I'm a regular consumer of Chris Hayes' "All In," but a quite reluctant viewer of Rachel Maddow's show. Last night's episode reinforced my reluctance to stay tuned in.
She not only buried the lede — "a major [though "overhyped'] scoop about President Donald Trump's taxes" — she also gruesomely strangled it for 20 agonizing minutes.
Hayes, on his lead-in show, had promoted Maddow's explosive exposé, complete with a countdown clock. Then, at 9 Eastern, came the big, revelatory moment. What did we get? Maddow droning on and on about this, that, and a few other things — anything but "The Big Story." All her preceding hype and heavy self-promotion might have been worth the suspending agony had the big story been, well, big.
But it wasn't. What we got, instead, were two mildly enlightening pages of a 2005 Trump tax return. On the other hand, Maddow got her big ratings and the bright spotlight, which, contrary to old-school journalism, have always struck me as the principal objectives of "The Rachel Maddow Show." That — the ratings chase — is of course now a commercial commonplace, which wouldn't be nearly as annoying if only she didn't habitually bury the lede.