Where Rachel Maddow Dares Not Tread

From the Archive: On domestic politics, MSNBC has provided some balance to the hard-right bent of Fox News, but the liberal-oriented network won’t diverge much from Washington’s hawkish foreign policy orthodoxy, especially on the Middle East, a reality that Marquette professor Daniel C. Maguire observed in 2011.

By Daniel C. Maguire

To MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow: On your show of July 14, 2011, you spoke of your complete freedom to say what you want on your show and Bill Moyers gently demurred, speaking of restricting forces that hover over journalists.

Bill Moyers was correct. I cannot believe you don’t care, but you are not free to address on your show the political influence of the Israeli lobby (which is far broader than AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee).

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.

You are not free to invite John Mearsheimer or Stephen Walt, authors of The Israeli Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. You are not free to talk of how their first article that preceded this book could not be published by The Atlantic even after the magazine commissioned it. The authors had to go to England to get it published.

AIPAC’s announced goal is to have “no daylight” between Israel’s needs and U.S. policy. You cannot address their ongoing success.

You are not free to invite Hedy Epstein, a Holocaust survivor who was on the Gaza flotilla on “The Audacity of Hope,” to hear her side of the Israeli illegal occupation and continuing expansion in Palestine and in Jerusalem.

You’re not free to invite Ray McGovern, former CIA policy analyst who used to report in person to George H.W. Bush and other senior White House officials. McGovern was also on that ship. Nor could you invite the captain of “The Audacity of Hope” who was imprisoned by Greece presumably at the command of the U.S. and Israeli governments. You can’t go there.

You’re not free to invite members of the family of Rachel Corrie who was murdered by Israelis driving a Caterpillar bulldozer as it was destroying water wells and homes in Gaza. You are not free to mention the book the Corrie family put out, Let Me Stand Alone: The Journals of Rachel Corrie, or to invite members of the Corrie family to discuss their ongoing search for justice.

You are not free to invite some of the surviving member of the USS Liberty whom I could make available to you to describe the intentional attack on our spy ship which Israeli pilots had identified as American and were ordered to attack anyhow. The date was June 8, 1967.

Sailors on the deck had waved to Israeli planes flying over them all morning. Then the naval and air force attack struck the Liberty in the afternoon. Israel, which was tripling its land size in six days of war, wanted no witnesses to its takeover of territories such as the Golan Heights until it was a fait accompli.

You could not invite James Scott author of The Attack on the Liberty: The Untold Story of Israel’s Deadly 1967 Assault on a U.S. Spy Ship. His father was on board as 34 American sailors were killed and 171 wounded.

You could not invite Professor Geoffrey Wawro, author of the comprehensive book Quicksand: America’s Pursuit of Power in the Middle East. Much in that study is unmentionable elsewhere, including on your show.

You cannot invite the Israeli Uri Avnery, former member of the Knesset, who criticized the U.S. Congress for “jumping up and down like yo-yos” as Netanyahu mocked President Barack Obama’s timid efforts in the Middle East and lectured Obama as if he were a schoolboy at what was to be a White House photo-op.

The congressional report on 9/11 cited Khalid Sheikh Mohammad’s statement that a principal motive behind the attack was U.S. total support of Israeli expansionism. We pay a great price for our obedience to Israeli demands. You cannot go there.

Bill Moyers was right. There are limiting influences affecting journalism and that also holds true for your otherwise outstanding show, one my wife and I rarely miss.

Daniel C. Maguire is a Professor of Moral Theology at Marquette University, a Catholic, Jesuit institution in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is author of A Moral Creed for All Christians. He can be reached at daniel.maguire@marquette.edu.

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24 comments on “Where Rachel Maddow Dares Not Tread

  1. Well stated.

  2. jo6pac on said:

    Yep, I’ve watched this show twice and both times was nothing but softball questions. Yes, she’ll never be able to question israel.

  3. Suzanne Benning on said:

    Thanks, Mr. Maguire, for this important reminder that even though many of us trust Rachel Maddow to bring us the truth about our government, even she is hampered by the corporate control of our public media. I hope that some day she will be free to discuss these issues, as she surely must want to do. (All the more reason to support this web site and the other truth-tellers on the internet.)

    • Hammersmith on said:

      see my post below–rachel is not hampered. her only limit is controlling herself in her zionism.

      • Alice Molloy on said:

        I agree. It’s important to RM, I think, to not annoy/challenge The Big Boys, all of whom pledge fealty to Israel, because women who annoy/challenge The Big Boys become designated targets. It’s a career-ender.

