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Welcome to Positive America. I'm John FEBA, I'm John Lovett. I'm Tommy Vietor on today's POD. Rachel Maddow is back on the show. She'll be talking to love it a little bit later. Before that, we'll talk about President elect Biden's new announcements around his covid-19 strategy, Trump's trip to Georgia and whether the Republican Party will ever be able to quit him.
But first, love it.
How is the show this week? Great. Love it or leave it? Nicole Byer. We did. OK, stop with that lovely witness with Rudy Giuliani, which is very entertaining.
We had not yet learned that she previously faced some pretty significant legal challenges due to sending sex tapes of herself with her boyfriend to that boyfriend's ex-wife because she lives out loud and good for her. And then talk to Ari Berman about the coup and the census. And Kaya Henderson was back to talk about the crisis in education. It's kind of slipped the coup in there like no big deal, the coup. What are we supposed to do? The coup in the sense, you know, failed coup, successful census, I guess, is the hope.
We'll take it. Also, thanks to everyone who's donated to our every last vote fund, which directly supports the work of local organizers who are on the ground in Georgia.
You've already raised one million dollars, but more help is needed on phone banking, text, banking, letters, canvassing, digital advertising, all of the above. So please go to vote, save America, dot com, slash every last vote and help out if you can.
Finally, if you're looking to do some holiday shopping, check out the crooked Murchú. We got some great new ornaments, new gear, all kinds of fun stuff. Order by the 11th if you want stuff to arrive by the twenty fourth head to crooked dotcom slash store and check it out. All right, let's get to the news. The most important story in America right now is the pandemic. We are losing over two thousand Americans every day now in hospitals across the country are almost at capacity.
White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Berk's remember her? She was on Meet the Press over the weekend and said this is not just the worst public health event. This is the worst event that this country will face. Her boss, Donald Trump, isn't just ignoring the pandemic, but according to The New York Times, he's, quote, barely showing up for work anymore. Was he ever. I don't know. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris haven't taken office yet, but are already trying to step into the void.
In their first joint interview since the election, they spoke with CNN's Jake Tapper about how they'll handle the virus. Let's listen to what the president elect said about his conversation with Dr. Fauji.
I ask him to stay on in the exact same role he's had for the past several presidents. And I asked him to be a chief medical advisor for me as well and be part of the team. He points out you don't have to close down the economy like a lot of folks are talking about. Now, if, in fact, you have clear guidance and you're able to say to businesses, OK. For example, bars and restaurants are going to close, we're going to provide you the wherewithal to not lose your business like that, like the House had passed.
And we're going to be able to reopen. We're going to be able to reopen in time and not to close down for long periods of time. We talked about Maskey. It is important that we in fact, the president and the vice president, we set the pattern by wearing masks.
And I think my inclination, Jake, is on the first day I'm inaugurated to say I'm going to ask the public for one hundred days to mask this. One hundred days to mask, not forever. One hundred days. And I think we'll see a significant reduction if we occur. That event that occurs with vaccinations and masking to drive down the numbers considerably, considerably. Love it.
As Dr. Fauci finally about to work for the man he just voted for, he jumped at the chance. It was an easy yes, it was an easy yes, it is still reassuring to see public health professionals express such relief and joy when they see the team that Joe Biden is assembling, the new head of the CDC, Vivek Murthy, coming back as surgeon general. Yeah, I mean, look, you know, there are parts of the job that Joe Biden is going to have that are really, really hard.
It's an incredibly difficult job role that he is stepping into with all these crises taking place at once. But the easy part is not doing the completely unnecessary antiscience propaganda spreading that Donald Trump has been doing for months. So just that small step of saying we should wear lobar, lobar, he's going to clear the lobar and do much better. But right now it's just so reassuring just to clear the lobar.
Also, in addition to naming Dr. Foushee, his chief medical adviser and as you said, Dr. Vivek Murthy will reprices Obama era role as surgeon general by announcing his entire health care team. Former Obama official Jeff Zients will run the covid response. Yale medical professor Marcello Nunez Smith will focus on health disparities. Rochelle Walensky, the chief of infectious diseases at Mass General, will run the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in California. Attorney General Javier Becerra will be the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Tommy, what do you think about the team and what, if anything, does it tell us about Biden's approach to health care in the pandemic?
I mean, I think the Basara nomination is is a great one. It's an extremely progressive pick. You know, HHS spends I think I read one point four trillion dollars annually on health care coverage for Americans. That includes Medicare and Medicaid. And then they also oversee the FDA and the CDC. So I was excited about that pick. And then I was basically just relieved that I had barely heard of or never heard of the rest of them because they're just wonky scientists who spend all their time in medical journals and not on Newsmax, you know what I mean?
And then you couple that with this Biden day of mask's messaging, which I just think is exactly the right messaging. And like in fairness to Trump and in fairness to local officials, wasn't really available to them six months ago. Right. But like because we now have a vaccine and a timeline for when we all might get it, you can say lockdown for a month if there's an acute problem or Mascotte for one hundred days is sort of this bridge to a totally different landscape when there's hundreds of millions of vaccines that have already been rolled out and you make the the sacrifice feel discrete in time, limited and about saving lives in the near term and then a path to normalcy for people that I think might actually work.
Now, that has to be coupled with Congress actually doing something to help all these businesses and people who are losing their jobs. But it's it's like Biden's getting step one right here. Yeah, just to stay with the team for a minute and talk about some of the political challenges, but there is a great picture like helped pass the ACA in Congress, help protect it as attorney general in California defended it in front of the Supreme Court. He's been on Medicare for all advocate.
He also took on opioid makers, tobacco companies, pharmaceutical companies and hospital prices. And so great pick there. We have all worked with Jeff Zients in the Obama administration. He's now going to be the covid czar, as they call it. He was at OMB, at NSC.
He is best known for fixing health care, Dragunov coming in, but he just turned the government off and then he turned it back on and it was you know, that was and to your point, talking about like not hearing these people.
It was funny. I was reading The Boston Globe, our old hometown newspaper, about Rochelle Walensky. And of course, you know, their headlines are like how a woman makes oh, oh. But there know, but they they interviewed a bunch of experts at Mass General and other hospitals and someone said this is the happiest. A bunch of stressed out, overworked and tired infectious disease providers and epidemiologists have been in 12 months over what Lansky's appointment. So you're right.
It's just it's like you were saying, love it.
It's just the fact that we now have competent people who are experts in their subject areas, which we never thought had we never thought had to be something that we paid attention to. But now we have that. And I think you have a good mix of both health care medical experts in this group and like people like Jeff Zients, who doesn't necessarily have like a health care background, but is really good at management and logistics and that that is what this problem is, you know.
