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Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Maddow to Scott Brown: Stop Lying. Stop It. Stop Lying.

By now, we’ve all read the full-page ad by Rachel Maddow in The Boston Globe this past week. We know that Senator Scott Brown created the rumor that Maddow was planning to run against him. We know that Brown has stirred the pot, repeating the fictional story to conservative talk shows, campaign stops, newspapers like The Boston Herald, and his most important audience: potential donors.

He’s lying. He continues to lie.

“You dragged me into this,” Maddow reports. “You made up something that’s not true. You have such a lack of respect for your conservative donor base around the country that you don’t care if what you say is true or not.”

It’s troubling to witness this news story (can it even be called news? perhaps just a rumor turned into publicity–and sensationalist publicity at that?). Even more troubling is the perpetuation by Senator Brown and his staff of the rumor, after Maddow has told the truth over and over (and over) again.

For seven minutes, Maddow adeptly calls out Brown’s falsehood:

  • “You shouldn’t get to flat out lie in the conduct of your business as U.S. Senator and get away with it.”
  • “Politics is more than just about politicians. Politics is about our country.”
  • “I don’t concede that the only thing we can expect from politics is for them to lie to us, and for us to not care, because we don’t expect anything better.”

What’s admirable in Maddow’s report is her rhetorical skills. Her words may fall on the deaf ears of the Brown campaign, but the acute journalist repeats the words “lie,” “lying,” “liar,” dozens of time in this clip to hit home her critique of the senator. Calls to mind the great speeches of MLK and President Obama, persuasive orators who utilize carefully-chosen rhetoric to convey meaning.

Filed under: media, politics, , , , , , ,

NYT Poll: Obama Edges GOP in Partisan Impasse

The New York Times cites a poll today that indicates more Americans approve of President Obama’s efforts at bipartisanship than G.O.P. Republicans:

They [Americans] credit Mr. Obama more than Republicans with making an effort at bipartisanship, and they back the White House’s policies on a variety of disputed issues, including allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the military and repealing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

The White House has made an aggressive push of late to counter Republican obstructionism: most evidently, in the President’s recent face-to-face showdown at the Republican retreat in Baltimore, where he responded to G.O.P. questions knowledgeably, patiently, and his characteristic panache.

Rachel Maddow had a great segment deconstructing the partisan impasse between Democrats and Republicans. My favorite part of Maddow’s analysis is when she literally calls out the Republican lawmakers who voted against the federal stimulus bill, but later took credit for the federal funds in their home districts. I admire Maddow immensely: such a reasoned, articulate–and witty–voice.

Here’s a sample photos of all those Republican congresspeople who took snapshots “Publisher’s Clearinghouse”-style at ribbon-cutting ceremonies in their home districts. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) presenting $625,000 in federal stimulus in his home district of Cedartown, Georgia for streetscaping and infrastructure:

Filed under: obama, politics, , , ,

Maddow, Pelosi, Boehner, Jones weigh civic unrest

Rachel Maddow–of whom Mehcad Brooks recently opined that he’s in love with her mind (I’ll second that)–explores the threat of political violence raised by teabaggers toting guns at recent public protests. Maddow cites Speaker Pelosi’s uncharacteristically emotional call for a more reasoned, less inflammatory, approach to public discourse. After all, do we really need to brandish firearms and Obama-as-Hitler signs to make a point?

Prominent gay activist Cleve Jones also joins Maddow in praising Pelosi’s call for a more civil discourse. The segment shows both Pelosi’s words as well as those of Republican leader John Boehner, who contradicts Pelosi and calls for a political rebellion. Rebellion? Guns? Does this moment call for a deep breath, a commitment to discourse that is articulate, challenging, and most of all, civil?

Filed under: media, politics, , , , ,

Publications

BIOGRAPHY

RECENT PUBLICATIONS
» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
August 2020
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About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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