  4. Brad Whipple on said:

    I love Rachael-fellow UMASS/Amherst graduate, and believe she is up to the challenge. I want her to invite these above-mentioned “dangerous guests” to be interviewed and questioned as only Rachael knows how
    I also ask Bill Moyers to join Rachael and help her to open her scope of inquiry wider. I served with Bill Moyers in JFK’s Peace Corps. I was in the very first group of Peace Corps Volunteers, selected, trained and sent to Colombia in 1961.
    Rachael, Bill and I want the festering wounds to be opened for cleansing.
    As a member of the USAF Security Service 1956-1960, under contract to NSA, I too, have learned of the cowardly act of war, committed by Israeli armed forces who attached: torpedoed, dropped Napalm bombs onto the USS Liberty during the Six Day War, twelve miles off the Egyptian Coast and then machine-gun strafed the rescue boats launched by the USS Liberty crew as they “knew” they would be blown out of the water. Members of our NSA radio intercept crews monitored the Israeli commands to sink the American naval ship….the USS Liberty.

  5. Hillary on said:

    Susan Lindauer would be the perfect guest.

    Susan Lindauer an American citizen and CIA asset was “disappeared” and sent to prison for telling the truth about government wrong doing.
    .
    Over a 5 year period Susan Lindauer was subjected to extraordinary rendition, held in a secret prison, threatened with forced drugging, and denied the right to confront her accusers, let alone be tried before a jury on the grounds that she was “mentally incompetent” because she insists she is innocent.
    .
    This courageous woman, both in her work for the US people and in her status as a whistleblower, should have the corporate media shouting her message from the rooftops…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAwPqfJqccA

  6. RIGG KENNEDY on said:

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    YOU CREEPS WILL NOT PUBLISH MY COMMENTS BECAUSE I AM NOT PUTTING MY PASSWORD WHERE I SEE NO SPACE TO DO IT…ON THAT BULLSHIT NOTE YOU HAVE DENIED ME CLEVERLY AS MUCH AS YOU HAVE SO BEAUTIFULLY CLAIMED SUCH CRAP FROM ISRAEL. WHO IS WORKING AS AN ENEMY IN YOUR SHOP???
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  7. RIGG KENNEDY on said:

    YOU HAVE PUBLISHED MY ANGRY RESPONSE TO DEMANDING I PUT DOWN MY SACRED PASSWORD THAT I HAVE HAD TO CHANGE SO MANY GODDAMN TIMES THAT I FORGET AND MUST SPEND 10 MINUTES LOOKING IT UP. I STILL DO NOT SEE A SPACE BUT WHEN I WROTE ABOUT IT YOU HAVE PUBLISHED MY ANGER AT NOT SEEING WHERE TO PUT MY PASSWORD BUT NOT MY COMMENTS!
    I HAVE….HAD THE GTREATEST REDSPECT FOT YOU GUYS BUT THJIS TRIP IS TOO UNFORGETTABLE TO FORGET…..AETGIQUVYBOLP;MKVBW-SMN AEW08B [7AY6 £¡‘Œø–
    +-’f;LJKNBGH I LOK FORWARD TO YOUR GREAT PENETRATING WRITING THAT I FORWARD TO 5OO READERS FOR WHICH I GET NO PAY BUT EXTENT YOUR INTELLIGENCE TO THEM TO LET THEM KNOW YOU EXIST WHICH REMINDS ME OF AN OLD EXPRESSION THAT NOW SEEMS SDO CLEAR—NO GOOD DEEDS GO UNPUNISHED…..I SHALL NOT EVER FORWARD ANY OF YOUR GREAT STORIES OR COMMENT AGAIMN—-YOU REALLY NEED TO SUPPLY A SPACE FOR PASSWORD DEMANDS….WHERE ARE THEY OR WHERE IS IT??? DOESN’T MATTER NOW I HAVE HAD IT I SHOULD BE STUDYING A SCRIPT FOR TOM,ORROW’SD BIG AUDITION,,,I CANNOT TYPE WHEN I AM ANGRY GOODBYE RK

  8. RIGG KENNEDY on said:

    NOW YOU PUBLOSH WITHOUT MY PASSWORD IF I WERE TO GET WHAT I HJAVE STORED FOR PRESENTING HERE YOU WILL OT PUBLISH THAT—I AM WASTINGT MY TIOME LONGER THAN I HAD INTENDED—I HAVE A BIG AUDITION TOMORRAW BUT HAVE BLOWN GOOD TIME WITH BAD CRAP THAT DOES NO LONGER FEED MY SOUL OR HELP MY HEART.,

  9. No Difference on said:

    MSNBC, states this articles lead-in, is a “liberal-oriented network” that doesn’t challenge US foreign policy. Could that have ANYTHING, ANYTHING to do with the fact that their rich uncle that finances them, namely General Electric, has a lot of money tied up in our foreign policy?

