And last night, the man she has sneered at for two years -- President Trump -- played her like he played the New York Times using the same trick.
You may recall, the New York Times and the rest of the media wanted Donald Trump's tax returns.
Not because there was anything in them. Everyone knows that the Obama administration would have released them if there were. Trump would be in jail if he did not pay his taxes.
No, the media wanted those tax returns because it wanted to embarrass him.
Trump said no because he did not want a bunch of people who know nothing about taxes reporting on his taxes. So he made up a story about being audited and delayed release until no one cared except the New York Times and people with PhDs from Oxford.
In October, the New York Times did a story on his 1995 returns, which someone mailed to the newspaper from Trump Tower. It showed Trump did not pay taxes that year!
Because he lost $915 million that year.
The Times then extrapolated that he could have avoided paying taxes for the next 18 years because of that loss.
The people yawned. The story did not even make the 40% hard-core anti-Trump people happy because the returns failed to show anything devious or nefarious on his part.
Last night, Trump played the same trick on Maddow. She got two pages of his 2005 return. She made this a big story. Drudge trumpeted her big scoop.
And the bottom line was 25% of his 2005 income went to the federal government. That was a higher percentage than MSNBC's owner, Comcast, paid.
She was played. Bigly.
Any normal person would have passed on the story. But Doctor Maddow -- she has a PhD, after all -- went with it because she is super-duper smart and Trump is just a lucky clown who became president, right?
Her fellow travelers are not pleased. John Ziegler of Media-ite wrote:
You surely know by now that MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow teased that she had some of President Trump’s tax returns before her show on Tuesday night. You are probably also aware that the general perception is that the release of two pages from his 2005 return was a rather large flop. After all, it is generally a very bad sign when a “news” show is doing a big “reveal” that BOTH Geraldo Rivera AND Al Capone are trending on Twitter. I was actually surprised that “vault” was not.
This result was not at all a surprise to me (I tweeted beforehand that I was betting liberals were going to be very disappointed) and it should not have been so for anyone who understands the basics of the news business. Essentially, for what Maddow possessed to have been really big news it would have, under these circumstances, been in direct violation of the basic mathematics of how the news media operates.Slate was less polite:
Rachel Maddow Turned a Scoop on Donald Trump's Taxes Into a Cynical, Self-Defeating SpectacleJay Yarrow at CNBC wrote:
Donald Trump just got a nice victory, thanks, of all people, to Rachel MaddowThis story got a lot of attention last night, but in the end Trump supporters are filled with glee, and Trump bashers are left gnashing their teeth.
No one should be surprised that Maddow got played the same way Trump played the New York Times.
But the media is surprised anyway.
Remember, in the eyes of the media, Donald Trump is a clown and a stupid idiot because, hey, being a billionaire who heads an international company with 22,000 employees is easy.
Reading the news from a teleprompter and asking questions with a producer talking into your earpiece while smiling is hard.
That is why to do it right, you need a doctorate in political science from Oxford.
In February 2011, the editor of Discover magazine asked why so many smart people who read the publication fell for the magazine's annual April Fool's Day hoaxes:
I asked Stephen Greenspan, the author of Annals of Gullibility: Why We Get Duped and How to Avoid It, to explain why intelligent people accepted our April Fool’s stories. “People trust authority—and DISCOVER is an authority for science news—unless the authority says something too far-fetched,” he said. Our economy and all other social interactions are based on trust and would collapse if we all doubted one another, he added. In other words, a society of paranoids and cynics would not function as a society. It is sobering to realize that human beings blindly trust authority and that authority figures like Nobelists are the ones most easily duped.What an explanation of why liberals are liberal. They are authoritarian by nature. They obey. They believe credentials give them license to be our lords.
And so it goes with Maddow. Trust authority. The polls are right. Four months later, they still cannot accept the election results. It was the Russians. It was Comey. It was The Donald cheating on his taxes.
The media failed to stop him in 2016.
Hoaxes like this will cost the left-wing media its left-wing audience, as viewers give up in despair.
I want to tell her, “You’re awake, by the way. You’re not having a terrible, terrible dream. Also, you’re not dead and haven’t gone to hell. This is your life now. This is our election now. This is us. This is our country. It’s real.”
But that is what she said on November 9, the night she realized Patriotic Americans had just elected Donald Trump president.
Not only has she been told no for the first time in her life, she must live with this for the next four to eight years.
"Trump the Establishment" is now on Kindle.
"Trump the Establishment" is also available in paperback.
This is the sequel to "Trump the Press," which covered the nomination. The original -- "Trump the Press" -- is available on Kindle, or in paperback on Amazon.
Autographed copies are available by writing me at DonSurber@GMail.com
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