Renowned genius David Letterman thinks MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow is the smartest person in all of broadcasting and journalism. Really. Introducing her on his Late Show on Monday, he said, “Ladies and gentlemen, our first guest is an Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, and I think probably in all of broadcasting, in all of journalism, probably the smartest person … she can smell something going down from a mile away …”
Maddow the smartest person? She falsely claimed, “Rick Santorum says that he would like states to be able to make contraception illegal”; falsely claimed Rush Limbaugh wanted James Earl Ray, the assassin of Martin Luther King, to receive the Medal of Honor; quoted a year-old statement that Rush made about Obama’s birth certificate and claimed it was fresh.
But is she smart? She’s certainly not as smart as either she or Letterman seem to believe. Maddow once claimed that Times Square bomb plot suspect Faisal Shahzad only revealed information after police read him his Miranda rights: “He was mirandized — and he talked. And he talked. And he talked, and talked, and talked, reportedly confessing to receiving bomb-making training in Waziristan in Pakistan.” Maddow continued, “What exactly makes reading someone their Miranda rights such a mistake? What’s the disadvantage to American counter-terrorism and law enforcement officials using legal American tactics to arrest and question a terrorism suspect? No one can quite put their finger on what the exact problem is. It apparently just doesn’t feel right.”
Of course, Maddow neglected to mention that there has been a long-accepted exception to the Court-created Miranda righs in the first place; according to the Supreme Court, the public safety exception is triggered when police officers have an objectively reasonable need to protect the police or the public from immediate danger. So if a terrorist is captured before he attacks, to take a random example, if the police think he may endanger the public, they have the right to question him first. New York v. Quarles, 467 U.S. 649 (1984). So let’s just say that Maddow’s take on that subject wasn’t too smart.
Which isn’t to say that Maddow is stupid – she’s not. But she’s massively dishonest, and a far cry from the world’s smartest journalist. She may be able to “smell something going down a mile away” – but fact checkers can smell her coming a mile away, too.