As MSNBC Makes Shifts, Rachel Maddow Presses On

Courtesy of MSNBC

With just a few hours remaining before her program is slated for broadcast on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow is wondering if jail time is in her immediate future.

On Friday nights, her “The Rachel Maddow Show,” arguably the linchpin of the NBCUniversal-owned cable-news network’s primetime lineup, typically feeds into another MSNBC staple: reruns of the prison documentary series “Lockup.”  As Maddow fades from the air, a deep-voiced narrator often tells viewers of graphic content that is about to surface on their screens. She typically tries to write a funny segue to cap off her hour, humorously informing viewers they are about to hear from a nameless “warden.”

“Is there a prison show this evening?” she asks her staff of producers and researchers on a Friday afternoon when the prospect of a coming blizzard means MSNBC may well go live to storm coverage. “If we are going to prison, where are we going?”

It’s a degree of attention which most TV anchors probably would not give, but Maddow thinks scrutiny of the minute is important. During the meeting, she quizzes producers and researchers on everything from what kind of cheese went missing from a semi-trailer in Germantown, Wisconsin,  to the details of the plot of the 2014 film “Kingsman: The Secret Service.”

“The best part of the story might be a very small detail,” the 42-year-old host said during a recent break in preparations for her show.

Maddow’s desire to get into the weeds and inner workings of nearly everything that passes her way is lending her new momentum at a time when the cable network that backs her, MSNBC, is in deep flux. MSNBC rose to new heights by embracing a partisan approach to presenting the news. Day and night, the network presented stories of the day through a progressive lens. Maddow and her fellow primetime hosts, Chris Hayes and Lawrence O’Donnell, still do. During a large part of the day, however, MSNBC has shifted its focus to breaking coverage, becoming a sort of “NBC News Channel” that emphasizes hard news and politics – a move executives hope will help the network rebound from severe ratings losses over the past two years.

Does her show have to follow suit? “They don’t tell me what to say. The network doesn’t program my show. They don’t tell me what to cover and what not to cover,” Maddow said while talking in her office. “I want to be trustworthy so that continues to be our deal, because that’s the only way I’m going to be able to do this show. That’s the way I work.

Maddow’s program is different from many others. Whether or not viewers and others agree with her point of view, there is no denying she has immersed herself in the topics she discussed before holding forth on them. “The Rachel Maddow Show” does not rely overmuch on talking heads – indeed, one of the challenges of the program is booking guests because final decisions on the lineup don’t come until an afternoon news meeting – and instead pivots on Maddow’s ability to synthesize the nitty-gritty of a situation brewing in some part of the country and make it of interest to the broader populace. She’s a raconteur. The staff even limits the number of regular segments, because taking an issue of the day that Maddow wants to discuss and tailoring it to a format could prove difficult, said Cory Gnazzo, the Maddow program’s executive producer.

In recent weeks, Maddow’s attention to the granular has helped propel her.  Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly wins more viewers overall and in the demographic most desired by advertisers almost every night, but Maddow’s viewership in that category – people between 25 and 54 – is up 58% in January through the 27th over the year-earlier period, according to Nielsen. On Sunday, she began what is expected to be a months-long sideline gig co-anchoring MSNBC’s live politics coverage with Brian Williams in the run-up to the 2016 election for U.S. President. On Thursday, she will moderate with Chuck Todd a debate among the three Democratic candidates for President.  In recent print ads MSNBC has taken out in newspapers, a photo of Maddow is the same size as those given to Williams, political commentator Chris Matthews and the team from MSNBC’s signature morning program, “Morning Joe,” Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.

Maddow “is the Steph Curry of our primetime lineup,” said Phil Griffin, MSNBC’s president, making a reference to the acclaimed Golden State Warriors shooter. “I don’t want to interrupt the flow of work being done,” he said, adding: “I want her this year to be recognized for her reporting and the effort that she makes every day I want to focus on that.”

She describes her live-moderating assignment as one in which anything might happen.  “Nobody knows who’s going to win! I mean, who on the Democratic side knows who’s going to win? That’s freaking spectacular, just in terms of suspense,” she said of the Iowa Caucus. She sees a lot of potential for trouble among the Republicans as well.  “Donald Trump gets all his information from watching clips of people talking about him,” she told staffers during the production meeting. “What you hear from him about himself is what he has heard from other people about him.”

MSNBC recently sent Maddow to host a town hall in the troubled city of Flint, Michigan, which her program began to focus on in December. The water there had been discovered to contain dangerous levels of lead after the city changed its water source and neglected to add anti-corrosion chemicals to its water, leading to leaching from pipes.  Maddow staffers had been following the situation, owing to some previous stories they had worked centered on Michigan government.

