Archive for Rachel Maddow

Executive producer Bill Wolff leaving Maddow: Worst New Thing in the World


maddow worst new thing in the world

Back in 2012, I was beyond thrilled to meet Rachel Maddow. But I was equally thrilled to meet her executive producer, Bill Wolff. You can read about my encounter with them here: Best New Thing in the World: I met Rachel Maddow last night.

I wrote a sequel to that post about Bill's generosity when he surprised me with a shout out: VIDEO: The SECOND "Best New Thing in the World": A shout out from The Rachel Maddow Show!

maddow shout out bill wolff

And so, last night, when Rachel did a surprising Opposite World segment, the subject matter really hit home. She pulled a switcheroo from her usual Best New Thing in the World and presented The Worst New Thing in the World: Bill Wolff is leaving The Rachel Maddow Show. He "is moving on to an easier show with better hours, not that we’re bitter..."

The Hollywood Reporter- ABC is filling another key role in its quest to reinvigorate The View. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that longtime Rachel Maddow Show executive producer Bill Wolff is set to replace Bill Geddie as showrunner for the upcoming season.

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Bill Wolff often appeared on camera, but even behind the scenes, he was very visible to us. His humor, intelligence, passion, enthusiasm, and inimitable style pervaded every aspect of TRMS. As Rachel put it, he is a mensch, and he will be sorely missed. Here's to his next big success at his new digs.

toasting glasses

maddow bill wolff our fearless leader


Hit Me With Your Best Shot - on ice, please, and lots of ice


Vertical dunking on the rocks? Genius.

The trend moving to all corners of the country (and overseas), of getting dunked and with a very large bucket of ice water (hope they at least add a lime wedge) is full-blown viral.

Even Grandma Ethel Kennedy  took it like a sailor. AND she also challenged President Obama.

Still giving back, Dame Ethel.


The viral trend has drawn celebrities, athletes, and politicians, including the Kennedys, to participate in the #IceBucketChallenge. And they spared no one — after thirty or so members of the Kennedy family poured freezing water over their heads, they nominated "Grandma Ethel," one of the eldest in the family, to follow suit. She did — but not before she named President Obama to be next.

Next, QEII? Bet she'd still have her ubiquitous purse. Doncha' sometimes wildly wonderwhat the Queen has in her trademark hand bag? 

Morning Schmoe got frisky for a few moments on messnbc.


GO Maddow!

Then the Roundtable of The Morning Ick:



For the record, ALS is Lou Gehrig’s Disease. It’s a disease of the nerve cells in both the brain and the spinal chord that control voluntary muscle movement. Over time, it weakens your muscles and your ability to voluntarily control your muscles, killing you. ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Here is the website to donate to the ALS Association: And here is another website, made by the family of Peter Frates who was recently diagnosed with ALS; they are heavy proponents of “striking out ALS” and the ice bucket challenge:


Here's the history, ably summarized by The Verge.

Everyone you've seen is participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge. The challenge involves daring a person to dump a bucket of ice water over their head within the next 24 hours, or else donate money — usually $100 — toward fighting ALS. Even if a person completes the challenge, they're more than welcome to donate money too.

Once a person completes the challenge, they're also supposed to dare several other people — usually three — to participate, which is why the challenge has been growing and growing.


Photo courtesy of


This Hawaiian footage of flash-mob dumps/observers, below, is priceless.

Jimmy Fallon outdid himself - video below.

Now that's funny right there, no matter how you judge the cause.





Gov. "Ultrasound" McDonnell probed, media mounts soap opera defense for him


bob mcdonnell trans vag ultrasound probe

Media coverage of the Gov. Bob "Ultrasound" McDonnell corruption case could take a cue from the following excerpt from USA Today, and an even bigger one from The Rachel Maddow Show below:

RICHMOND, Va. — The key prosecution witness in the federal corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, took the stand Wednesday, saying there was no personal relationship between he and the couple.

Jonnie Williams, the wealthy businessman and former chief executive of Star Scientific, said he did not give the two initial checks to the McDonnell family because he thought he and the McDonnells were friends.

"This was a business relationship," he said about why he helped the McDonnell family. "I needed his help."