So let's talk about time you started mentioning this, but let's talk about some of the political challenges that Biden and his team are going to have to deal with in fighting the virus. We still got a lot of Trump voters who refuse to wear masks. We've got a country full of people who are taking risks they shouldn't because they are tired of the pandemic. We've got a lot of employers and employees who can't afford to close down again. And then we now have polls showing way too many Americans being distrustful of covid vaccines.
Love it. How is Biden already trying to handle some of these challenges? And what else do you think he should do?
Yeah, I look at that interview with Jake Tapper. There were so many pieces of it where it was so reassuring. Right.
Like it just like the way that he handled talking about the Justice Department, the way he talked about the mass mandate, the way he talked about Trump. It's just all they know what they're doing right now and they know what their strategy is. Right. And they really are trying to not give an inch to Donald Trump without trying to rile anybody up. I think it's great that that he's talking about once. Once Falchi says the vaccine is safe, I will take it in front of everybody.
I think more people will need to do that. My hope is once this is not an abstraction, but a real thing, we'll see more and more people take it. I also will say to Tommy, you know, you said. That there's this discreet period of time like that help is on the way, we have 100 hundred days. I do think that's really important. I think it speaks to just how important this shift in leadership is. You know, all these millions of people that traveled on Thanksgiving, the surge that's ongoing, there is no reason we couldn't be in that conversation already.
Right. That like, hey, we are on the precipice of the vaccine. It is here the vaccine is being shipped out to the states starting basically right now. We have to get through December, get through this winter, get through a few months, and then, you know, tens of millions of people will start receiving the vaccine and we can get back to normal.
You know, we talked about this with Trump. You know, there was this debate about should Trump put in place a lock down? Should he put in place a shutdown or should he not do that? It's never been the president's power. That's not the president's responsibility. What he can do is provide leadership. He can he can issue directives. He can issue guidelines. So, you know, they sidestep this issue of whether they're going to be for lockdown's or not, in part because it's just not really their responsibility.
What they can do is sort of model best practices and issue a set of guidelines and try to be consistent and clear and transparent in what they're arguing for. And so far, they've been doing that really well.
And it's also I mean, Trump polarized this and politicized this in such a way that it was either you or the Democrats are for full lockdown's and no freedom. And the Republicans didn't believe in the virus and thought everyone should run free and that the virus is right. And it was and it was never it was never that dichotomy. And I think Joe Biden's instinct to depoliticize things anyway should help him here. I mean, you heard him say a Biden transition official said the other day to CNN shutdowns or lockdowns are really not on the table.
And, you know, they're talking about like targeted, you know, a shutting down of indoor dining or shutting down of this year. They're like they're advocating that. But they're I think their messages look, we have to take some serious steps here and we're all gonna have to make some sacrifices. But this isn't an all or nothing proposition here to get us to massive to get us to a widespread vaccine distribution. Right. Like we can actually get there.
You know, the like Biden's Biden is very lucky that the vaccine is is on the horizon. It could be we could all have it in as little as six months. That's an incredible advantage. But he has a disadvantage in that people are just really mad, like they're scared, they're isolated. They're worried about their family. Their friends, like millions of people, have lost their jobs. Millions are still unemployed. And so when the government screws something up, like we've seen locally here in Los Angeles, it becomes the easy place for us to target all of our anger.
That's about a lot of unrelated things. But when you get mixed messaging from a White House or some sort of screw up or if some, you know, we'll see what happens, but like, that's going to be the challenge for them. But, you know, the good news for Biden is, like you said. Yeah, like Jeff Zients is like a logistics master in the same way that Ron Klain was during the Ebola pandemic. And we'll just understand how to make the government work and how to work across various agencies and how to get funding for things and how to move things quickly.
And like that is the entire game right now. It's like getting six hundred million tiny little tubes at subzero temperatures to people. And maybe that sounds easy to you, but it's actually incredibly hard. And that's they're going to be doing for, like, you know, six months, eight months, maybe a year. It's interesting, like I remember in in our administration when we were in politics, oftentimes there would be a policy problem and it would be blamed on pork.
Oh, you remember that?
Oh, I remember that to because I spoke to you, you being up you being a spokesperson. I remember Gibbs used to say that all the time. It's always a communication problem. This is the area where public health communication really does matter. And I think to the point you're making to me, like which is going to be a huge challenge. It's easier for Biden now because he doesn't own it. He's not he's still not president yet. But once he owns it, it's going to be on him.
And I think it's impossible to communicate too much with the public during a public health crisis like this and in too many different places. And I think the messaging and the communication has to be simple, clear, like some of the problems you're talking about that we're having in L.A. right now are just that. Like we get mixed messages every day. Right? It's like and part of it is just the way the government works. There's a city order. There's a county order.
There's a state audit. Right. And like all the headlines kind of jam together. And so that's kind of hard to untangle. But I do think having a team that is going to be willing and able to communicate to the public clearly not to Pollyannish on how everything's going, but also not too dire. Right. It's a balance, too.
Yeah. I also one thing I just don't know the answer to is there's a bunch of what government can do that just hasn't happened over the past year yet. Obviously, it's all the ways in which Trump failed to engage the Defense Production Act and, you know, malign science and all the kind of obvious giant failures. But there's a there's the absence of some of the less some kind of structured but important things that leaders can do, which is convene elevate best practices, say like, hey, you know, this university found this incredibly smart way of testing people or, hey, this school district in Missouri did this really exciting thing.
We should get that to other schools. Hey, look, you know, I talked to Kay Henderson about this. I love it or leave. And she's like, why didn't we use the museums? Right. Museums were big, empty buildings where kids could have gone and learn like there all kinds of steps that could have been taken. And my hope is also that as we're doing better communications, as we have these sort of much more sophisticated and competent people at the helm, that we can get back to some of that convening.
That hasn't happened either at the White House or the Department of Education or the Health and Human Services anywhere, because they're still like we're still in this.
Every person should have in 95. We shouldn't be in class mass anymore. But of course, we are. There's so much failure that's become kind of background noise that should not be accepted, even if the vaccine is coming in the next three to six months, because the Trump people, they made a decision early on that their goal was to push the problem to the states and then wipe their hands of the Biden administration is going to do the exact opposite.
They're going to try to manage it from the White House, from these major agencies. And, you know, that's a lot harder, but I think it will have a lot better impact. And steps we've been talking about forever, I was reading a good Politico story about this, like the Biden team has a big plan to ramp up rapid testing and more testing, like the Trump message has been. We're doing we're doing more testing than anyone else.
And also testing is bad because you find more cases. Neither of those is true. Right. And so the Biden folks are looking for ways to find and obviously some of the rapid tests have been some of the company has been plagued by, like, inaccuracies. But we are there is a way to use testing, not just to find out where the virus is, but to prevent the virus from spreading because you know where it's going to be. And that's one of the things that the Biden team could do.
