—Ed Masry (Albert Finney) chiding Erin Brockavich ( Julia Roberts) in the final scene of the film.
Now substitute “smug, arrogant, incorrigibly biased, anti-Trump MSNBC anchor” for “beauty queens,” and the line is a perfect response to the awaited “correction and apology” from Rachel Maddow for getting the story of the mistranscribed White House transcript of the Helsinki press conference.
I explained the mistake here, and made it myself here, yesterday morning. The White House did not, as Maddow and others reported, intentionally misrepresent the exchange. The Washington Post clarified what happened. Nonetheless, Maddow and MSNBC dragged their feet in correcting the story, not doing so until 2:45 PM (I updated Ethics Alarms at about 1 pm, the second I read the Post story, and I’m not a full-time news network) and afterwards, here is Maddow’s pathetic attempt to keep spinning…
“This is one possible explanation for why the White House transcript & video from Helsinki doesn’t include Putin saying he wanted Trump to win. But Putin really did say that in Helsinki…..and the White House transcript & video still does leave it out. WaPo now says it has updated its own transcript. Will the White House? After more than a week of reporting on the bad transcript (see link below)…
(1): White House has let it stand uncorrected, and
(2): POTUS now asserts that Putin wants *Dems* to win, not him.
I love WaPo with the heat of 1000 suns, but nothing here from WaPo disproves our report.”
No, it is the explanation, and the Washington Post reporter, Philip Bump, quickly pointed out Maddow’s dishonesty, writing,
“Your report asserts that the video was edited and implies that the incomplete transcript was posted intentionally. There’s no evidence for the first point and my piece provides context to suggest that the second was unintentional.”
Maddow nicely demonstrates how foolish and petty one looks when the simple task of apologizing to someone you oppose, in this case the White House, requires too much humility, honesty and professionalism to muster. Her petulant response is signature significance for a journalist so committed to an ideological agenda that nothing, not even objective facts, can veer her from a favored path, though it leads to misinforming her trusting viewers.
This is pretty much the rule rather than the exception among broadcast journalists, and explains why the anti-Trump shills like Maddow no longer influence public opinion even when they have valid criticisms to offer. They just preach to their choir, which is interested in comforting venom, not facts. When someone tells you they watch MSMBC and admire Maddow, this is the kind of journalism ethics they are telling you they admire.
Good to know.
(As an aside, I must admit that it is comforting to write something clear and unequivocal like this and know that certain recent exiles here won’t be desperately trying to justify Maddow’s conduct, which is indefensibly unethical and unprofessional journalism.)