Maddow’s big nothingburger

Oh, Rachel Maddow. I haven’t seen a pundit flame out like that since your buddy Keith Olbermann locked himself in the MSNBC bathroom. Compared to your Tuesday night debacle, Dan Rather’s forged documents were a little white lie. “Gunga Dan” may have stepped on a couple of rakes, but at least he had the good sense not to back up and step on them again. Well, he may have, I kind of stopped paying attention to him a while back.

But not you. You knew what you had was a couple of pages of a 12 year-old 1040, but you claimed “We’ve got Trump tax returns. Tonight, 9pm ET. MSNBC. (Seriously).” You knew David Cay Johnston, a partisan scribbler from the left wing blog The Daily Beast, was a hack, but you presented him like he was Woodward and you were Bernstein. And you knew when you got on air, after hours of breathless buildup, that the tornado of truth you let people expect turned out to be a squeaky little fart.

I can imagine life for you at the Democrat Channel isn’t quite the party it used to be. Your masters are in a tailspin; your fellow “talent” is less entertaining than the Real Housewives of (wherever); your Nana Hillary got kicked in the pantsuit last fall; your god-king Obama is chillaxing with billionaires on their private islands. I’m sure you thought those fragments of an over decade-old tax return would be the ticket to relevance. And when you realized you’d just successfully proven that President Trump had paid more in taxes than the company you work for, I’m sure you got sweatier than Bill Clinton in the plus-sized misses’ department.

But rather than take your lumps like the crusader you pretend to be, you did the same thing every one of you left-wing blowholes does when they get caught in their own web: you blamed everyone else.

Because I have information about the president doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a scandal… It doesn’t mean that it’s damning information. If other people leapt to that conclusion without me indicating that it was, that hype is external to what we did.”

Really, Rachel? You pulled one of the dumbest ratings stunts since Geraldo Rivera unveiled the secrets of Al Capone’s vault, and it’s your viewers’ fault for falling for it? You didn’t say “I’ve got a couple scraps of paper that prove the president paid a truckload of taxes 12 years ago.” You said “seriously.” Your channel even ran one of those “countdown clocks,” like your nightly babblefest was something particularly important. You promised everyone filet mignon but served up a big old nothingburger.

This could be a learning experience for you, Rachel. You could return from this self-inflicted faceplant with a new sense of what the media ought to be doing, instead of carrying out weak hits on the president on behalf of a Democrat Party which seems bent on self-annihilation. You could even share the lesson with many of your media accomplices; many of whom are in dire need of it. I have serious doubts that you will, however. In the meantime, you made that nothingburger… now you have to eat it.

— Ben Crystal

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