I do think one more thing on the vaccines, too, would like the distrust of vaccine. It's great that Biden said he'd take it in public. Has now said taking public, Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton all said that they would take it in public, too. I even think like if Joe Biden wants to give Trump some credit for the vaccine process so that the Magga people out there take the vaccine because they're happy that Trump helped facilitate it.
Great. I don't care. OK, near-term good. Some like we need the whole country.
We should ask him to take it publicly. They should ask Mike Pence to take it publicly. I'd like to make sure they share it in Ivonka, take it publicly like they could if they want to be good citizens going forward, which they probably don't, it would be helpful if they did all these things.
It's also, I think, at least so far, the conspiracy theory Trump has embraced about the vaccine is that it was really good and they hit it, which is better than a lot of the alternative options that are at his disposal. And I just see how much he wants to sabotage Joe Biden come January.
I was going to say, Tommy, even if they don't want to be good citizens, which they definitely don't, just in their own personal self-interest, if Trump still wants to be a hero and maybe run again in twenty twenty four, maybe he wants to be seen taking the the Trump vaccine, you know.
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Did you know, John, that sixty three percent of energy in the US still comes from coal and other outdated forms of fossil fuel checks?
I want to know the percentage, but definitely check out checks out.
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The undoing crown, you'll get a sense of a crown, the crown, I just started watching the crown. A lot of crown, a lot of crown chatter on Twitter these days. And a lot of it boils down to should I watch the crown or take a nap? Oh, wait, I can do both because it's boring, you know?
Now, I want you defend that. I have not watched it. I want you to defend it.
I do think when the core idea of a show is that the goal of a great queen is to do nothing, that that's her that's her value proposition. It can be quite frustrating. I agree. There are some lulls at times. Season four is very entertaining because it's about something we know about, which is this terrible marriage between Diana and Charles, and you see this young woman find out she's going to be the queen of England. All her friends are cheering.
The music is like fucking Jaws. And it's a horror movie because you're like, don't go in the house.
Yeah, yeah. So I, I my behind you is my crown experience. I watch the first season.
I thought it was good, but I'm with you. Tell me that I was a little slow.
I do enjoy Claire Foy very much, that she was great. But then like I skip seasons two and three because I'm like I don't know, I was maybe just a little too slow. And now I'm in a couple of episodes the season for loving it.
Great. I want to clarify. I'm repeating Twitter chatter. I've not I've not dived in yet. I'd like to I think.
No, you don't have your own opinion. It's just your opinion is crowd sourced from Twitter. You're exactly right.
If we get to repeat opinions we got on Twitter, what would we do on Monday mornings anyway?
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Let's talk about it. No, Janaya.
Yeah, no, I bought some athletic greens for my sister. It wasn't any occasion. She just thought it sounded great and wanted to give it a shot because I've been I've been talking it up. What does Taylor think? I don't know. I'll have to ask her and I'll double back.
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OK, so let's talk about the the Georgia runoff, if Kelly Lefler and David Perdue lose, Mitch McConnell loses, the Senate could be the most consequential special election we've had in our lifetime, no exaggeration. So the Republicans ask soon to be ex president Donald Trump to hold one of his world famous super spreader rallies so they can juice turnout among Trump supporters. They're probably hoping for a headline about how Trump says Georgians need to vote Republican to save the Senate.
Let's play a clip of Trump's remarks.
We're going to talk about the presidential election a little bit later, because we have a big senatorial race going on in Georgia and we are watching Democrats very, very closely. And remember this, we had this massive race all over the country so they could cheat in Georgia. And people aren't really watching it like they should. And, you know, again, all I can do is say I'm running win and then do a good job as president. That's all.
I don't run the elections. I don't run to see if people are walking in with suitcases and putting them under a table with a black robe around. I don't do that. That's up to your government here. And for whatever reason, your secretary of state and your governor are afraid of Stacey Abrams. They're afraid of. So for those of you who did not tune in to the rally on Saturday, that was really the flavor of the the one hour and forty five minutes or two hours or whatever it was, it was Trump continuing to say, because they all told the media to say this.
I got to talk about the Senate race. The Senate race is important. And then he just goes off on a tangent about how he was wrong. John, can I ask you a personal question?
Sure. Did you watch it?
I tuned in. I started watching it when I caught it right when it started.
And then I cut out after about a half hour because I saw you tweet that you sent Doug at my house. Man, what I saw really was embarrassing.
And I just thought to myself, like, I should turn that on. It's my job. And then I thought, I don't want to see you.
Here's what you got to do. You got to wait till it's over, find it on YouTube, watching it to X and watch it and get the whole thing. My favorite part of the rally, though, was when he called up Kelly Leffler and David Perdue asked them to speak and they both basically got booed off the stage by people chanting like count the votes or stop the Steelers until you stop the steel guys.
He he had two separate videos play during the rally. He introduced videos. One was about like the radical left hand, if I can, Reverend Wright playing on the video. And the next one was like a bunch of maggot idiots on Newsmax and on talking about how the election was stolen. He was he was like M.C. Gavette.
It was like it was like a live Pudsey of the anti-war NOCH Anti Asaph ad was basically the message that those Republicans are running in Georgia anyway. But no surprise the the election wasn't fair to me ad or video or whatever it was, was like literally three times longer and was just a bunch of crazy people spliced together. Do you guys you guys think Purdue and Lefler got what they wanted out of that rally? I kind of do. To be honest, you know, like I'd love to say the opposite.
I think he might. I think he made it clear, like, look, you know, he's just trying to get people excited and get him to turn out like maybe grievance will do that. You know, Dave Weigel, who writes for The Washington Post, is one of the the best reporters in terms of people who are always on the road, always talking to people, said that all the Republicans he talked to are not planning to stay home, that this suggestion that the election is rigged and therefore we shouldn't vote in the special is not really penetrating and not something people are planning to do.
So that makes sense to me.
I've always felt I said this when we first talked about it, that, like, I just think Republican voters are cynical, not naive, and and we should always operate under that assumption. It's interesting, I still think on the margin it could matter there was, you know, high quality Rasmussen poll that it had like 13, 13 percent of people said of Republicans that they weren't going to participate in the election. And half of that was they thought it was rigged.
Half of that was they thought they just they were like dispirited or whatever. So that's like it could be tiny. Right. Look, I think if you're going the people that we'll talk to, if you're going to a Trump rally and you're getting psyched up like that, you're going to go vote. Margins matter, but this is going to be 5000 people. Stay home. Ten thousand people stay home. That's a big deal. But I agree that they got what they needed out of the rally, because if you if you if you're looking to cut a 30 second ad or a 60 second ad out of Trump's rally.
Right. And you can absolutely splice enough Trump sentences together.