Flint residents had complained about water for months, but Maddow said her staff wanted to wait for the right moment, “the time all the pieces came together and we could say what the problem was, and what the scale of the problem was and whodunnit – not just that Flint was old and sad, and a bad thing happened,” she explained.  For the story to generate interest on a national level, she said, she had to point to the fact that “somebody did something and it had consequences.”

The result? The Maddow program has been given a large degree of credit for making Flint’s struggle a story of national concern. The host is shy about her role in the story, noting that local media like Michigan Radio and the Flint Journal have been on it for a longer period of time. “I don’t want to take credit for their work,” she said. “I do feel we gave it a little bit of a boost in terms of a national profile.”

Waiting for the right moment to jump on a brewing local story has been key to Maddow’s success at MSNBC, where she has delved into the tale of  a river in North Carolina polluted by Duke Energy coal ash and is currently keeping tabs on a quirky story out of Mississippi, where the state legislature overturned a straw-drawing tiebreaker that kept a Democrat lawmaker in office, resulting in a Republican majority. “We had been sort of waiting for various explanatory pieces to come into full view, and once we had a clearer view of it,” the Flint story was appropriate for her show to dissect, she said. “It was actually emotionally wrenching to realize that we were going to be the first high-profile national coverage. It’s not that there wasn’t other national coverage before, but we realized this was going to be the thing we were going to be covering for months.”

To get these stories, Maddow and her staff keep tabs on local newspapers and local blogs, explained Gnazzo, the producer, who also suggested the show has sources in various parts of the country who might alert staff to something interesting. For her part, Maddow said she might study everything from a medical journal to a trade publication for government executives in preparation for an evening’s broadcast. “It’s actually like a library,” said Griffin of Maddow’s office.

Because this is an election year, Maddow is likely to place more emphasis on politics, said Gnazzo, suggesting political stories could take up to 60% of the focus of her program in 2016. “Presidential years are for us and every cable-news show a whole different ballgame,” he said. But there are other important stories, “and we don’t want to take our eyes off of those.”

Maddow isn’t looking to dumb things down. She  believes “you can get a general American cable-news audience to graduate school,” but only if the report is rooted in the facts – and lots of them. “I do think if you are good enough at expository writing and the use of visual elements, you can get to an incredibly intense level of detail, and have people really get it,” she said. “But you have to be good at it.” Chances are no one is locking Rachel Maddow away in the near future.

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  1. Geolenmulroney says:

    I think if liberal commentators were honest and objective they would acknowledge the corruption in their party!The Clintons-Lois Lerner-Loretta Lynch-Debbie Wasserman Schultz and on and on lie and cheat for their own agenda and money and do not care about the country or the American people.Lets listen to Dr. Alveda King and come together for the good of all!If you have to be offended by history and statues and become violent instead of realizing how far we have progressed then I feel sorry for your future!The last eight years have made us weak and all the social programs have made millions dependent on handouts.Their pride and self motivation to succeed in life has been eroded.Lets be open minded and research all sides,not only Rachel Maddow and left leaning thinkers like her.Lets not become Venezuela.

  2. edgar527 says:

    I like the reporting of all the hosts on MSNBC, but I like Racheal the best. I do have question about all the programs. Why is it that an important point about a news story ,the sound is turned off for 15 to 30 seconds and nobody says anything about it?

  3. Christopher Casa says:

    The Rachal Maddow show is the best cable news you could ever want. She explains everything and makes it easy for the average person to understand what’s going on. If they ever took her off the air I would have no reason to watch MSNBC. I watch MSNBC all day knowing I’m going to wrap up the news with her.

  4. Agnes Scott says:

    I have watched Rachel Maddow since she began on the air. She’s always courteous to all guests and is as smart as a whip. I also like Lawrence O’Donnell and Joy Reid! She educates me and the awareness that with this Presidency we could lose our democracy as we know it. I can only hope that Donald Trump aka the Orange Man is removed from office! Thanks Rachel for the critical work you are doing on the air!

  5. Rosina Martinez says:

    Today, May 22, 2017, I turn my TV Channel to MSNBC and was very disappointed not to see the staff of Rachel, Brian, Larence, Chris, Mika and all those people. What happened? I didn’t care too much to what is showing now so might as well go back to my local New Mexico channels. They were doing a great job on keeping us informed on political news all day long and night too. I don’t know who these newscasters are with a different accent. Why can’t we see those others again?

