Channel.

Who the heck is Ezra Levin? He's a 31-year-old former congressional aide who woke us up in the liberal world, exactly five weeks too late. In mid-December, Charles Bethea provided an overview in this New Yorker post:
BETHEA (12/16/17): On Wednesday, around 7 p.m., a Google document entitled “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda” began making the rounds online. Its origin was the Twitter account of Ezra Levin, a thirty-one-year-old associate director at a national anti-poverty nonprofit, and self-described “Twitter novice,” who lives in D.C. and, until a few days ago, had roughly six hundred and fifty followers. His tweet’s simple message, “Please share w/ your friends to help fight Trump’s racism, authoritarianism, & corruption on their home turf,” belied three weeks of unpaid work by some three dozen mostly young progressives who had been collaborating on the document since the week of Thanksgiving.

Levin and his wife, Leah, had gone to Austin, Texas, where he grew up, for the holiday, and had met with a college friend of his, named Sara Clough, at a local bar. Clough was an administrator of a private Facebook group that describes itself as “a place for support, healing, helping, sharing, community and love in the wake of the 2016 election.” Clough and others who belonged to progressive online communities—such as Pantsuit Nation—were “trying to figure out how best to act,” Levin said. “They knew that making calls and signing petitions were helpful, but then they hit a wall. They didn’t know what else to do or how to effectively engage Congress.”
At Clough's site, we liberals—self-admittedly, the brightest people on earth—were "healing" in the wake of the White House election we'd amazingly managed to lose. Levin and his associates produced the Google document which has been used by our fiery tribe in fashioning our current revolts at various town hall events.

We recommend Bethea's full account. We'll also suggest that Levin's "Indivisible" document may be full of good advice for people who want to fight back.

That said, it's also true that Levin's post appeared five weeks too late. Or possibly twenty-five years too late, depending on when you start counting.

The tardiness isn't Levin's fault; twenty-five years ago, he was only six. According to the New Yorker, his tenure as "the deputy policy director for Congressman Lloyd Doggett, who represents a district in central Texas," ended in 2011, when he was just 26.

You can't expect people of such tender years to issue warnings which have the advantage of being timely. Meanwhile, in those "three weeks of unpaid work," Levin and his heroic associates produced a document which may do a lot of good moving forward—or possibly not, of course.

It would be silly to blame Levin for the fact that those three weeks of unpaid labor occurred several weeks too late, or possibly twenty-five years.

Levin's document tells liberals what we should do, now that we've lost the election. We'll call it a warning about any further inaction. But good God! Just ponder the many years of inaction preceding Levin's report!

With that in mind, we'll proceed to ask our key question(s):

Is it possible that other liberals should have warned the rank and file at some (much) earlier date?

Levin's team swung into action just as soon as we lost. Should other liberals have urged resistance at various points in the past?

Should other liberals have urged resistance when the chimps were branding first lady Hillary Clinton a liar in June 1999?

Should other liberals have urged resistance when that editorial, AL GORE, LIAR, appeared that very same week?

Should someone have urged resistance when Chris Matthews was calling Candidate Gore a "man-woman" all through the fall of 1999?

Should someone have urged resistance when Matthews produced astonishing misinformation—fake news?—about the so-called Buddhist temple in March 2000, furthering the narrative that Gore was a big honking liar?

Should other liberals have urged resistance when Brian Williams staged his serial nervous breakdowns in the fall of 1999 and the winter of 2000—nervous breakdowns about Candidate Gore's troubling wardrobe choices and the strange psychological state which must lay behind them?

In 2007, should other liberals have urged resistance when Chris Matthews led a gang of chimps in a joyful revisiting of Hillary Clinton's Cubs-and-Yankees lie?

Should other liberals have spoken up when Matthews kept calling Clinton "Evita Peron" and "Nurse Ratched?" When he gave the crazy Gennifer Flowers a full half-hour to talk about the Clintons' many troubling murders? When he almost got Cody Shearer killed, so deep was his love for the Faire Willey, his dearest dear, and her crazy, dangerous claims?

Should other liberals have spoken up concerning the possible lie about the need for a mandate in Obamacare? We'll leave that "lie" till the end of our show. But should liberals have spoken up then?

