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January 09, 2014

The Many Lies of Rachel Maddow

But she's the smart one, right? The one who does her homework and does careful research, right?

She's the intellectual lodestar of MSNBC, right?

Maddow got yet another story from a leftwing blog or leftwing agitation group. This new "blockbuster" alleges that the famously-libertarian Koch Brothers spearheaded a drive to get people on welfare tested for drugs.

For one thing, this is not an outrage, even if true.

But for another thing, it's not true. Not ever close.

[I]s Maddow any better than the rest [of the MSNBC clownshow]? A recent incident suggests that if anything, she is worse.

Maddow's team asked Koch press people for comment on this claim, giving them a mere 45 minutes (!!!) to respond, before she went on the air to falsely claim it.

Ms. Maddow moved on to a discussion of a 2011 Florida welfare law and a Florida federal court ruling concerning that law, falsely stating that the “Koch brothers . . . have been promoting forced drug tests for people on welfare.” Ms. Maddow based this false statement on her claim that the Florida Foundation for Government Accountability (“FFGA”) was involved in the legislation. This was a knowingly false and malicious statement by Ms. Maddow – Koch is not involved in promoting any such issue and we are not working with the FFGA on any such issue, as we explained to you last night. Indeed, your email from last night shows that you knew Koch had no link to the FFGA or this issue since you stated that Koch “donated to the State Policy Network of which FGGA is a member.” Nevertheless, Ms. Maddow repeatedly and falsely referred to FFGA as a “Koch brothers affiliated group,” a “Koch brothers connected Florida group,” a “Koch brothers related group,” and “this group (FFGA) affiliated with them (Koch) in Florida.”

Given that Koch has zero relationship with FFGA, Maddow based her claims on the fact that Koch has donated risibly small amounts–$40,000 over eight years–to the State Policy Network, and FFGA, which advocated for the Florida law, is a member of the State Policy Network. She used this graphic to explain the connection to her audience
So Rachel Maddow’s entire segment was one big lie. Her central premise, that the Florida welfare statute was an initiative of the Koch brothers, was false, and she knew it. She made the whole thing up to fool the low-IQ viewers who form MSNBC’s base. But the story gets even worse.

In an email dated January 3–follow the link above–Koch asked MSNBC to retract, and apologize for, Maddow’s fabrications. Instead of correcting her misrepresentations, Maddow, in her show on Friday, triumphantly refused, saying “I don’t play requests.” Or, in other words, “I lie with impunity, and MSNBC gives me cover.” The left-wing echo chamber swooned....

There's an additional reason to doubt her nonsensical Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon "reportage." Many large corporations donate to the State Policy Network -- companies like Verizon.

Among the companies that donate to the State Policy Network, and therefore are champions of drug testing for people on welfare? MSNBC's parent company Comcast.

So Rachel Maddow's report could just have easily have been "MSNBC Leads Charge for Drug Tests for People on Welfare." For obvious reasons, the "smart, fair one who does her homework" did not choose to report her "story" this way.

Eric Wemple is trying, without success, to get answers from Maddow and MSNBC about their false report.

The Erik Wemple Blog has presented MSNBC with questions on this matter: What’s the standard for calling a group “Koch-affiliated”? Is it any free-market, libertarian or conservative interest group? Is it any group that has a first- or second-generation funding or affiliation relationship with some Koch entity? Or is it a more strict standard? Holden notes that David Koch has given generously to the Lincoln Center, as well as to the Smithsonian. “Are they Koch groups?” asks Holden. “Where does it end?”

“MSNBC — they like to look for ways to put us in every story. Whether it’s sloppy, whether it’s malicious, it’s hard to tell sometimes,” says Holden....

Attempts to get comment from MSNBC were unsuccessful.

UPDATE: Daniel Schulman, a journalist with Mother Jones who’s at work on a book about the Kochs, e-mails this assessment of the alleged link between the Kochs and the welfare drug-testing law:

The Kochs have certainly supported the State Policy Network and some of its think-tank affiliates. But I haven’t seen evidence that they have directly funded the Foundation for Government Accountability or proactively pushed for the drug-testing law. Do they want to rein in entitlements? Absolutely. But in the case of Florida, I think the connection is tenuous.

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posted by Ace at 12:52 PM

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