  6. Linda Carnes says:

    MSNBC has a strong lineup of day and night anchors and reporters. I especially enjoy and specifically tune-in to Brian Williams at the end of the day, and glad his talents have survived his earlier mishap. He is a commanding and confident anchor who brings intellect and keen insights to his interviews and events. One request, please remove that silly, incompetent and over-anxious woman who has been substituting in his absence. She is embarrassing and grating to watch, both when she tries to anchor and when she sits on the panel as a commentator. MSNBC has a deep bench of talented journalists – easy reach to find quality and maturity.

  7. Amelia says:

    I know that the lineup changes all the time. However Rachel Maddow is the best. She’s real if you loose her I am done. This new show with Great won’t attempt to spell her last name. Why!!!!! It’s awful don’t care for that brand. It’s leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

  8. Dan Stahl says:

    After spending at least a year watching the evening MSNBC lineup, I’m finished.
    Your show hosts normally speak truth to power. But now that It’s more lucrative Trump is the meal ticket.
    I came home today and it’s full time Trump inaugural bullshit. I speak for millions when I say, I don’t want to see anything about that inbred fuck. Gotta go the BBC is on.

  9. Suggestion to management: Why did the commentators interrupt the NH speech by Clinton to show a video of Senator Warren that we heard minutes before. Rediculous because it will be repeated all day long. You do this all the I immediately I tuned to C-Span, I am a devoted msnbc viewer. This kind of stuff will not do anything for the ratings,

  10. Susan Smith says:

    I enjoy Rachel’s program very much. She is just so real and knowledgeable about this very complex world we live in. I especially enjoy her coverage of the 2016 presidential election because I know she will tell things the way they really are!

  11. Arlene Gruber says:

    I’m very disappointed with the way msnbc continues to attack hc and seem to throw softball questions and no followup to dt surrogates. Are you folks trying to get Donald Trump elected? Then… Good job you will be his grand enabler. Congrats. Maybe we should start wstching Fox news….they could not be more more partisan than msnbc…could they?

  12. Alex B says:

    Air America’s biggest disappointment, an establishment sellout. No wonder Randy Rhoads thought so little of her.

  13. Betsey says:

    No chemistry between Brian and Rachel. She is so much smarter and more informed than he is. Time for him to retire! I retired when it was my time – hard to admit there’s someone more competent to take over.

  14. Nazim Shirur says:

    Rachel is a Rock Star Brian Williams is good as well however it us unfair to Rachel she should be on her own. Joe Scarborough sucks especially when he keep sucking up to Trump, Mika with him is show piece all she does is keep making faces or rolling eyes on her own she is even worse.

  15. John says:

    It’s too bad MSNBC has to use Rachel Maddow to prop up Brian Williams! Really, it looks so sad and truthfully, her integrity will not rub off onto him. It’s awful and we all wish you wouldn’t do that to her. SHE has that integrity, he doesn’t and watching her sitting next to him while he drives a show is just not right in my mind.

    Anyway, thanks for letting us speak out.

    PS: You should get MHP back!!!!!!

  16. Flora Ramey says:

    I just read what is happening with MHP at MSNBC. I watch MHP every Sunday (that I am able) and I will miss her show. If they mess will Rachel I’ll switch MSNBC off altogether. I’m not a fan of making celebrities out of Prisoners. No one covers topics as fully and with as much flair as RM.
    My advice: keep MHP as is, keep RM, keep LO, CH……. and see if you can get KO back!!!!

    Flora Ramey

  17. Bert Stellingwerf says:

    Rachel and Brian are great together I am a Trump supporter that don’t listen to fox much any more. Rachel seems like a much happier and now has a gleam in her eye. I like to watch happy people on the news. I think you have been very fair.

  18. Mott says:

    Luv,love….that woman Rachel….When will Rachel write a bio about her life travels and experiences…..

  19. Mary Healey says:

    I sensed that Brian Williams was “taking over” Rachel Maddow on the coverage of the New Hampshire primary. It’s typical of how the male(even though dis-graced in his profession still feels more than adequate to trump Rachel. Williams condescending tone towards RAchel served to highlight how hard it is for women, even when superior , are not recognized nor respected.
    In the field of politics, if a man had the credentials of Hilary Clinton he would be absolutely crowned “King” and win the election by a landslide. In 2016 what does a woman have to do to simply stand up and say: look at me, look at my record, like any man would have done ,boldly and emphatically.

    Why are women so “afraid” to stand up and be who they are, un-apologetically?? If we want real change in this country as Bernie Sanders cry” then elect Hilary, the most qualified candidate,and yes, a woman the next President of these United States.

