On Tuesday May 11, 2021, Rachel Maddow had two challenging news stories on her plate for her 9PM Show.
When she went on the Air, Israeli bombing had already killed 35 Residents of Gaza and Hamas missiles, fired from Gaza, had killed three Israelis. Additionally, the previous evening, Tucker Carlson, on FOX, trashed Anthony Fauci, calling for a criminal investigation of his handling of Covid.
Israel at war and Fauci called a criminal by FOX ratings leader, Tucker Carlson. This is the kind of moment where the ratings leader on the so-called progressive channel, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, has to bring it.
Handling the Gaza-Israel story would be challenging for anyone who purports to be a progressive. Israel and Hamas have a history and neither has totally clean hands. The Carlson attack on Fauci had to be answered. Carlson was calling out someone, who had been a guest of Maddow and Maddow had used a clip of Fauci praising Maddow to boost her ratings.
As they say in the neighborhood, “she owed him.”
On the Gaza matter, she’d lose many progressives if she blamed everything on Hamas. Israel doesn’t enjoy the love it once had. If she was too tough on Israel she’d get an earful from Israel partisans including the CEO of Comcast, Brian Roberts. Comcast owns her channel and her job.
Standing up for Tony Fauci would require Maddow to directly rebut Tucker Carlson on the subject of whether or not Tony Fauci was an honorable person. Carlson has a show of his own and has no problem hitting back.
This was a huge moment of truth for Rachel Maddow, and she came up stone cold empty.
She avoided both stories completely and, in their place, dealt with totally non-controversial easy stuff on Pfizer, Colonial Pipeline, Liz Cheney and then closed with an absolute Maddow special, a dramatic reading from a pleading involving Wayne LaPierre, the head of the National Rifle Association who got his wings clipped by the New York Attorney General last year and is the easiest target for any liberal to attack anytime. The old “kick them when they’re already down” trick.
That, in a nutshell, is my gripe with Rachel Maddow. No guts whatsoever on stories where it actually takes guts to be a progressive.
Comments are welcome at tomc[at]wednesdayswars[dot]com. Comments will be addressed in subsequent posts.