Kelly Loffler, Perdue vote, which you got yourself an ad you're running and Donald Trump endorsed you.
You're that's all you need. Democrats are crooks. I'm here to support Lefler and Perdue. Like, that's what they need.
Like, they're they they call for the resignation of the Republican secretary of state so they could trump the race because the only way they can win is if they have a Trump like turnout, because they have to assume that, you know, it's a fight to see who can have less attrition.
Well, on that note, Trump has made it pretty clear to Republican politicians that if they don't support his attempted coup, he'll turn his base on them just before the rally. He called Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and asked him to persuade the Georgia legislature to illegally overturn the results of the election. When Kemp refused, Trump attacked him and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, who also refused to go along with the coup. The Washington Post also surveyed all two hundred and forty nine congressional Republicans and found that only 27 were willing to admit that Joe Biden won the election, to which Trump responded on Twitter, quote, Please send me a list of those.
Rinus, tell me, what does all this say about the prospects of Trump ism going away when Trump.
Yeah, look, it's not good. They're not good. I mean, he's about to be the former president. He's likely to be about to be the front runner for the twenty twenty four nomination. And that's going to lead to an inflection point for Republicans and for the press. And I think on the press side of things like I think we all need to make sure we don't let him be the sort of national narrator of the for the country for the next four years worth of events.
And I'm not entirely hopeful that news organizations, especially FOX and other right wing organizations, are going to be able to quit him, given how much he has helped them in terms of ratings. But also, I mean, the Republican Party, they're going to cling to him because they're all terrified about a primary. Very, very few members of Congress or Republicans have been able to call out Trump's bullshit like Congressman Adam Kinzinger is an exception. Larry Hogan in Maryland, there are a few, but the rest of them are going to hug him because they don't want to get primaried.
And the wildest part of this is watching all these Republicans who want to run for president in twenty twenty four go through the same exact collective action failure that they went through in twenty sixteen when no one would call him out in, like the Ted Cruz's of the world were hugging him and hugging him and hugging him until finally Trump is literally attacking his wife and calling his father JFK assassin. And it's like I'm I'm waiting for one of them to figure this problem out.
But it seems highly unlikely. And frankly, historically, I think Republican bases have stuck around with even disgraced former candidates like Richard Nixon and now Donald Trump. So he's just going to be here for a while, guys. That that that's my take. Love it. Here's what I don't get, like if the official story in the Republican alternate universe is that Donald Trump rightfully won this election, how do you run against him in twenty, twenty four?
Because if he actually won and it was stolen from him, then of course, he should be the nominee in twenty twenty four. He was wrong. There's no reason he shouldn't be the nominee in twenty forty four.
Well I think the lesson that a lot of them have taken away from 2016 is don't run against him. Don't do that, I mean, Marco Rubio basically saying, like, if he if he runs that, that's great and he'll win. Lindsey Graham saying the same, Josh Hawley, who's probably Rick Scott. Those guys are full of shit. They're all arrogant. They all think they should be the next president. They're going to say what they have to say to get through it.
I don't believe those words at all. No, I don't believe they should have the job. Of course, they think they should have the job, but they are deciding now to do the same thing, as you said that they did they did in 2015. And try to hope that what Trump leaves on his own volition, that he kind of slinks off into the sunset.
That's what's what's the plan? They're saying that now, obviously, they don't believe it. But like, when do they stop saying that?
Well, do they hope that he gets indicted? If I were them, I would like maybe, you know, I would make the case like, hey, Donald, remember when you told us that this guy was corrupt, that he was a pedophile and that he was suffering from cognitive decline you lost to him? You're a loser. Like that would be my primary argument against him. I just I don't know that anyone will ever get their. Well, and it's hard because look at the factor we haven't talked about yet is the Republican media environment right at the at the rally in Georgia.
There's people outside chanting Fox News sucks. You betrayed us, which is the most enjoyable thing I've heard.
And we I mean, it's also like, you know, we talk about the role the media plays, but like Fox News only supporting the coup in prime time.
Right. And then very like that's their great compromise. They've lost tons of viewers to the more fringe new upstarts like Newsmax that are doing really well. Right. Like like there is an audience that is desperately seeking this stuff. And Republicans have spent 30 years acting as though they could just reap the whirlwind, just get the benefits from all of this shit. You know, I was like, what will it take? Like, they are it's a trap.
It's a trap. I think it's very silly. But I was thinking about, like, the monkey trap, which is that, you know, you make a little hole in a coconut, you put a little banana in and the monkey grabs it and won't let go and he can't get his hand out unless he lets go. Republicans are in a trump trap. They have reached in to this coconut and they are holding the prize and they won't let go.
And all they have to do is let go. But they can't because they want what's inside. And like we are we are doing this for years. Like there's there's no escape because of the collective action problem. And they have spent decades basically training through the right wing media, millions upon millions of people to not accept anything. But the most fringy esteve point of views is accurate. And they're trapped with them. They are stuck. They don't know what to do.
You're right, John, that if he gets indicted, the the old prisoner's dilemma takes on, I guess, a new flavor or a new meaning. But it is it is so hilarious watching these muga guys like shouting down Fox News. Like, basically what they're saying is lie to us. We're really mad at you for not lying to us. And maybe they don't get it. Maybe they just want him to lie or they want Fox to lie in service of their current cult leader, Donald Trump.
But it's it's I don't know. I enjoyed it.
Frankly, what I can't figure out is my instinct is to enjoy it as well. And I have it also. There's a political reason I have for this, because I think if the party is at war with itself and they end up primary saying, you know, Brian camp and get someone to the right of Brian camp and to the right of Doug Ducey and all of these people, then they're going to have a harder time winning elections, though we also back in twenty sixteen, thought that if they nominated Donald Trump they would have a hard time the election.
So I'm not sure at this point if like the Republic, I mean I know the where the Republican bases, the Republican base will believe fucking anything at this point and he can no conspiracy is too crazy. There's no norm to sacred like they are just gone. But, you know, elections are still won with marginal voters. And you could argue that even some of the Republicans that I think every Republican that won a House seat that flipped a House seat this time was either a woman or a person of color because of the house level.
They tried to nominate Republicans who didn't talk about Trump too much. They're still fucking conservative as hell, but they try not to talk about Trump too much. They tried to have candidates who looked more like the electorates they were running. So like I do wonder whether we should be rooting for the Republican civil war or worried that's going to produce more.
Trump's the the the thing that's fascinating to me is. Like Fox News is sticking with this broadly, even as Trump and his allies turn on Fox News, Republican senators are sticking with Trump. Republican members of the House are sticking with Trump, even as Trump turns on, Brian Kemp turns on, Raffensperger turns on fucking Bill Barr as a member of the deep state, Bill Barr may be getting ready to quit.