  20. Why would they want to keep Madcow except to service Hillary?

  21. sue says:

    I have watched Rachel for many years. This has been my favorite program on msnbc. I have been extremely disappointed though during the democratic primary. It seems that Rachel, Andea, and Todd really do not like Hillary. I am not the only one that feels this way. Andrea really, really does not like her. Because of the negativity I am watching cnn now.
    What has happened? Rachel and others seemingly have been converted by morning Joe.

  22. Kelly Laraia says:

    OK< I guess that Maddow is the "star" of MSNBC but she gets clobbered by Megyn Kelly. Also, when was the last time Maddow challenged a democrat the way that Kelly has challenged some republicans (for example, Trump and Cheney).

  23. Cindy says:

    I just hope its not one sided, Both Rachel and Chuck have no trouble asking Hillary the hard questions and making her accountable for her answers as it should be but with Bernie not so much I want to know how he really achieves what he says he’ll do, and how it wont further divide the country and cause further gridlock.

  24. Joe Weaver says:

    Rachel Madow is well-read, trustworthy, and very talented. We’re blessed to have her: I have not been this excited about a “raw and authentic” journalist, since Walter Cronkite. America, she is the “real deal”!

  25. Gerald Spala says:

    I’d rather put sand in my eyes. Watching more than a minute while she foams hysterically about other news presenters is like listening to my junior high math teacher scrape his nails across the chalk board. She is devoid of a gram of charisma, so dripping with hubris and obviously impressed with how much she has read, how much education she has obtained that she must take just about every opportunity to let the listener know these things. This bankrupt world of advocacy journalism is crumbling and imploding so quickly I sometimes wonder how much longer sponsors will continue to be snookered before finding out their advertising dollars are going no where but the black hole of broadcast outer space. Dress warmly Ms. Madow. It’s cold out there.

  26. Rachel Maddow excels at isolating the politically material point in news stories. Her coverage of Flint reflects her notice, months ago, of a radical change in governance initiated by a Republican Governor and a Republican dominated State Legislature in Michigan. Appointing a “manager” with unlimited financial decision-making power is an action that deserved to be noticed, should have been noticed by many more news shows and justified Maddow’s concern. Destroying the power of an elected body in favor of an appointed all-powerful manager should have raised eyebrows if nothing else, but it did not. Something terrible can happen to once thriving cities and our processes to help struggling towns and cities to resurrect prosperity before falling to the depths are in sad shape. The willingness to toss aside democracy as a precondition to helping financially strapped local governments is a scary consequence of Republican thinking . Appointing “managers” who owe no alligience to the city they manage, who have not been vetted by the people who will be governed, who will have power to create, implement, enforce financial decisions that the governed are not allowed to consent to or dissent from should be big news. Flint is an example of what can happen when important civic powers are usurped from the control of the governed and placed into the control of an ideology, especially an ideology convinced it has the only correct way to govern and has vast financial assets to implant that ideology in State Governments. Karl Rove’s preoccupation with the concept of “sustainable dominance” doesn’t sound the same as “sustainable democracy” to me. That makes me wonder why the pursuit of austerity seems to always take precedence over the pursuit of prosperity in financially troubled cities.

  27. Rachel Maddow excels at isolating the politically material point in new stories. Her coverage of Flint reflects her notice, months ago, of a radical change initiated by the Republican Givernor and Republiican dominTed

  28. ghostofpearson says:

    Pew Research says MSNBC is 85% opinion and only 15% “FACTUAL” reporting

    Now….really, how is being stupid here?

  29. mosche says:

    Can anyone tell me how Phil Griffin still has a job?

  30. Don Martin says:

    She is the best thing that msmbc could ask for you should be greatful you have her

  31. Gander Davis says:

    If Rachel is so smart why does she never talk about the party she seems to constantly support ? She always seem to cut and paste comments from the news to make it look like she is telling the truth.When in fact she is just picking and choosing her sentences to use while leaving out the real story.I guess when you have the so called education she does she can just assume the rest of us are dumb and for the most part she is right.Thank GOD for remote controls and mute buttons.

  32. Evelyn Knoob says:

    I used to watch MSNBC all day. I loved so many of the hosts. Now I don’t turn my TV much of the day. However, I always watch Rachel, and I record it also. I want to make sure I don’t miss it and some times I just want to watch it again. She is current and she has the guts to say what she means. By the way I am a 72 year old woman not her regular viewer. I LOVE RACHEL.

