In Defense of Rachel Maddow

Karen George
Mar 15, 2017 · 3 min read

The lady is no dummy. So, start with that premise. She did not get duped. David Cay Johnston, the reporter who beautifully refers to Trump as “Donald” didn’t get duped either. This report was never about what was in the returns, and even the anchors on MSNBC (I’m talking to you Mika) missed the point of the entire thing. Here ya go:

First. If it was about what was in the returns she would have started the show with the content. She didn’t. She started the show with one of her brilliant 20 minute lessons on what is really going on. Trust me, she is not distracted by shiny things at all. People who tuned in last night to see what the returns said were treated to a summation of the brilliant, important reporting she has been doing for the last several weeks. If you’d never heard of “The King of Fertilizer” you got that last night. If you never heard about the $60 million profit he made selling a house to that guy, (who was trying to hide his money from his wife) now you know. If you weren’t sure who the Secretary of Commerce is, and how he is as crooked and connected to Russia as Trump, now you know. We heard again that he’s in large amounts of debt to Chinese banks and that China is the largest tenant in Trump Tower. We learned that he’s in big league debt to Deutsche Bank, who was recently penalized BILLIONS of dollars for money laundering for Russian oligarchs.

Second. Remember all those times Trump said he wouldn’t talk about his taxes because they were under audit? What did he do last night? He talked about his taxes. He said the publication of the taxes was illegal. It wasn’t. He said the leak of the taxes was illegal. It wasn’t. The taxes were stamped “Client Copy”. Someone close to Trump leaked them, and it could very well have been Trump himself. It was a good year for Donald, $150 million is nothing to sneeze at. But, where did the money come from? What was the source? More questions than answers.

Third. The taxes he paid. Yeah, $36 million in taxes is pretty good. He made a lot, he paid a lot. But, wait. He paid the AMT tax. Without that, his tax payment would have dwindled to next to nothing compared to what he paid. This points to Donald’s tax policy. He has said over and over that he would eliminate the AMT. Ooh, wait…you mean he wants to propose in his tax policy something that in 2005 would have saved him $36 million? He wants to do something that would have a direct financial benefit for himself and create U.S. policy to do it.

Four. Did Rachel fall for a shiny thing? Eh no. Rachel got Donald to fall for it. Rachel caused him to panic. Rachel got under his skin and got him to flip out. He’s complaining about the press again. He’s complaining about the leaks again. He’s complaining with only a slight brag about how much money he actually made. He’s so sensitive about his wealth being questioned, this is how he could “I told you so” proudly, but he’s not. He’s pissed off and whining.

Fifth. What are we talking about this morning? His taxes. What is it about his taxes that is raising questions? Where the money came from. Who is the suspected leaker? Trump himself, which means that he’s freaking out about everything else and sending out his own shiny thing. Rachel’s blog and David Cay Johnston’s blog (the journalist who got the returns) crashed! Both crashed within the hour, completely debunking Kelly Anne Conway and Trump both saying that no one cares about his taxes.

Clearly, we care. Rachel didn’t get duped at all. She said several weeks ago that she was going to ignore his tweets and the things he says and focus on what he’s doing. If people can’t see that that is exactly what she was doing last night, then they are the ones duped by shiny things and missing the bigger picture.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade