Some of you will be surprised to hear that I find Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show to be tolerable. That was, until she, like the other media outlets, got caught up with the hysteria surrounding Donald Trump’s presidency, and the partisanship it’s caused since. I think we, as Americans, can do better than this for our duly elected President under the current constitutional rules. I like hearing the opinions of both sides, because when you take being bellicose out of it, it’s how I learn what they’re saying.
Then came last week. Maddow’s Twitter feed bursted on Tuesday with news of a surprise revelation concerning a seemingly forgotten about topic: Donald Trump’s taxes, and his failure to release them to the public. Someone anonymously sent journalist David Cay Johnson the documentation for Trump’s 2005 taxes, who then released the findings to NBC and cable outlet MSNBC. The findings probably didn’t go the way Maddow or the network of Peacocks had hoped, despite making news on all the other televised outlets: Trump paid over 25 percent of his income in taxes this year, far more than other politicians paid recently, such as former President Obama or Democratic contender Bernie Sanders.
A brief rant here: the one thing that drives me crazy about TV news is that networks, cable news stations, and local TV stations frequently wave documentation around on camera, then tell you what’s in it. I would love to see the FCC pass a rule, for the sake of transparency, that if a station does that, they must put the same documents on a website or other such forum for public view. It isn’t something media does or doesn’t do all the time, but there should be a uniform rule so that informed people wanted to learn more, that ability is there for them.
As for Maddow, the big show on Tuesday night was a ratings hit, but it seemed to harm her reputation on both conservative and liberal sides. Geraldo Rivera’s career recovered from the “bomb” of a 1987 special promising to reveal the contents of Al Capone’s vault, but finding nothing of significance within. My gut tells me we’re not getting rid of Rachel so quickly, and I’m sure her bosses will remind her not to turn into such a caricature of herself.