    • Zelma Baker says:

      I also love Rachel and never ever miss her show because I also tape it just in case I am not home or so I can watch it again to make sure I did not miss anything. She is truly a genius ! I also miss Al Sharpton, Ed Shultz, and Alexs. Watching MSNBC every day was just a very important part of day. Now I just turn to the station at eight for Chris, Rachel, and Lawrence. Whoever made the chances in the daily lineup needs to be fired. I am glad however the station was wise enough to give Joy Reid another show. She is also a talented and gifted journalist . I also tape her show so I do not miss her.

  33. Bob says:

    MSNBC is just a 24/7 infomercial for Democrats/Liberals/Socialist….. Tax and Spend…… Go green and stop telling me what I should do and do it yourself you hypocrite.

  34. susie richter says:

    i dvr all regular programming so i can watch her live. i am a 65 year old white retired child welfare social worker from long island who now lives in florida. i’m married to my 2nd husband for 36 years, have 2 adult daughters and 4 spectacular grandchildren. my husband and i would be considered to be in the 1% based on income and wealth. i am an unapologetic left wing liberal stuck in the 60s girl. i love the one two punch of chris hayes and rachel maddow. thanks msnbc for keep these 2 on everynight. listening to smart is wonderful.

  35. Chuck says:

    I disagree with the vast majority of her politics, but I love her show for both the variety of topics, and the very interesting historical perspectives which she often comes up with. She is brilliant and witty enough that I usually am perfectly satisfied to watch her show without worrying too much about how we draw different conclusions. Meanwhile, even though I am more closely aligned with Megyn Kelly, her show is always the same — watch on Night X, and you will have watched Night X+1 as well.

  36. kimdi01 says:

    Since no one watches MSNBC and there is really nothing in their lineup worth watching, why don’t they just save a few bucks by turning off the power and closing up?

  37. Why the boring prison Cons crying I do not belong here!! shows on weekend! Get some REAL news

  38. Dr. Lorenzo and Claudia Lang Pitts says:

    Thanks for the article on Rachel Maddow. I appreciate the in-depth research that she and her staff does before bringing a story public. As Gabriel Heatter, Radio Broadcaster (during the 40’s through 1970’s) would declare after reading a typical story of the day, “and now for the rest of the story.” Rachel is our Gabriel Heatter of today. Her investigative reporting is extremely important to those of us who seek the facts behind the story not just the opinions and analyzes from numerous talking heads and commentators. She gives us the story and the facts behind the story! Thanks, MSNBC for allowing her the freedom to do what she does well. She can only get better as a journalist and commentator. My husband and I are loyal viewers of MSNBC programs, and particularly “The Rachel Maddow Show.”
    Regards, Lang Pitts, Sandy Springs, Georgia

    • Brent says:

      I totally agree with your assessment of RM. However, I believe the tagline “and now for the rest of the story” was Paul Harvey’s, along with”Good day” not Gabriel “There’s good news tonight”Heatter’s. (who I’m also old enough to remember).

    • ghostofpearson says:

      MSNBC has been found to be 90% commentary…..which is to say “opinion”. Not really sure what “facts” you think she is presenting, she is presenting an opinion based upon her personal values or lack thereof. I do not make this up, this is based upon a Pew Research Study……..this means 6 minutes of every hour is not commentary, careful, you might miss it.

      • 10isluv says:

        MJ, our friend “ghost” is just being a troll, as it’s obvious that s/he simply does not care for Rachel ;)

      • UnderPar says:

        That’s a blatant lie. It’s ludicrous to claim that 90% of everything on MSNBC is commentary. But I’m amused that you cite Pew Research. If any think tank came out with a study that disagreed with your narrow worldview you would dismiss them as pointy-headed Ivy Tower academics. Conservatives are such hypocrites.

      • ghostofpearson says:

        Sorry…..I know this is a late reply, but ignorance is not excuse dude. Per Pew Research, they did a study and found MSNBC to be 85% commentary. CNN was around 50% and FOX around 55% from what I can remember. You are obviously one of those idiots who believes

      • ghostofpearson says:

        Okay MJ…let’s try this then:
        90% of all MSNBC broadcasts are 100% commentary
        10% of all MSNBC broadcasts are 100% news

        Does that make you feel better?

      • MJ says:

        That’s not how statistics work. 90% commentary doesn’t mean that 90% of every hour is filled with commentary, it means 90% of the total content in a given time frame was commentary, not 90% of an individual show.

  39. Steve says:

    The last one leaving MSNBC studio, please turn out the lights and lower the heat!