And like, yeah, like look at somebody like when I guess it'll never happen. They'll have to they'll just be completely obliterated by the kind of right wing nationalist fringe, which is no longer fringe, but in control of the party. But it's like how long until you understand that this thing they're Bayen, you're the guy that Bain puts his hands on and says, do you feel in charge like over and over and over again, like you're acting like you're running the show and these people are helping you at a certain point.
Don't you understand that you're afraid of them? You won't tell them the truth. You defer to them every step of the way. They're in charge.
So, yeah, I'm not rooting for a Republican civil war. I'm not cheering like this. This cult of a party getting crazier and crazier. And like the rise of Kuhnen, I am rooting for and cheering the destruction of Fox News because I think this much concentrated power in the hands of Fox News is a huge reason why we have gotten here today. And, you know, odds are we'll have another Fox News primary in twenty twenty four where the Republicans only focus on those extreme right wing outlets.
And maybe like Trump, like the old the old political strategy was used to run to the right in the primary. And then you tack to the center. If you're a Republican, you just never even tackled the center because Fox was so powerful that it helped him drive the entire conversation. I think that's just incredibly destabilizing for the whole country. Lindsey Graham the other day said he's basically going to be a shadow president for the next months and that if Donald Trump says a deal is bad in Congress, it won't pass.
Republicans will pass it. And if he says a deal is good, it will pass.
I mean, that is so crazy.
Let's just pause, OK, Lindsey. But not even fucking happening right now. That is literally not happening. Donald Trump just called for the NDAA to be changed or else he's going to veto it. The bill that funds the troops because he wanted it, because he wants it to be harder on social media platforms in Congress, told him, no, man, what are you talking about? That's ridiculous. And gave him the Heisman like they constantly ignore him on matters of policy, especially foreign policy.
But they do like his messaging can hurt or help them in all of their primaries.
I think that's an interesting test, too, because if Trump goes ahead with his promised veto of the defense bill, which always passes with big bipartisan majorities because he wants to make sure that every military base named after a Confederate soldier keeps that name and because he's mad that the that Twitter is mean to him and then Congress overrides his veto, I think it really will mean that, like, you know, Donald Trump doesn't have a lot of sway. I'm curious how that vote.
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, they just know what he cares about. He doesn't care about the job of being president. He cares about getting the job of being president. And whether or not you veto the NDAA means you care about policy and you're in the weeds and you're paying attention to this stuff. All he cares about is watching cable news all day and tweeting about himself, you know, same old story. That is that is all he cares about.
I do I will say that like, yes, like, OK, this this internecine fight that takes down Fox News, like, OK, you cut off Fox News's head and what pops up Dan Bongino s podcast and Newsmax and 018 and all of these fringe right wing sites that are taking off that have huge reach on Facebook, that are few reach on social media, we have no insight into them. They're like completely opaque. I know. I know you have a bunch of things at work, but I just I don't think you should be promoting that kind of content here.
Like, I know you're always saying, like, bring me down, bring me down, Bongino stand.
And like, I don't know, it just seems that appropriate. Coming to Kurgan media, trying to get voices from China.
Yeah, I can't stop talking.
I just you know, if I can actually report that Trump may want to announce his twenty twenty four bid during the inauguration and have like a split screen as he gets on Marine One. And that's actually a really big test though.
Like don't like Fox News. We'll put that on air. But like, I don't like like if you want to show Marine One taking off, you go for it. But if we're doing if we're cutting back and forth between Biden in that fucking rally, I will blow a one hundred percent pay axios.
You don't have to pretend that's as important as a new president coming to power. Give me a break.
My guess is that most media institutions will be responsible not to. I don't mean to. Fox will probably back anybody. Fox will probably do the split screen. But like you said, it depends on what hour it is. If it's daytime, they might be right. If it's if it's nighttime, you know, Jeanine Pirro will only show that.
Yeah, it's sort of like, you know, it'll be libertarian by de fascist by night. I, I do.
I do hope you look, a lot of people are making fun of The New York Times. Peter Baker wrote a story suggesting that we were in some sort of Straits Experion drama. The one thing I would say is I hope Peter Baker understands there's no access. That's it, once that five is over, we go home. I didn't like that story, not because I'm not a fan of, like, historical illusions or good writing. It's just like stop making what he does seem so grandiose.
He watches cable news tweets from the toilet all day long. He's a sad, pathetic man whose influence is clearly waiting. And like, yes, Judge Jeanine and her her co-host. An ICE luge might show the entire rally live when Trump announces his reelection, but that does mean the rest of us have to pretend that he's important anymore.
There's a constant contest about like how alarmed we should all be about how crazy he is, he's doing something there, it's not normal. It's like, yeah, we know it's been like this for four fucking years. Nothing has changed. He never wants to go to work. He never cares about policy. He never like it's all the fucking it's I that's how I felt when I read.
I was like, is this yet another story about how he doesn't care about the job and is tweeting from the bedroom like are we? That was actually what I felt when I read it.
I was like, oh, 30 according to thirty five sources. Yeah. Or like your fucking eyes and ears. Yeah. It's just we've been reading this story now for four years and it's like what I actually thought when I was reading about this is like I am so fucking done reading the news from the psychological perspective of this person.
I am so done with Trump as protagonists, like I'm done to the Washington Post version of it was just like it painted him for what he was, which is just sort of like, yeah, a sad, ridiculous loser period.
Right. Which it hits him. His protagonist versus him is like in the background. Right. Like the point of that Georgia rally and Tiger Woods rally was the runoff and the results of the runoff and how he might be affecting it. Not that he went down to Georgia. Right. Like and I think to the extent that he is still has sort of the whole Republican Party by the throat, which he does, you kind of have to pay attention to that because their actions are driven by Donald Trump.
But what Donald Trump thinks like that, doing it from his perspective, it just doesn't matter.
It's just not a Shakespearian tragedy. It's a Bravo show. And we're all about to turn it off like, come on. I've been trying to think of some sort of a pun, and the best I've come up with for is for Judge Jeanine. She's been launching a coup de Titos.
Well, I had so I tried so many things in my head are crooked media, holiday drink, drink.
Could Kootingal. Oh, that's right. That's right. I don't think I don't think we can improve on that and so on that.
No, we will we will go to Lovett's interview with Rachel Maddow when we come back.
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Joining us on the pond, she is the host of The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC and co-author of the new book Bag Man The Wild Crime's Audacious Cover Up and Spectacular Downfall of a Brazen Crook in the White House. A new book out December 8th.
Please welcome back, Rachel Maddow. Hi, John. How are you? I'm OK.
It's so good to see you. I want to start by just I want to talk about the book. I want to talk about what it means for this moment. But I just want to start by asking you how you're doing, because, you know, you spoke on your show in a way that was so much more personal than we'd ever heard you speak before about covid and how it had impacted your family. How are you? How is Susan?
