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Who’s to Blame for the Ugly Tone of McCain’s Campaign? Rachel Maddow?

Here, but mostly on Pajiba, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time praising Rachel Maddow, my new lesbian girl crush (I’m not sure what that makes me, as a straight man). She’s one of the smartest television news personalities on the air, and she’s funny without being smug. But here’s the thing: It’s an unapologeticly liberal news show, and because Maddow is sharp and quick-witted, she very rarely gets anyone of the Republican persuasion on her show to argue with, but for crazy Uncle Pat Buchanan, the lovable racist.

That changed last night, when Maddow faced her first really difficult interview, after a month on the air, with David Frum, writer for The National Review and a former economics speechwriter for George Bush. And the thing about Frum is, he’s not a empty-headed Republican full of talking points and bullshit. He’s a smart guy, a guy who really disliked the choice of Palin. And, as the video above shows, he’s also humorless as hell. And what do you get when you pit an acerbic, good-natured television personality against a smart, humorless Republican?

Awkwardness. Lots of it, as Frum blames Maddow for the political tone out on the campaign trail now. Maddow held her own, admirably. But the exchange is a draw.

(Interview starts around the 3 minute mark)

| Comments (3)


Wow. Love his points and clarity of thought. I don't necessarily agree that you have to be serious about everything, but he's spot-on in criticizing the attempts to justify negative responses unrelated to the actual issue by calling out similar actions by the other side. I see this in political discussion a lot. People attempt to make the severity of the false charge or the insult a part of the severity of the logical fallacy. It doesn't make an ad-hominem attack less of an ad-hominem attack if you're saying the person is a sloppy dresser rather than a baby-eater.

Politics these days is a farce. I blame us for not demanding better. Our forefathers laid down their lives on principle and we don't even have the balls to vote for a real change, out of fear of "wasting" the vote.

Its so funny (in a completely un-funny way) how the mainstream political parties would have us believe that voting for real change, as Eep puts it, would be throwing away our vote...

when in actuality its the other way around. Voting for a Dem or Repub is like choosing either side of the same coin. So I guess I'm throwing away my vote, for I cannot i good conscious vote for one of these two. I demand better.

I really like this Maddow chick, btw. here's for lesbian girl crushes for straight guys

This is the first time I have seen her show, but I have heard great things about her. However, the fact that she keeps using the example of "Kill him" being yelled at the McCain rally as a point of equivalency to what Frum is saying is what I would call bull-headed. She only wishes to see it in that context because it is in that context that the two situations ("kill him" scenario and Frum's critique of serious political discourse) do not align. So yes, Maddow is right that they cannot be compared, but that is because she refuses to expand her view to something the McCain campaign has done, like pointing fingers at Bill Ayers and just yelling "Obama is cavorting with Bill Ayers! They are besties!" That is, I would say, the equivalent of what Frum is criticizing Maddow's show for, which is pointing fingers at Palin and saying, "She and McCain don't communicate! They don't talk!"

The ideal situation (for these specific examples) would be for the republican side to sit down and discuss how Obama is related to Bill Ayers and what that could show for his political views; and for the Maddow show to talk about the dangers of having a potential president and vice-president not communicate with each other (Bush/Cheney, anyone?)

The election coverage has just become such a circus, it's really disappointing.