Maddow: It’s not my fault if people overhyped the tax return story

John Sexton Posted at 6:01 pm on March 16, 2017

Rachel Maddow says she never promised a scandal when she announced she had gotten hold of the President’s tax returns. If the story was overhyped, that wasn’t her fault she tells the Associated Press:

Maddow’s tweet less than 90 minutes before her show that “we’ve got Trump’s tax returns” set off a social media frenzy. Although a subsequent tweet specified it was only two pages from one year’s returns, expectations were sky high.

Maddow told the AP that she never misrepresented what she had.

“Because I have information about the president doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a scandal,” she said. “It doesn’t mean that it’s damning information. If other people leapt to that conclusion without me indicating that it was, that hype is external to what we did.”

As for the 20 minutes Maddow spent at the beginning of her show offering conspiracy theories about Trump and Russian oligarchs, she tells the AP, “My priority is to get the story right and put it into proper context, and explain the weight of it and why it is important.”

For someone so keen to provide context, Maddow seems blissfully unaware of the context of her own scoop. She tweeted that she had Trump’s tax returns and people went crazy imagining what might be in them. Why did this happen? First, because it’s the kind of thing Maddow routinely offers her audience. Second, because the progressive left has been primed to expect the imminent collapse of the Trump administration with months of hints and allegations about Russian collusion. The left has been nurturing these thoughts of “treason” since before Trump even took office.

Maddow’s problem is the same problem members of the House Intelligence Committee were complaining about last week. How did this investigation into Russian interference in the election get so “wildly inflated” one anonymous staffer wondered? They are promising their base a silver bullet that can undo the results of the 2016 election but it hasn’t turned up.

That’s why every announcement, whether it’s finding Trump’s 2005 tax return in a mailbox or another staffer meeting with the Russian ambassador, is being treated as the revelation that will finally bring him down. The progressive left is desperate for a comeuppance that continues to escape them. And Rachel Maddow is very much a part of that hype machine.

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