Does Rachel Maddow Want Russia Bombed?

Here’s why I ask. Maddow devotes many minutes on MSNBC stirring up hatred of Russia in order to establish that there is a vague possibility that President Donald Trump might be corrupted by a foreign government.

But that’s already established beyond any doubt. China’s state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is the largest tenant in Trump Tower. It is also a major lender to Trump. Its rent payments and its loans put Trump in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Every building approval, extension of credit, tax break, subsidy, or waiver of normal rules that Trump’s businesses get from numerous foreign governments, state governments, and the U.S. government define him as quintessentially impeachable.

So, if the point is just to document corruption by Trump, why reach and stretch for a speculative possibility, when you’ve got a solid case sitting in your lap?

Maddow opened her rant on Thursday by making clear that what was coming was baseless speculation that might conceivably turn out to be right. She then began by describing Mikhail Gorbachev as a man who “lost the Cold War” but got a Nobel Peace Prize as a “consolation.” Then she praised a newspaper he started. But he himself wrote on Thursday in Time Magazine the polar opposite of what Maddow would go on to say. He proposed peace and disarmament. She launched into an attack on Putin as an “intense little man,” whom she implied had a habit of murdering his critics.

In Russia, she said, there’s no notion of an aggressive accountable press. And yet, she said, the Russian press has reported on the dramatic arrest and charging with treason of a top cyber official. Leaving the question of what that proves about Maddow’s ostensible topic (Trump) completely vague, Maddow turns to denouncing Trump’s Mexican wall plans as vague and rejecting his “unsupported contention” regarding voter fraud. Then she leaps into a series of unsupported contentions:

1. the pee-pee story
2. the evidence-free “intelligence community” report
3. an evidence-free October statement from DHS
4. an evidence-free September statement from the FBI

Worse than all those vague possibilities, Maddow says, is this: Rex Tillerson got a friendship award from Russia. Think about that. Here’s a guy setting about rendering the earth’s climate uninhabitable for his short-term greed, and Maddow wants to demonize him for getting a “friendship award.” Then she attacks the idea of lifting sanctions on Russia and suggests the only possible explanation for that would have to be that Russia stole the election for Trump. As if lifting the sanctions were not needed in order for Tillerson’s corporation to plunder Russia’s oil and render the earth unlivable for our species and many others! The sanctions are needed, Maddow claims, because Russia “unilaterally annexed part of another country and took their land.” As if Crimea didn’t vote. As if a non-unilateral annexation would be one where the people do not get to vote?!

Maddow goes on and on demonizing Russia and Putin. She airs for free and in its entirety a television ad that refers to as fact “Putin’s attacks on our democracy.” Then she credits the ad, which asked no questions, with raising legitimate questions. Then Maddow declares that there will be an investigation into “Russia’s efforts to influence our election on Trump’s behalf,” which assumes as fact all the evidence-free claims and then piles on the claim to know Russia’s motivation. Yet, later Maddow’s theory devolves into just the possibility that some little fragment within all these evidence-free accusations could be true — and it would be over that fragment that a Russian was arrested for treason. Maddow struggles at this point to make the chronology work, since the arrest was in early December. Yet she asserts as simple fact that the treason arrest was in fact a response to U.S. election tampering.

Maddow, meanwhile, makes clear that she believes actual evidence of Russian hacking, supplying WikiLeaks, etc., exists somewhere in the U.S. government. Yet people are leaking torture prison plans and embarrassing accounts right out of the White House, and we’re to believe that nobody in any of the sainted 17 “intelligence” agencies would leak evidence if it existed?

What if by some bizarre series of coincidences Maddow were right? How, even then, would you justify stirring up a cold war with a nuclear government over that government revealing to your public that one of your political parties had rigged its primary? Wouldn’t some of the blame go to that party? Wouldn’t a little restraint in name-calling and demonizing be in order? Wouldn’t the outrages that Trump openly commits deserve a bit of condemnation as well?

We’re facing open corruption, militarism, advocacy for torture, discrimination, xenophobic immigration bans, attacks on basic necessary services, actual attacks on voting rights and election integrity — and rather than taking these problems on, Maddow prefers to find one problem that originates in an evil foreign land. I suppose that’s a more comfortable place to lay blame. But even a country that would elect a fascist clown because another country had made public that an election was flawed would be a deeply deficient country in need of self-improvement in a major way.

I asked observant media critic Norman Solomon (with whom I work at RootsAction.org) what he thought of Maddow’s performance, and he replied:

“Maddow’s 25-minute soliloquy was a liberal version of Glenn Beck at the whiteboard. Her plot line was the current Democratic party line — free-associating facts, possible facts, dubious assertions and pure speculation to arrive at conclusions that were based on little more than her zeal to portray Trump as a tool of the Kremlin. Even when sober, Joe McCarthy never did it better.

“We might dismiss her performance as just another bit of stagecraft on ‘MSDNC,’ but Maddow is in sync with widespread fear-mongering by pundits and Democratic Party loyalists who think they’re picking some low-hanging fruit to throw at Trump. But what they’re doing is poisonous — and extremely dangerous. Escalate a new Cold War? Push the U.S. government into evermore assertive brinkmanship? Push the world to the precipice of nuclear holocaust and maybe over it? Humanity deserves better than mega-propaganda that could lead to the world blowing up.”

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  • Josh Stern

    We all grow up in a soup of propaganda without realizing it. “U.S. good. Russia bad.” We are taught to believe that, & given biased evidence to back it up. Maddow believes “U.S. good. Russia bad. Trump bad. MSNBC viewers want Trump attacks.” So she feels like it’s a harmless freebie, and just doing her job, to make insinuations without much content. The propaganda forest remains invisible amidst the trees.

    • Mollie Norris

      Dr. Joseph Farrell, Nazi International, Dr. Dennis Cuddy, “The Power Elite and the Secret Nazi Plan”. Planned before the end of WWII. Yep, those Nazis don’t like those resource-rich Russkies.
      thulesociety,com
      Has the EU had enough forced immigration by violent trained “Muslim” terrorists to see a resurgence of Aryan fascism? Yep.
      JFK – Nothing happens by chance.

  • Lynn Walker

    You’re going to complain about the garbage presented on the zombie-box?

    [Editor] Why do you print rubbish from brain-dead morons? Mr. Swanson is absolutely the most ridiculous writer every to grace the pages of this site.

    [Swanson] At least this wasn’t your another of your pathetic “Beyond War” articles. Does this mean you’ve gotten a clue? I doubt it, so here is that clue: war isn’t the issue, fraud is. God loves war and it will always exist. Again, war isn’t the issue, war based on fraudulent reasons is.

    [Editor] Every story on this site should be about FRAUD, as this is the central issue of our day. Not inequality, not war, not money, not elections. It’s all about the FRAUD. The fraud of banking, the fraud in our government, the fraud in the economy, the fraud behind our wars. START COVERING THE REAL ISSUE: FRAUD and how to counter it.

    • Carl_Herman

      Gee, Lynn Walker, a big part of what alternative media does is counter garbage from corporate media and “official” sources. We cover a lot about fraud, true? You’re welcome for the donation of our time and attention as a public service to issues we find as most important to communicate.

      Are you equally praise-writing when we address topics you find valuable?

    • Miko

      Oh this is great. A blatantly provocative post with no point and no real argument that only serves to signal to others where the poster’s opinion lies. Wait a second ….this sounds familiar, didn’t I just read an article about someone engaging in this kind of childish behavior… is Lynn Walker a pseudonym for Rachel Maddow?

      Replace FRAUD with RUSSIA “Every story on this site should be about RUSSIA!” lol

  • slorter

    She is a corporate journalist and her pay requires her to follow the little red ball!

    • Mollie Norris

      A good German, huh?

  • LeseMajeste

    So Putin tricked CNN into giving the debate questions to DNC hack Brazille, who gave them to Hillary, so Russia could expose this trick and embarrass Clinton?

    What about REAL news, like the treasonous activity of Clinton selling access to her top secret SD emails to foreign powers in exchange for money donated to the Clinton GI slush fund or is that too ‘newsy?’

    • Carl_Herman

      gee, LeseMajeste, this level of expert deconstruction of “official” propaganda/fake news isn’t enough for you in one article?

      There are about 100 game-changing issues, and other articles on the other topic you mention. All topics cannot go into one article, right? Perhaps you should ask David to write on this topic, if you really want this.

    • cityspeak

      You will never hear her attack the dismal dollar Dems, never.
      It seems like MSNBC has both wings of the ruling oligarchy covered but having Rachel and Mika and Morning Joe going full propaganda blast all week long.
      This way they never have to bet on any horse as they are serving both masters at once and the cash and favors never stop rolling in.