  40. Sharon says:

    Thank GOODNESS for Rachel Maddow. I never miss her show – or other MSNBC shows. It’s the best politics/news channel out there.

    • steve says:

      HAHAHAHAHAHA VERY FUNNY you must be the last comic standing. BTW your post might have been more credible had you stated that the faux Re, Al Sharpton was you favorite, then we’d know your from MSNBC…….

      • Zelma Baker says:

        OK, Steve. Al Sharpton was one of my favorites, and I think they made a major mistake with taking him off. He and Rachel are both great. In the past, I’ve had so much respect for MSNBC for airing a reporter to address the issues of the black community.

  41. f. says:

    If your a last place network, nobody is watching your news. Take a look at the reason why? Nobody tunes to your show. Bias in big numbers.

  42. ragu4u says:

    She sure would have no trouble fitting in to a prison setting if she wanted a candid inside look at the “real” goings on there…as long as it’s a MEN’S prison!

  43. Madcow, Mancow, That Guy, That Lesbian. Using terms like these make your allegiances apparent.

    My view of you is that you spend all day listening to the likes of Limbaugh, Coulter, Levine, Hannity, Ingraham, Trump, Beck (That guy has gone off the RAILS), Jones, or Farah while flying a Gadsden flag off of the back of the passenger’s side of the bed of your (American-made) pickup truck and flying the Confederate battle flag from the driver’s side, all the while proclaiming that it’s, “The liberal media, the Democrat [sic] Party, and all them Liberal Socialists that wants to take Jesus out of the schools and our guns out of our hands that’s ruinin’ our country!”

    All of that disgust that you claim to feel about Ms Maddow and her MSNBC primetime cohorts is nothing compared to the contempt that thinking people feel toward your right-wing heroes. The fact that you fail to comprehend the lies and propaganda that is being fed to you through the intravenous line that is Fox News and EIB only makes our outrage grow. We are bewildered by your lack of acceptance of obvious facts. We pity you for not being able to distinguish between hysterical rants and calm science. Statistical evidence is — to you — rigged by some sinister group with an agenda to take something from you, or to make you do something against your will, or to keep you from doing something that you feel you have a God given right to do. You do not have any original ideas. You are strictly reactionary. You are misinformed, closed-minded, and unable to believe anything that doesn’t come from your beloved circular firing squad of a media complex.

    If some right-wing nut job talking head got up on a platform and wrapped him in the U.S. flag and told you that the Democrats were trying to pass a law making it illegal to stop breathing, you would:

    1) Believe it
    2) Rail against government intrusion into your life
    3) Claim that it was all a conspiracy by the liberals (To do WHAT would never be made clear.)
    4) Give donations to any politician that came out against the overreach by the left
    5) Claim that Muslims have infiltrated the Democrat [sic] Party and they all want to kill white people with their (Sharia) law

    because Breitbart said so.

    Foaming-at-the-mouth, extreme right-wing, and blindered is no way to go through life. It’s a shame that so many of you have chosen to go through it in just that way.

    Before the hate begins to flow, allow me to qualify my opinion. Yes, I have watched Fox News. I watched Beck, Cavuto, Hannity, Papa Bear, F&F, and what’s-his-name in the afternoons. I listened. At times, I screamed. I even threw a few things. It was infuriating at times, and it was entertaining and informative at others. I just view everything that the right-wing media says as a half-truth at best until I can find an impartial source for the information. I do the same with a LOT of what I see on MSNBC. What I have found while doing my own research into news stories from these stations is that Fox is wrong — or outright lies — more often than MSNBC or CNN or any of the Big Three. It’s a fact. A simple fact. A fact that Fox News viewers refuse to believe. Maybe that’s because they are less well informed than non-Fox News viewers. If a person gets all (or even most) of their news and opinions from Fox News, they are more likely to be misinformed on almost everything. Climate change, TARP, the PPACA, evolution, Benghazi, the Iraq war… the list goes on.

    However, nothing I have written here will change your minds. You will disparage everything that MSNBC and Ms Maddow do, and you will defend your belief that Fox News and its ilk can do no wrong. We that know the difference — and the truth — will nod politely as your face turns red while you scream that Darryl Issa is a genius, Lamar Smith should get a Nobel in science, and Michele Bachmann should team up with Sarah Palin to run as third-party candidates.

    We will then turn away from your spittle-coated face and very calmly find a booth to enjoy our cheeseburgers.

    • rufusvondufus says:

      You are truly lucky as I have been unable to find ANYTHING the left wing media says to be even a quarter or an eighth true!

