This one one of the stranger Rachel Maddow segments to air in a long time.
Last week, Maddow made a statement on the air that Wisconsin was “on track to have a budget surplus this year.”
However! According to Maddow Politifact did not check their facts.
Yesterday Maddow exec producer Bill Wolff sent a scathing email off to Politifact:
“In your effort to challenge a Capital Times editorial you have mistakenly ascribed the argument therein to Rachel Maddow. In so doing, you have half-quoted her in one instance, misquoted her in another, and misrepresented her overall. tape of what she said to prove them wrong.”
And last night Maddow picked up where Wolff left off.
“I am happy to talk about this stuff and we will correct it when we get it wrong but we will also correct you if you say publicly that we are wrong when we are really not. There are too many people who work too hard on this show for us to get slandered when we are in fact telling the truth.”
“The right wing this week, for example, got very excited when a St. Petersburg Times project called Politifact [interesting phrasing since they are somewhat familiar to people who follow cable politics] called a piece of our reporting on the Wisconsin crisis false. It was specifically about Wisconsin’s budget. They said, quote, “Maddow and the others are wrong. There is indeed a projected deficit in Wisconsin.’ Flashing red lights. Bells and whistles. Meter to red. Maddow lied. She said there is no budget shortfall in the state of Wisconsin.”
Cue tape of Maddow saying, “There is in fact a $137 million budget shortfall.”
Maddow said that she sent letters to Politifact asking them to correct their error, but they told her that will not run a correction, which Maddow said she found “astonishing.”
“Politifact, you are wrong here on the facts and bluntly and you ought to correct it. Putting the word ‘fact’ in your name does not grant you automatic mastery of the facts.”
And she is right. It is astonishing. Fail for Politifact.
So big point Maddow. And also, phew.
But then she finished up with this very strange finale.
Switching gears from Wisconsin Maddow went after Johnny Dollar’s site (dismissively calling it right wing, which if nothing else is a measure of how unfamiliar she is with it…also, link?) for pointing out that Shep had cited the same (possibly incorrect) political donation facts as Maddow a day later.
“But the right-wing is on fire right now about Shep Smith citing that same information I cited, because I also cited it and therefore it must be false.”
As we noted yesterday there was some agonizing over Maddow’s facts in this regard, mostly due to her wording (she alternately said groups and people) but the end conclusion by all the sites investigating was that, actually she was right, even if her wording was sometimes less than clear.
But for reasons that remain entirely unclear Maddow then noted that viewers had probably seen Johnny Dollar’s post (or at least its substance) RT’d somewhere as “Rachel Maddow is wrong, and she looks like a man” or “Rachel Maddow is wrong, and she is gay’….Just because you don’t like the way it sounds when I say it, or you don’t like my haircut, or you don’t like that I’m gay, does not mean that what we say is not true.”
Which is obviously true, but also such a totally bizarre thing for her to say.
Bizarre because it’s out of character and bizarre because nothing in any of the posts calling her facts into question ever even hinted at such a thing. Comments sections are another beast entirely (emphasis on beast) but presumably she knows this.
Only explanation that comes to mind is that calling her facts into question really hit a sore spot. Oof.
Anyway: RACHEL MADDOW IS RIGHT.
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