Submitted for your approval: Rachel Maddow taking on Glenn Beck for calling her a liar on her show last night.
I can’t remember when I’ve enjoyed the public shellacking of a right wing buffoon less.
Don’t get me wrong. Beck had it coming. When a man who’s entire career seems built on churning out one damnable lie after another calls you a liar, it’s time to drag out a pot and a kettle and start using them as visual aids.
The problem I’m having is that Maddow is the wrong person for this kind of work.
Olbermann can handle this easily, he’s a ex-sportscaster so his mind is built for the rough and tumble. Hell, listen to him on one of his special comments, he revels in it. He loves the scent of battle in his nostrils and he’s good at it! He’s the Progressive’s Sgt. Rock!
That is not Rachel Maddow. Maddow is a wonk.
Yes, she’s an activist. And she’s very good at arguing with people who seems to at least seem capable of having a rational debate.
The problem is that Beck is not interested in rational debate. Glenn Beck panders to an audience that seems to with few execptions, fall into the John Rogers Crazification Factor.
My Twitter friend Ali Davis puts it best in her article about the show on 365gay.com.
Rachel assumes that a significant portion of her audience will also see CNN, The Daily Show, 30 different current events blogs, and maybe even a newspaper or two. She has to stick to a standard of being, you know, actually right when she says things.Glenn Beck assumes that his audience will – at most – see and hear other Fox News pals. He whole living depends on his fans’ absolute refusal to fact-check him. He could have spliced together a sentence with footage of Rachel wearing 6 different outfits and his audience would still buy it. He has the almost insurmountable advantage of being completely illogical and, if he chooses, completely dishonest.
Most important, Rachel and Beck are fighting for very different stakes. Rachel is defending her integrity. If she wins, she keeps her reputation and stays where she is. If she “loses,” she has to deal with the frustration of being misunderstood and perhaps unfairly judged.
But Beck wins either way. He either gets to crow about defeating someone from Evil Librul (except for the three solid smugball hours of Morning Joe!) MSNBC or he gets to wallow in sweet, martyred persecution because everyone is against him but the initiated.
Most likely he will do both.
This is a battle Maddow cannot win. Not because she doesn’t have the smarts but because smarts are ineffective. You send in a logician to get a screaming feces flinging monkey out of a room, you will end up with a feces covered logician. Maddow will win the short term battles but the minute she quits out of sheer exhaustion, Beck will claim victory.
Please Ms. Maddow. Leave Beck to Olbermann, the man has spent years covering Athletes and Team Owners. He’s used to the crazy.