Thank you for asking. It's very sweet of you. I'm fine. covid wise. I've been negative the whole time, even though Susan got it, we were really lucky with testing. Basically, she knows exactly how she was exposed. The person who exposed her knew within like had symptoms the next day and got tested the day after that.
And Susan immediately got tested like within the hour and that allowed us to find out she was positive and separate. And so I got really lucky by virtue of the fact that we had testing and effectively good contact tracing.
But she got really sick and it was super terrifying in a way that I will never forget. That has changed me permanently. And she's better now. She's going to be fine, but she's definitely having some of those long term, the long term, sort of a long tail of symptoms that a lot of people, I think that most people have once they when they get considerably sick from it. But we're bottom line is we're fine. And we went through a terrible scare.
And if anybody is not taking it seriously, just follow might just just follow my instructions and take it seriously in such a terrifying thing to see somebody that you love, that sick and sick in a way that you couldn't predict what was going to happen, you know. Well, I'm glad she's out of the woods and, you know, I hope. You know, when you see people like Jim Jordan and others owning the Libs by saying that people shouldn't avoid contact and should do whatever they want for Thanksgiving and Christmas, you know, when I saw your sort of wrenching statement and when I see statements from doctors talking about sitting on the ground in the middle of the E.R. and breaking down because they feel so overwhelmed, it's a reminder that when you're who you're really owning are people, you're owning people, your own doctors or owning families.
But I wanted to talk to you about the book. So first of all, I loved the background podcast. It was one of my favorite podcasts, one of the great docu series podcasts. I loved it. And I learned a lot about it. And, you know, and I was shocked by just how corrupt Spiro Agnew was and just how much how many parallels there are to this moment. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, they gave an interview to Jake Tapper over the weekend in which they said the right things to me on what the Justice Department should do, which basically the Justice Department's independent, you know, the next administration should follow the law, the next generation of all the facts.
They won't be influenced by politics. That was a welcome relief because there had been some some murmurings about how we need to move forward and we need to can't look backwards. And I wanted to ask you, you know, what are some of the lessons as you were working on bagmen, thinking about this corrupt vice president who is involved in open bribery schemes in terms of this moment about this tension between wanting to hold politicians accountable, wanted to have a system where politicians obey the law while there being political realities and wanting to focus on health care and the economy and what have you.
How have you been thinking about that? It's funny because I think part of the reason that man was so well received as a podcast is in part the timing, because it was like definitely not about Trump and it was not about something that connected directly to that is politics. And so I think it was like more of an unadulterated pleasure because it didn't feel all that news adjacent land put out a year and a half or whatever.
It was a go. But where the man story ends up right now for the book ends up being Supernus adjacent because he is the first president or vice president who not just committed crimes, but like provability, committed crimes.
And prosecutors had to contend with whether or not to charge him and how to deal with it. And that's exactly where we are right now with individual one, with President Trump. And it turns out that his sort of dénouement in office is as Shakespearian and weird as any of us could have imagined. But there was this question of what to do about his involvement in felonies, particularly felonies, for which other people have done prison time.
Michael Cohen did prison time for a felony that not just Michael Cohen, but prosecutors say the president directed him to commit.
And that whole hush money scheme, just that alone, was a felony campaign finance violation for which other people had to do time. And the question of him getting off from it is is weird and and is the closest contention we have with that in history.
And the resolution of Agnew was all about. Trading justice for safety, right, you traded away the prospect of him going to jail for like they had 40 felonies lined up to put in an indictment against him, they traded away that possibility to get him to quit so that he couldn't end up being president when Nixon ultimately fell out through Watergate.
There's nothing like that now. And Trump will leave office under the circumstances that we're living through right now. And so that does put us sort of once again in fresh territory in terms of justice. And I don't like the idea of of politicians and past presidents being prosecuted. I don't like the idea of what the Republicans will do with that precedent when they decide that whatever they're going to call a crime from some Democratic president is worth following that same precedent. But the idea that he just gets to walk away, paying no price at all with the Justice Department and prosecutors just never contending with what he did, it just doesn't the balance isn't isn't there.
The balance isn't right.
Yeah, well, it's hard to. It's hard to talk about a counterfactual, right, like we you know, Spiro Agnew launches basically a kind of a fake news campaign against his charges, which he ultimately gives up on so that he could kind of make this deal where he trades, basically pleading no contest to something doesn't do jail time. They drop the prosecution. He resigns, Nixon gets a full pardon, the country moves forward. And yet here we are all these years later.
And, you know, you can draw a straight line from the when one happens back then to the kind of the gauzy, blurry way we talk about how the law applies to a president. Do you wonder what would have happened if somebody like Agnew had the the commitment to the lie of somebody like Donald Trump? Isn't Donald Trump really taking what would that corrupt person did and taking it to its logical extreme, never giving an inch, never surrendering and having a much even bigger platform to use at his disposal to to promulgate the lies?
Yes. Yeah. And that's a it's a it's a totally good insight into where those paths diverge, because there's this amazing moment with Agnew. You have to remember that Agnew and Nixon didn't like each other. Nixon is like increasingly on the hook for Watergate is really trying to survive. Agnew is on the hook for a completely unrelated scandal that has nothing to do with Watergate. But these two things are coinciding in terms of time. And there's this amazing moment where Agnew goes to the speaker of the House, goes to the Democratic speaker of the House.
At that point, Carl Alpert, who was like four foot 11 and like this incredible little bowling ball for some, it goes to Carl Albert and basically begs him to impeach him, says like, I want you to bring a congressional investigation of me and basically I want you to start impeachment proceedings against me and Carl.
Operatives like this is weird. Nobody's ever asked to be impeached before. And the funny scene where he gives that, he then shows Agnew sort of offer to the House Judiciary Chairman, Peter Rodino, who responds to Agnese lawyer. Tell him to go F himself. No, we're not doing you the favor of impeaching you. You are going to get indicted and you're going to go to prison. And we're not going to do this other thing in order to get you out of it.
That was Agnew trying to play his odds in the House. In the Senate, he was like, oh, it's a Democratic controlled House. They'll probably impeach maybe with a Republican. They'll never get enough Republicans in the Senate to remove me. That's fine. Maybe that will talk everybody out of this indictment idea and they didn't do it.
But that's in part because the Justice Department was so stalwart. Elliot Richardson was so ramrod straight and had so much integrity and was so not getting bullied out of this, that everybody believed that a prosecution was possible. And the thing with Trump is that he's willing to call everybody his bluff. He's willing to double and triple down whatever he's in trouble for. He's always willing to do more and more and more of it. And he will follow the line till the very end, in part because he convinces himself of it.
