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Why Rachel Maddow is great

This may be just a personal thing. It may not translate to others, but I think Rachel Maddow is one of the best television news personalities in the last 20 years. Personally, I love smart women. I especially love smart women who don’t mind letting you know that they are smart. Rachel is a geek. She knows she’s a geek and she’ll happily tell you that she is a geek. She is extremely well-educated in political science. It was her major in college.

On Wednesday night, Rachel Maddow had an extremely thoughtful piece on the Shirley Sherrod ordeal. She connected the right wing propaganda machine to several phony stories, including the ACORN story, the new Black Panther story and the smear campaign on Van Jones. Bill O’Reilly, in his typically bombastic way, could not let some minor, inconsequential journalist point out that Fox News does not really deliver the news. So, he took the time to point out that his ratings are bigger.

(Watch the clip)

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Rachel correctly points out that this fact, that Fox news gets bigger ratings, does not change the fact that Fox news has an agenda. The agenda is to make people afraid. This is why Rachel Maddow is great. She calmly and thoughtfully points out that Bill O’Reilly does in fact have bigger ratings. She also points out that he did not address her accusation. Instead of addressing the substance, that Fox news pushed the acorn story which destroyed an organization that did not have a shred of truth in it, Bill O’Reilly asks, “What planet are you from?” Anyone who’s taken a course in debate knows how to avoid a question or issue. By posing this rhetorical question Bill O’Reilly is telling his audience that the answer is obvious when in fact the answer to his Fox audience was not obvious.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that Rachel approaches the news from an intellectual standpoint. This does not mean that she doesn’t get some things wrong. She does. As far as I know, she is gone out of her way to correct her mistakes on the air. To me, this reinforces the fact that she is thoughtful and different than 99% of the TV personalities, journalists that are out there.

Congratulations Rachel. Keep up the great work.

By |2010-07-23T07:04:50-04:00July 23rd, 2010|Party Politics, Rachel Maddow Show|Comments Off on Why Rachel Maddow is great

This arbitration settlement against KBR seems a little light.

Many people have written about the lawlessness and chaos that existed under American rule in Iraq. The book Fiasco by Thomas Ricks chronicles one mistake after another that led to the lawlessness that we saw for almost five years. There are many other books (including Naomi Klein’s, Shock Doctrine) and magazine articles which document the chaos. For some reason, I thought the chaos stopped once you got inside places that were controlled by Americans. This obviously wasn’t true. An atmosphere of the wild West where every man had to think for and by only himself seems somewhat pervasive from Baghdad to Basra.

Tracy Barker can be thought of as the other woman who filed a lawsuit against Kellogg Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton. Jamie Leigh Jones has testified before Congress about her ordeal in which she was locked in some sort of shipping container after her rape. Ms. Barker tried to take her case to court stating that KBR had created an atmosphere where “boys will be boys.” Her story reads like a bad 1940s pornographic, male chauvinist novel. Pornography was posted on the walls. You have the lecherous boss who said he would be happy to protect her if she would sleep with him. Ms. Barker’s case was thrown out of court because she signed a contract which stated that she could not take her employer to court. In what can only be described as minor vindication, she won a $2.93 million settlement in arbitration against KBR.

It seems to me that these large corporations only understand one thing — money. $2.93 million is what they pay one minor executive. $293 million. Now, that would get their attention. We need to get their attention. Corporations have a responsibility. If they’re going to hire Americans and expect American productivity and work ethic, they need to provide an environment in which Americans can work. This means American women and men. There’s simply no excuse.

By |2009-11-19T22:54:01-04:00November 19th, 2009|Business, Legal|Comments Off on This arbitration settlement against KBR seems a little light.

Another Reporter Survives to Tell Story

We all know about the ordeal that Bob Woodruff went through. Well, Kimberly Dozier, a CBS reporter, suffered a similar attack while covering the latest Iraq. After more than 20 surgeries, it looks like she survive the ordeal.

It is so sad. If Donald Rumsfeld didn’t think that he was smarter than everyone else, we could have sent 300 to 400 thousand troops and this ugly war would have been over years ago.

By |2008-05-20T02:32:44-04:00May 20th, 2008|Iraq|Comments Off on Another Reporter Survives to Tell Story
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