    • Mark says:

      You wrote….” I screamed. I even threw a few things…” shows all of us level headed people that you are unbalanced and a sucker for propaganda. The amount of lies, propaganda, and frankly, mental illness in what you wrote is sad. Your intolerance and hate for people with a different opinion shows you for what you are. A left wing intolerant, hateful, small minded sucker. Sad for you and still trying to figure out how some people in this formerly great country come up with this whack?!?!?

    • Bob says:

      Shocker: MSNBC’s Ed Schultz joins… Russia Today

    • ghostofpearson says:

      “What I have found while doing my own research into news stories from these stations is that Fox is wrong — or outright lies — more often than MSNBC or CNN or any of the Big Three. It’s a fact. A simple fact.”

      Pew Research does not agree with you. Maybe you could share your research with them..they might publish you.

      • Or, maybe they DO agree with me. I refer you to their 2012 report, “In Changing News Landscape, Even Television is Vulnerable”, section 4 (page 5) “Demographics and Political Views of News Audiences”.

        “The public was asked four questions to measure knowledge of political news and current events.”

        “Almost four-in-ten of Rachel Maddow’s audience (38%) answered the four questions correctly, as did 36% of readers of magazines such as the New Yorker and 34% of Wall Street Journal readers. Audiences for several other news outlets, including NPR (33% all four correct), the Daily Show (32%), Hardball (32%) and the New York Times (31%) fared nearly as well.”

        Audiences for The O’Reilly Factor, (26%), Hannity (23%), Limbaugh (19%), and Fox News in general (16%) fared a little worse when answering all four of the questions correctly. Of the MSNBC viewers in general, just 21% answered all four questions correctly.

        From the same report (the one YOU told me to find), Ms Maddow’s viewers are more educated, make more money, are more politically and ideologically diverse, are more likely to be women, and are typically younger than their counterparts in the O’Reilly, Hannity, and Limbaugh audiences.

        That took a whole 2 minutes out of my day. I wonder what else I could find if I really tried. You know, without the limitations of searching only The Pew Research Center’s reports.

        I would try politifact, but we all know how the rabid right feels about them. I know, maybe I could check on reporting about lying to, and idiocy in, Fox News viewers at such noted sites as Right-Wing Watch, or Crooks&Liars, or Mediaite, or Media Matters, or Wikipedia, or Mother Jones, or …

        You get the idea.

        Oh, and before you say it: Yes, it is true that not one story was ever printed in the right-wing media about Fox News and its brethren being deceitful purveyors of fear and hate and ignorance. Not one article, not one video clip, not one op-ed, not one segment on the radio has ever been produced by the conservative right’s megaphones that decries just how awful their “news” outlets are. I must admit that I cannot supply you with any proof from a non-“they’re-all-a-part-of-the-vast-liberal-media-agenda” source. That’s why the right-wing conspiracy machine rolls on.

        Por ejemplo:

        A lie is told. The audience foams at the mouth because the lie is a good lie, and the audience believes it. (GRUNT GRUNT!) The lie is debunked, the audience grows ANGRY! (SNARL HOWL!) “How DARE these liberal Socialist America-haters tell these lies about what we believe is the absolute, undeniable truth!” (SCREEEEECH!) “It’s all a part of a vast conspiracy by the liberal media complex to bring down the government (that we admit we hate), and replace it with a bunch of hippie-dippy types giving out free stuff to poor people and taking our guns and mandating free abortions in every Wal*Mart and allowing the gays to marry their dogs and … and … and … and just … AAAAAARRRGGH! YOU LYING LIARS!!!”


        It doesn’t change the fact that the original story was a lie. It was a lie that millions of people believed because it was told to them by a talking head from a right-wing media outlet.

      • UnderPar says:

        Where’s the link to this “study”? Undoubtedly, it’s only in your fevered imagination.

    • ghostofpearson says:

      How in the world do we end up with people as dumb as you in this Country? Yes Fox News lies, and so does MSNBC (90% commentary per Pew Study) ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN. If you are getting your ideas, news, belief system from watching the news, you might be an idiot. It isn’t so much that they are 90% opinion. it is that people do not understand the difference.

      The lamestream media, operatives of the dim-0-crap party have been at it since the early 60’s. There was never a Fox Fantasy news to offset the lamestream media fantasy news. You thinking one is better than the other is fairly rich. One thing I know for sure, the lame stream media at the hands of people such as Walter Cronkite lied to the American people and influenced our society in a huge manner….and it was not positive. The facade of “newscast” was operated for decades before the American Public knew what was really going on behind the scenes.