Ezra Levin was very young during all these incidents—also, during the three million other incidents which were exactly like them. It isn't his fault that no one spoke up during these three million gong shows.

That said, the record shows that no one did.

Jonathan Chait didn't speak up. Kevin Drum didn't speak up. Frank Rich tended to drive these incidents. (He trashed Gore's motives for opposing Iraq. He trashed the motives behind Gore's Oscar-winning film, An Inconvenient Truth. Rich just couldn't quit this pose. Liberals should have spoken up then. Instead, we made Rich a hero!)

E. J. Dionne didn't speak up. Neither did Eugene Robinson, Jonathan Alter, Jeffrey Toobin, James Fallows.

The New Republic's Peter Beinart? A failure to speak up! That said:

Endlessly, again and again, Chris Matthews lay at the beating heart of these incidents—and these incidents invented the voter perceptions which have now sent Donald J. Trump to the White House, like George W. Bush before him.

These incidents created one of the most powerful narratives in modern American politics and journalism. According to these incidents, Hillary Clinton has a unique set of character problems, like her husband and his troubling vice president before her.

Hillary Clinton is a LIAR, like Candidate Gore before her. That's what this endless string of invented incidents taught voters to believe.

To state the obvious, none of that is Ezra Levin's fault in any way. That said, we've mentioned him for a reason.

Last night, Levin appeared on MSNBC's hastily-assembled, two-hour review of President Trump's first month. Along the way, the program was hosted by three gigantic cable stars:

Chris Matthews, Brian Williams, Rachel Maddow. These big stars hosted the show.

It isn't Ezra Levin's fault that voters thought that Candidate Clinton was a bigger liar than Candidate Trump. In theory, it's hard to lose an election in such a wildly improbable way, but our team devoted twenty-five years to the job of making it possible.

Matthews played a major leading role in building the BIG LIAR narrative. Williams gonged his way through Campaign 2000 in service to Chairman Jack Welch.

Eventually, Williams got kicked off the air, thanks to all the crazy tales he invented about himself. No one has ever asked Matthews to explain all the crazy insults and claims he pushed about Clinton, Clinton and Gore, presumably at the direction of Chairman Welch.

No one has ever written a serious profile of Matthews' past behavior. Beyond that, no one ever will. Journalistic careers hang in the balance! Good jobs at good pay!

Maddow exults in her friendship with Matthews, swears that he's the best analyst ever. Christopher Hayes will never tell you about the things Matthews did.

Ezra Levin was praised last night by two of the people who did the most to invent the BIG LIAR narrative. Maddow, of course, is the self-adoring circus clown who cautiously told us this:
MADDOW (6/15/15): ...it is not at all that I dislike Mr. Trump and, therefore, don't see the appeal because I don't share the affection for him that his supporters have. It's nothing like that. It's not qualitative at all.
How in the world did Candidate Clinton get perceived as the BIG LIAR? Among other explanations, after four years of Trump's birtherism, Maddow was still saying that!

From there, Maddow proceeded to mug and clown her way through the seventeen remaining months of Campaign 2016. She avoided every politically dangerous issue, just as she'd done, in the fall of 2012, when the Benghazi myth was being invented at the expense of Susan Rice.

And then, of course, four years later, at the expense of Candidate Clinton! Benghazi, from which our clown ran and hid, helped decide this election too.

Our multimillionaire corporate stars spent decades creating this outcome. Because careers hung in the balance, the rest of our fiery career liberal guild knew they should keep their mouths shut. Maddow doesn't speak about Matthews, and no one else speaks about her.

That one other "lie" we said we'd cite occurred in 2007 and 2008. Remember? Candidate Obama said you wouldn't need an (unpopular) individual mandate to institute a health care plan.

Candidate Clinton? She said you actually would!

After getting elected, Obama "changed his mind" about the need for a mandate! Today, we liberals all know how stupid The Others all are when They can't grasp this obvious point.

Is it possible that Obama lied, at Clinton's expense? Within the world our fathers invented, such thoughts are rejected by script.

Levin performed three weeks of unpaid labor twenty-five years too late. He was praised all up and down last night by the people whose greedy, clowning corporate behavior tells us how we managed to get here, why we now need his advice.

This afternoon: A classic moment last night