But the difference now is that everybody in positions of power, every Republican, could potentially hold them to account, especially Bill Bars, Justice Department. Right. They can't be trusted to do the right thing. And so the more he pushes the the the the bigger the envelope gets. And that's the difference. The difference is not bad. Bad men holding power like that's a constant Agnew and Trump, bad men holding power, doing bad things with it.
The difference is whether or not law enforcement can be counted on and whether or not there are people of principle in positions where they're going to hold them accountable. And that, like Bill Barr versus Elliot Richardson, is the divergence. Trump and Agnew are basically the same animal.
So I want to talk about how they how Trump has been using this sort of right wing propaganda machine, sort of the nascent version that appears in Bagman. You know, we talk a lot about Democratic strategy. We talk about fundraising, we talk about messaging. We talk about whether to fund the police is an inappropriate slogan. We talk about what Democrats could say. It seems like a lot of times we're looking for our keys where the lights are shining because there's this big, huge there's this festering crisis of misinformation on the right.
It is what has led to covid denialism. It is what has led to Trump remaining popular when someone like Nixon became less popular. How are you thinking about that right now as you approach your job, as you approach this incredible lack of trust in journalism? That's part of a strategy on the right.
I've been thinking a lot about this, in part because I feel like there's a little bit of a feeling, at least in my part of the news business, that it's like, OK, like this election was a huge test in terms of dealing with real information versus misinformation and whether or not stunts like the Hunter Biden laptop and all that other stuff was going to get laundered through the mainstream media the way all of that disinformation stuff did in twenty sixteen, I think the media did a better job refusing to go along with those reindeer games this time.
Not a perfect job, but a better job of it. But what what have.
And now, I mean, there's one technological thing that's happening along the same time that we're seeing this huge disinformation push on the right, and that is that we really do have people cutting the cord, people not having access to people not watching television, people not accessing traditional print media in the same way that they do, and people being more online, purely online in terms of their information gathering.
Well, there's no. Purely online, daily live news in the way that there is watching TV, and I'm not saying the TV news is perfect, but podcasts are one thing.
You know, there's there's some streaming news, but it doesn't nobody watches it. There are not many people watch it.
There's a lot of interesting like documentaries and people doing weekly series and stuff like that that's working. But in terms of like flip it on the news at six, 30 or flip it on the news at nine p.m. and seeing what's going on there, people are getting away from that way of consuming news.
And the the the resulting media landscape is less live news and less remunerative live news and more fractured in terms of the right wing stuff getting really kooky.
And so I don't know what that's going to do in the long run. I don't think people have less appetite for information, but there's going to be less traditionally curated and edited live daily news sources that are consumed by people under the age of 50 for the foreseeable future. And I think that probably just means that our brains get more sort of Facebook addled. Yeah. In the future than they are even now.
I mean, how do you think about that? You guys have built a really big platform that's news based and information based, but it's different.
Yeah. I mean, look, you know, I look, I've said this to you in the past that I think I think one of the great mistakes is saying that that Facebook has made us polarized or that our media ecosystem is polarized. And what I actually my my signal example of that is the world would be a better place if Sean Hannity were the Rachel Maddow of the right, because he would have integrity and he'd respect his audience. And, yeah, I'd come at it with a point of view, but he'd be trying to he'd be sharing information, not trying to trick people, which is fundamentally what he's doing that is different.
And so I guess part of it is I think what I've been thinking about is how do we change the language that we use around this, because actually, you know, we're no more. You know, when. When. When a group of people get on a rocket ship and go to Mars, we don't say the Earth is getting farther away from the astronauts. You know, we don't we don't talk about it that way. You know, we have a big, vast flood.
But but rigorous news environment and actually progressive news is part of that environment. And it reaches independence and reaches liberals. It reaches nonpartisan people to some extent. And and then you have this sort of bubble, this ecosystem on the right. And once people fall into it, they had sticky, they get stuck inside of it. And, you know, Nixon, Agnew, it's a good example because one of the reasons we're not talking about, as you say, you know, President Agnew is because they lost Republicans, they lost Republicans.
George W. Bush lost Republicans. Right when they were failing, when reality set in, when they were corrupt, when they had participated in catastrophes of one form or another, they lost enough of their party to lose political power. That isn't happening anymore. And so to me, I don't know I don't know what the answer is, but I do think it starts by having an honest conversation about what's going on. We're not polarized. Something else is happening.
Yeah, there's a there's a divergence from reality and there's an instinct toward that on the right. And there has been for a long time. I mean, one of the little vignettes in the book is when Agnew was really up against the ropes and Nixon was really trying to force him to resign because he was trying to basically split the he didn't he didn't want the impeachment machinery to start up for Agnew because then he thought it would hit him. And so he's trying to get Agnew to resign, basically to head off both the potential prosecution and the potential impeachment.
And and and everybody's advising Agnew to do that and sort of thinking about it. But then he has this kind of trumpy and moment and he goes, no, I've still got my base. They'll believe whatever I tell them. And he goes out to this Republican Women's Convention in California. And it's this great moment where he says, I will not resign if indicted. And then he just says it again right away. I will not resign if indicted.
And the crowd goes crazy. Fight, Spiro, fight, fight, Spiro, fight like you're my hero.
This whole thing and the reporters who were covering that moment in L.A. in nineteen seventy three said that the thing that they weren't prepared for as reporters was all the Republican women in that audience turning on them and screaming at them and telling them that they were I mean, they weren't using the phrase enemy of the people, but basically telling them that. And there's one I think was the L.A. Times.
One outlet noted that some of the women in the audience brought their own tape recorders so they could record Agnew's message so they could circulate it themselves because they knew the media would take it out of context and do it wrong like there is.
There is something that always dovetails between that authoritarian, corrupt, you know, screw the elites of populism and the anti often anti Semitic anti elite media thing. That is, it's a permanent thing.
It's just I think they just figured out a way to monetize it right now in a way that just means that we've got all of these nascent networks, as well as the impulse on their side to look for that sort of thing.
Yeah, it's it's a vice, right? It's a vice. We all have it right. We all have it. This desire to read only things we agree with, to not challenge ourselves, to not question ourselves. But it's it's remarkable what happens when that when that vice is embraced. It turns out, you know, we talk about the supply problem. Right. But it turns out there are millions and millions and millions of people who really just want to feel good about what they already thought when they woke up in the morning.
I mean, we all have that to some degree. But when you build a political movement around it, that the answers are simple, the enemies are obvious, the enemies are the source of our problems. And you have leaders that accept that, encourage it or or ignore it and and try to reap the whirlwind you end up in. And where we're at now, it's funny, you know, Richardson, the attorney general in in Baghdad. You know, he has incredible integrity, I teared up when I listened to it the first time because it was like, here's somebody standing up for it with integrity.