That's news. Unfortunately, however, that has not been the focus of the so-called "news" media when it comes to this story. Rachel Maddow zeroed right in on the How Do You Solve a Problem Like Media Coverage? issue in the following segment. We owe her our gratitude:

Maddow on "the salaciousness of the headlines":

The headlines are all like this... "Trial reveals governor's wife had 'crush' on CEO"...

The indictment-- the allegations from prosecutors-- those have been out there for months now. But now that we're having the trial... what has stolen the show about the defense is this designed-for-headlines assertion from the defense, that the McDonnell's marriage was broken, Maureen McDonnell had a "childlike crush" on this businessman who the McDonnells are accused of helping in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars worth of gifts...

But the defense strategy in the corruption trial of Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife is apparently going to be [about their marriage]... This is how they're going to try to keep the governor and his wife out of jail.

Bob McDonnell and Maureen McDonnell stand accused of accepting over $160,000 in gifts and cash from this wealthy CEO [Johnnie Williams] in exchange for providing official help from the state for the CEO's company. That's called corruption, right? "Give me something of personal value to me, and in exchange, I'll give you a little something from the government, the government in which I am an official." ...

So that strategy, the "she took everything" defense... is undercut by the fact that Bob McDonnell himself did things himself like ask this guy for a $70,000 loan for his real estate business... But that is their main defense strategy, the claim is basically that "she did it all, she's not a public official, so there's no public corruption. And, there couldn't be a... corrupt conspiracy between the two of them, because there was no "two of them."... It was just her "lovesick stupidity. He's actually kind of the victim here."... That's their legal strategy...

What does not make sense is the media helping them with it... It is being covered purely in a tabloid way... Purely through catty, sexist gossip [her shopping, her "crush"]... That framing is not only sexist and gross, it ignores the fact that Bob McDonnell himself was doing things like setting up meetings for this wealthy donor with top state health officials... They claim they have the evidence to prove it.

But if the Bob McDonnell defense is gonna be to blame it all on the "lovesick, emotionally erratic, Louis Vuitton-loving wife, they are so far doing a masterful job of injecting that storyline into the press and getting the press to mount their defense for them.

The press is bending over backwards to help the McDonnell legal defense... Attention news media! This is an overt strategy and you are helping one side of this legal case by advancing the strategic storyline for them, because you can't resist a tabloid soap opera tale.

You're being played! You're being played... by covering this as a tabloid story about a marriage, and not a crime blotter story about a corrupt governor.

bob mcdonnell probe johnnie williams


Yes, Virginia … Governor McDonnell Found His Santa Claus



Who obviously kicked him to the curb this year in a very un-Clausy move.

The curb had cameras (2014 here). 

I've been enjoying the footage of the Fall of McDonnell, aka Governor Vagina Police,  all day. I did not know that Virginia encourages the antiquated, sexist 'crush' defense that incriminates your wife.

Maddow had superb coverage, early. She always had a soft spot for Old McDonnell, Gov'nuh Invasive Ultrasound,  aggressively anathema to women in the other 49 states.


Morning media today totally enjoyed divulging more and more dirt for Old McDonnell to bury himself in. Chuck Todd updated an eager audience on MSNBC, and continued to compare this bit of greed with a House of Cards season, video below.

McDonnell was rescued by the Falwell family, good ole' political religionists teaching their worst traits to generations of extreme religiosity  … shaping the Regressive Right Christian way.


"Gov. McDonnell will add another dimension to the educational experience of Liberty students by teaching leadership,” bragged  Liberty President and Chief Christian on Campus, Jerry Falwell Jr., son of Jerry Sr.

 He achieved great success as governor in making Virginia one of the nation’s most business-friendly and fiscally sound states while getting people to work together for the common good. These experiences uniquely qualify him to teach our students about every aspect of serving in public office.

McDonnell was well received at Liberty, as you might expect!

Morning Joe Schmoe, absent Joe, and featuring Morning Mika, gave the McDonnell clan some early bird mockery with details that needed divulging.


By now most Virginians should sensibly note that McAuliffe is a vast improvement over Old McDonnell. He's probably got that Vitamin Lothario, Jimmie Williams, banned from the region. The Washington Post ran this:

The federal government’s decision to use these deceitful tactics in order to prosecute a popular and successful Republican Governor immediately upon his leaving office is disgraceful, violates basic principles of justice, and is contemptuous of the citizens of Virginia who elected him,” McDonnell’s attorneys wrote.