      • Mollie Norris

        Of course they’ll attack the dismal dollar – it’s Trump’s fault. The NWO is a criminal cartel; when disinfo fails, it will resort to mass murder,

    • Mollie Norris

      And Putin’s hack of Clinton’s emails off NSA servers and their transfer to Anthony Weiner’s laptop.
      We don’t and won’t have news in the US – it’s not the UN-NWO-Satanist agenda. We should acknowledge the new definition of MSM as Mockingbird mind control.

  • iseeit

    Swanson (and others of his ilk) would likely be far more productive in promoting peace were they to invest some time educating themselves regarding the reality of ‘climate change’ and it’s most probable future effects. By consistently propagating this hair on fire alarmist hysteria, so common among the delusional left, Swanson severely taints his otherwise respectable credibility on other, valid concerns.

    • Carl_Herman

      gee, iseeit, kinda’ harsh on on the very few writers competently addressing peace.

      • Mollie Norris

        Global warming is the tool for UN NWO fascist-totalitarian takeover; it’s an excuse to murder 95% of the world’s population and reduce the number of people on the planet to one that the .01% can control.
        green-agenda.com
        naturalclimatechange.us

    • Nancy Volle

      Nuclear war is an environmental problem.

  • GPC

    Rachel Mad-dog keeps barking at the bear. Trump is trying to prevent the bear from getting enrage by these mad dogs. Wise thing to do.

    • Mollie Norris

      I agree, although defunding bear-baiter NATO isn’t on his agenda. How is Trump accomplishing this?

    • jadan

      Bear doesn’t bite when baited. Be scared of bear baiter!

  • Carl_Herman

    Sharp; thank you, David.

    Yeah, when you take a transcript of what’s being orchestrated, or watch it line-by-line, the propaganda is tragic-comic. We’ll keep pointing to the facts in good-faith effort.

  • jadan

    If there was any consolation in the election of Trump, I thought it was a make-nice-with-Russia policy that might step us back from confrontation proposed by Hillary. But so deep is the need for a national enemy to justify the existence of our bloated military and criminal “intelligence” agencies that blatant propaganda, such as the Russian “invasion” of Ukraine and the “annexation” of Crimea is accepted as truth. Those on the left who may have believed that their politics was built on a foundation of peace & love from the anti-war movement of the Viet Nam era will be surprised to hear a prominent figure of the left spewing such crap as this.

    So thanks for calling her on this betrayal of core peace values, David, and continue to remind people that there is a real left and a fake left. The real left is anti-war, even if old Bernie didn’t make that clear when he was out waving the flag of 60’s idealism and democratic socialism.

  • cityspeak

    I call the the “Putin did it” nonsense the left’s “birther moment”.
    You might recall after the illegal and disastrous Bush/Cheney regime and Obama’s win instead of asking themselves what went wrong the GOP had these elaborate birther claims about Obama. The left is doing the same thing now with the Russia scare.
    Turn off your TV . It is lying to you.

    • Chris Horton

      The “blame Russia” meme marks the dividing line between the corporatist liberals covering for the corrupt DNC and the real popular left. The reincarnation of the “cold war liberals” of yesteryear like Scoop Jackson and George Meaney.
      Our dilemma is we have to work with them to stop Trump’s attacks on our rights, living standards, protections and civilization, and we can’t fight them on Russia much because that’s low on most regular people’s priorities, but when the battle is most intense they’ll play the Russia card and throw us under the bus.
      For now, watch who jumps on board the Putin-bashing and make a note to yourself: do not trust.

  • hidflect

    Does anybody watch The Smirker anymore?

  • jay

    I agree with much of what you say until…
    “We’re facing open corruption, militarism, advocacy for torture, discrimination, xenophobic immigration bans, attacks on basic necessary services, actual attacks on voting rights and election integrity — and rather than taking these problems on…”

    Let’s be fair:
    Rachel HAS done extended pieces on “actual attacks on voting rights and election integrity”, on the Muslim ban, and on corruption [Navy corruption scandal, Jared Kushner’s real estate deal with the Chinese, Treas. Sec. Wilbur Ross & the Bank of Cyprus]. I might add that she’s done more with those topics than anyone else i’ve seen on MSNBC or CNN. She may also have covered some of the other topics in your list — I’m only mentioning here what i happened to have seen in my own intermittent viewing of her.

    Like I said, I agree with the spirit of your criticism, but let’s not ignore/ dismiss the many stellar shows she’s done.