And, you know, you see a parallel now when you have, you know, some low level Republican official giving a speech about integrity to certify the vote. What do you do when it requires courage? In a system, to just be honest, when when the incentives are aligned, so that being fair, being impartial, doing your job requires personal risk.
Yeah. Well. I think the nature of the job has to change, right, if if you take the personal risk, you do the courageous thing for the right reasons and stand up and say why you're doing it and say let the chips fall where they may and you get rewarded for that, that means that you are in a job and you are perhaps part of a movement that is going to be reality based and that is going to reward integrity and that is going to be meritocratic in that way.
If you are in that kind of job where you stand up and you do all those things and you get destroyed because of it and you're unemployable and you're seen as a disgrace, then you are part of a movement that is not meritocratic. That is that in in that is advancing its aims and has as its core values something other than integrity, fact based advancement and and rational argument. I mean, this is why this is why scholars of fascism are well employed right now.
Right. If the if it's not about competing to win the argument with the opposition and if you have the better argument, then you get power and then you use it to implement those ideas that allowed you to win the argument.
If you're not doing that, if instead you are trying to rid the world of your opponent and anything is worthy of that, any tactics are worthy of that aim because your opponent needs to be eradicated, because they're evil, because they're child eating Satanists or whatever. That's a different kind of thing. It's not politics. It's a it's a power movement rather than a governing movement. And I mean, I think it'll be like it'll be really interesting to see if Trump ism does succeed in kind of hurting Fox News.
It's interesting when Trump gave us a forty six minute weird press conference from the White House, he did that like on Facebook. Right. And he's doing they're doing all of this anti election stuff on one America and Newsmax. And he's even more obscure things. Mike, first interview after his pardon was with I can't even name it like one of these crazy kuhnen things. And meanwhile, Trump every day, Fox News, Fox, Fox News, Fox, don't watch Fox, don't watch it.
And Fox has taken the hit since the election because of that, both because Trump voters are demoralized, but because he's telling them not to do it. If the Republican Party no longer has a big vehicle like Fox News telling them what their messages every day, telling them what their values are, telling them who's the hero and who's the goat, the splintering potential within the Republican Party between Trump ism and other types of Republicanism and Republicanism and all that stuff.
I think it's very, very unpredictable because they have had messaging that held them together more than anything with a very big, powerful media entity that has is now sucking wind if it doesn't come back. I think that's we're going to see how much Republicanism and the individual careers of people trying to decide whether to do the right thing depended on how Fox treated them. Once that one that's gone, I don't know what's going to happen.
Yeah, well, it's interesting, right? Look, what we are now seeing is, look, FOX has been one of the most pernicious forces in our politics. But inside of Fox, there were people that were actually mitigating some of these incredibly what were fringe right wing fascistic voices and talk about supply and demand. The viewers have searched for something that is telling them what they want. Right. Newsmax is doing gangbusters numbers on the beat, whereas Fox News has struggled.
One last question on this.
You said talked about being inside of politics versus being outside of politics, which is which is how I've been thinking about it, too. Do you think the less opinionated journalists at places like NBC News at The Washington Post did in the understanding that this distinction between when they're inside of politics, when they're outside of politics, when they're covering participants in a debate, and when actually they're actually defenders of a system just by existing just by trying to kind of tell an honest story.
Hmm. I don't know. I mean, I feel like we have gotten more sophisticated so that I'm not hearing a lot of the same sort of dumb question that I had been fending off for my entire adult life, which is like whatever happened to objective news where the person giving you the news had no point of view at all and it was just straight facts. And now we don't have that anymore.
Like, really? S definitely nobody had an opinion. Walter Cronkite definitely wasn't coming from anywhere like this, this idea of this false voice of God objectivity, which was never true. I mean, just if you were a gay person who lived in any part of the 80s or 90s and was contending with the AIDS crisis and dealing with the mainstream media around that, like you tell me that the mainstream media was just the facts and voice of God and not at all taking one side or another in a crisis like it just it's always driving me crazy, that sort of facile, reductive idea about transition and media.
I feel like we've gotten more sophisticated about that, that people do sort of realize now that somebody that whoever is speaking, they're always coming from somewhere. And you are better off for transparency sake, knowing where they're coming from than pretending like they're above it all and and have no personal experience that that is what they do. That said, I think different media organizations have different missions, and the most important thing for me, like the most important litmus test as to what sort of a news organization you are, is if you correct things when you get them wrong, like if if you are found to have said something factually incorrect, not if you had an opinion that didn't pan out the way you said it was going to.
But literally, if you said something that wasn't true and you found out that it's not true, are you expected to correct it?
Is there are there standards? Is there an editor? Is there that to me is becoming sort of the difference, the important difference between different types of media outlets more than this this facile idea that some are some are independent and some are biased.
Rachel, last question. What do you streaming right now? End of the day. What's your. What's your. What's your. Pleasure viewing, garbage viewing, guilty pleasure, if you will, OK? Susan, awake or asleep? I'd like both, I'd like to hear both, actually, that's actually a great a great a great distinction.
It's important because she has KOVR-TV fatigue and so she's falling asleep. And B, I don't like to I don't know if we're watching something together. As soon as she's fallen asleep, I was turn it off and then I'm going to watch something else. So the thing I'm watching, if Susan is asleep, is called COBRA, which is a not very good British like Situation Room drama about there being a solar storm that knocks out the power in England. And the prime minister makes terrible decisions, but he's doing his best.
But he's a little hot tempered, like, OK, I'm there when he is awake. If it's a bad day. We're watching the great British baking show and I make no apologies for it whatsoever, nor should you. It's the best produced television in the history of television, and it's a good day. We're probably watching the Crown. You through season four are winning season four. We're taking it slow. We're trying to make it last. Yeah, OK.
I just I like it's too good. Like, you can't, like, do good. It's so good.
I like literally if the dog barks, I go back 15 seconds, something might have happened like he was barking and yet yeah.
Something in this show or nothing happens might have happened. I can see. Look I don't care. I've always despised caring about monarchy as a good American. But I will say that I did Google. Did Charles fall off a horse. You know, I just want to know.
Rachel Maddow, thank you so much. The book is Bag Man. The podcast was absolutely incredible. I can't wait to read the book. It's a fascinating, incredibly relevant story. Everybody check it out. Thanks so much for being here. Thanks. It's great to see you, my friend. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Thanks to Rachel Maddow for joining us today, and we'll talk to you guys later. Rudy has covered. Rudy has covered. Oh, shut up, Bungeni. Rudy has covered again the least surprising news ever.
I'm shocked at 9:00.
Yeah, absolutely. And hey, Andrew, you really screwed me on that joke. You did put the music on my terrible joke until after it was over and I caught it. Hotsy of America is a crooked media production, the executive producer is Michael Martinez, our associate producer is Jordan Waller.
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