RachelWatch: Beck and Gall

Today: Rachel talks with terrorism expert Malcolm Nance and stomps the latest idiocy from Glenn Beck.

They’re Getting Embarrassed

Rachel kicked off the show with an anniversary of sorts: It’s been a year since the stimulus package passed. Turns out many Republicans have been loudly announcing that only losers would got to that party and then sneaking around to the back door to ask for cake.

The hypocrisy has been so egregious that even The Wall Street Journal called them on it yesterday.

Rachel touched on Senator Inhofe (R – Oklahoma) and his ongoing battle with the dictionary and then welcomed current DNC chair and former Governor of Virginia (New state slogan: “Virginia is for Shovels”) Tim Kaine.


Hey! More people are sick to death of the filibuster. And, seriously, it was cute for a while, but now it’s just gotten tiresome and vaguely embarrassing. Like the Coreys.

Rachel pointed out a “blistering” op-Ed in USA Today and then had a highly entertaining chat with Gail Collins of The New York Times.

Security Briefing

Do you still have your Fascinating Conversation shoes on? Don’t even touch those laces. Terrorism expert Malcolm Nance, the author of An End to Al Quaeda, joined Rachel to talk about Al Quaeda in a way that I simply have not heard before.

Extra bonus points for having no truck with Cheney’s bushwah and calling it what it is: sadism.

I highly recommend this clip.

Ms. Information

North Korea celebrated the totally not dead or incapacitated Kim Jong-Il’s birthday with lots of things done in unison. It’s a pity Kim Jong-Il isn’t a nicer guy. If we’d had better relations, he could have flown over and seen the Rockettes. He would have lost his mind.

Rachel also reminded us of the existence of Utah State Senator Chris Buttars (R), who may have just won the Nobel Prize in long-term planning by proposing that his state take care of a nasty budget shortfall by eliminating the 12th grade.

As Rachel pointed out, Buttars has certainly eliminated 12-graders from his life, or they would have stopped him from saying things like “I don’t mind gays, but I don’t want ‘em stuffing it down my throat all the time.” Good thing, too.

“Alarmists Who Change or Lose Key Data”

So Glenn Beck saw the segment where Rachel fact-checked him and (surprise!) he did not handle it well. Rachel ran a clip of Beck’s weird, angry video blog in which he accuses her of lying.

It’s bad enough to accuse Rachel of being wrong when you don’t have the facts on your side. But accusing her of lying is accusing her of being wrong on purpose. Do you really think Dr. Maddow is going to let that one go?

Warning: There is a lot of Glenn Beck in this. A lot. You may want to take an aspirin and something for the nausea.

And now that we’ve all enjoyed the beatdown, I sincerely hope that Dr. Maddow will let this one go.

I’m fairly certain that Beck will not let this one go, and I fear Rachel will feel the need to set things straight again. But she and Beck are not arguing with the same rules or even in the same collective reality.

Rachel cannot defeat him as a newswoman who has a superior grasp of the facts because Glenn Beck does not care about facts or proper reporting. Or about doing his job as a pundit well at all. The man hasn’t even bothered to learn how to fake-cry passably and that’s his whole thing. Rachel cannot shame him by showing that he’s a weasel because he has no shame.

And they’re adhering to different standards: 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.

Dr. Maddow, your brain likes accuracy — maybe, in this case, a little too much. Please don’t let it tempt you into a wrestling match with Glenn Beck just to set the record straight. You’re by far the stronger fighter, but you’re better than that, and humiliating himself in this world only makes Beck more powerful in his own. And you might get the stench of failed comedian on you.

Please don’t let Beck suck you into the crazy. You have a filibuster to break.