  10. Hammersmith on said:

    on you tube there is a a vid of rachel stating her unqualified support for poor beleagured israel. it is plain she is a committed zionist. the writer is right, but perhaps rachel does not feel as hemmed in as the article presumes–the limits and taboos discussed or not taboos and limits for her; they r her bible.

    • Gretchen Robinson on said:

      Hammersmith: you are right and we need more journalists who can stand up to the Israeli lobby. We are the world’s bully! And Israel’s harsh deeds show that they, too, have disavowed the civilized norms that must restore/reinstate.

  11. chmoore on said:

    “Bill Moyers was right.”

    Keith Obermann and Richard Wolffe would probably agree also; although Wolffe might not say it publicly, since he’s still there.

    In reasonable fairness to Rachel, perhaps MSNBC Editor in Chief (whoever that is these days), deserves honorable mention.

  12. michael lange on said:

    In addition to Uri Avnery, I suggest Prof. Shlomo Sand, Gilad Atzman and Ilan Pappe, a former Israeli history professor who’s carefully researched book “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” appears to have forced him into exile (he now teaches in the UK). Also I would like to see a number of distinguished Americans such as Norman Finkelstein and Richard Falk on Rachel’s show. And what about Noam Chomsky?
    And then we are made to believe that we have total freedom of the Media when everything that appears on Tv is probably as tightly controlled as it is in Russia.

  13. Gretchen Robinson on said:

    Rachel is a good daughter of the patriarchy and its war ideology/theology.
    Women have been silenced for so long we’re still clearing our throats.
    Women who are Lesbians have to watch their steps. It’s dangerous
    to be a truth-teller.

    Watch any discussion on TV and it’s mostly males dominating the discussion.
    If Rachel can’t say it, then what about the mehn: Lawrence O’Donnell? Or Ed Schultz?
    or Chris Matthews? Why pick on Rachel?

    And how many of us don’t say in public what we see and know to be true?

  14. Tom Blanton on said:

    Poor Rachel Maddow. She must really hate having to keep the truth from us and claiming she is totally free to say what she wants. It must be hard to carry water for Obama, even though it is for the greater good. Besides, sometimes the truth is just too hard to bear and I’m sure Rachel doesn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable.

    We should all come together and tell Rachel that we don’t mind if she hides the truth and then lies about it. For her to do otherwise might jeopardize her position. Anyway, we all know that she is a super-great person and must hide it on TV – but we know how she really feels, right?

    The truth just doesn’t matter that much compared to Rachel and all the other really cool people at MSBC.

  15. Sounds a lot self-serving. If you want some attention to your cause, isn’t it easier just to ask for it than to try and bait someone into giving it to you? Until you provide some evidence to support you claims and accusations, it just sounds like screaming in a corner to get attention.

  16. Ron Harwell on said:

    I like the article as nailing Maddow to the cross is a vert good thing as she is no longer a “journalist” but a tool of propaganda for the Israeli lobby, the Far right and the war lovers/profiteers. After all is said and done, you still watch the show and that is hypocritical. That lends further support to her Far Right ideology and her embrace of Pax Americana Imperialism. Sorry, she is no truth teller and no one who believes in true social programs, real democracy and freedom of speech should not watch her show and should boycott all she stands for. As I recall, on at least one occasion she stated Manning was indeed a criminal and deserves prosecution. That is the least of her verbal crimes.

  17. Dan Paul on said:

    While Rachel Maddow is a very good journalist – she works within a corporate framework and is thusly constrained in her reporting.

    Amy Goodman, on the other hand, has had Walt and/or Mearsheimer on her corporate-influence-free program, Democracy Now! on more than one occassion. She has also done several shows on Rachel Corrie and has interviewed her parents. And Ray McGovern has also appeared on her show on several occassions. And there are many more like Bill Moyers, Noam Chomskey, Howard Zinn and Gore Vidal, to name just a few, who have appeared with Amy.

    Make Democracy Now! a daily habit (with some financial support too) – for the unembedded, unvarnished reportage you simply cannot get from corporate sponsored programming.

    http://www.democracynow.org

    PS – Mr. Parry, keep up the great work here on Consortiumnews.com – I am a proud, long-time supporter of yours too.