      Even though Fox (50% commentary per Pew Study) is the no.1 rated Cable News Network, MSNBC is not far behind at no.2. There is no counter other than Fox…..all other TV media outlets are left winged operatives of the dim-0-crap Party.

      You saying Fox News lies more is merely an opinion formulated by your personal belief system. In layman’s terms, you believe what you want to believe, and most Americans are predetermined to be left based upon the years of laft winged crap they see on TV and hear in school. People like you just do not get it. Most of us are centrist with left or right leaning ideology. It takes someone watching TV a lot to become radicalized (can I use that word?). I suggest people grow up, read a little, it will serve you well.

      • ghostofpearson says:

        I love it MJ…why not post some more make believe facts from Politifact. How do you know PolitiFact is biased? Through a variety of factors. Journalists tend to lean ideologically left. The St. Petersburg Tampa Bay Times, which started PolitiFact in conjunction with the Congressional Quarterly, is a traditionally liberal paper. We note that PolitiFact’s stories appear to damage Republicans far more often than Democrats despite the fact that PF tends to choose about as many stories dealing with Republicans as for Democrats. If the selection process was blind then either proportions should be approximately even or else the party with worse ratings should receive more ratings overall according to what PolitiFact lists as its selection criteria.

        I did not say commentary = Lies…..I said it equals opinion.

      • MJ says:

        Commentary doesn’t = lies. Commentary means it is content driven by a host as opposed to straight hard news reporting. If you want to talk about lies, look at the politifact survey that finds 60% of statements on FOX news are false.

      • ghostofpearson says:

        It means “opinion”

    • Edward Thomas says:

      Annnnd, Speaking of “Foaming From The Mouth”…………

      • ghostofpearson says:

        From an actual dictionary:


        an expression of opinions or offering of explanations explanations about an event or situation.

      • steve says:

        Edward…that’s her mouth foaming……..she’s having a moment!

  44. Adrianovich says:

    Good piece on RM’s intense, intellectual approach to the news. It did not mention, though, a seeming misstep: the Chris Christie/Bridgegate fiasco in New Jersey which her investigation beat into oblivion, to little lasting effect.

  45. Randy Stewart, you sound like those who have been dumbed down by watching too much Fox News and who resort to trash talk because they have run out of reasonable things to say.

  46. Annie says:

    Personally, I think Rachel Maddow deserves a Peabody or a Pulitzer for her work on the Flint water story. She also has covered the huge gas leak in California when nobody had even mentioned it before. Rachel Maddow interviewed Hillary Clinton and part of that interview was discussion about Flint. Hillary voiced some opinions. Next day, Hillary was taking credit for having influenced the Michigan government to take some new action! It was shocking to hear her claiming credit for what Rachel Maddow and Michigan reporters had actually been doing in their coverage. We greatly appreciate Rachel in our family and hope MSNBC also appreciates her.

  47. Maddow is grossly inept at doing anything other than spewing progressive socialist democratic garbage. Forget the dull as a butter knife dig, Maddow is a brick in the silverware drawer.

    • g says:

      are you against FACTS & logic ?? Rachel regularly includes sources for any news on the show & more importantly if she does get something wrong … she does corrections.

      more importantly – she regularly invites Republicans/ Conservatives to appear on her show to explain their positions/ opinions or anything else – and yet very few ever take her up on her open offer
      if people want to challenge anything she says … may be they should bother showing up

      • ghostofpearson says:

        MSNBC has been found by Pew Study to be 90% opinion……the “facts” you speak of are actually opinions derived by left winged thought process.

  48. Merica says:

    well when you consider that all they do is lie like the liberal vermin they are, of course they’re trying to shake things up. if they do away with all the scumbags (which is everyone especially maddow) they would have dead air and that would be infinitely more entertaining and more truthful than what’s on there now.

    • g says:

      1 – seriously?? liberal vermin ?? seriously? that’s how your brain works?
      so … you hate Rachel and yet you watch her show regularly ?? or are you just spouting whatever you heard from other media sources?
      2 – if you’re so familiar with her show – what SPECIFICALLY are all these lies on her show?
      considering she always includes actual sources for anything on the show – please explain what are the sources that you think are false?
      3 – do you have ANY idea how silly you sound?

  49. As a liberal democrat we given up on MSNBC its almost like watching Fox News

  50. Arthur Mensor says:

    MSNBC, in holding out hiring back Keith Olbermann, is the main reason why they can’t/won’t double the ratings numbers they have. I miss Keith and I’m sure lots of other progressives and middle class Americans do too!

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