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Rachel Maddow Presents: Ultra (Podcast)


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On 10/12/2022 at 10:24 PM, ahisma said:

Great Chris Hayes podcast interview with Rachel—some about why she changed from daily news (and you really can’t fault her, hearing her talk about it) and a lot diving into the podcast, while trying not to be spoilery.

https://www.msnbc.com/msnbc-podcast/why-is-this-happening/exclusive-withpod-conversation-rachel-maddow-podcast-transcript-n1299811

I really love their friendship.

Just because Chris Hayes's use of the word drives me so crazy, I hit the Control+F for the word "like."  Came up with 160 hits.  A few of them were Rachel's, of course, but not many.

I've been a student of WWII and Nazi Germany for many decades, so I appreciate what Rachel is doing, and I also appreciate that she was going through burnout, but I just don't see her having even a tiny fraction of the impact with an historical podcast that she had with a nightly show.

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  • 1 month later...

I may listen to this at some point, but currently it's of zero interest to me.  Rachel clearly doesn't care about what impact she has, now that she's mostly burying herself in history.  Is she doing this due to "burnout" from work overload, or is she burnt out on doing news analysis -- from covering the Trump shit for 4 years?  Doesn't much matter, does it?  NBC/Universal is paying her zillions to basically be in oblivion.  I mean, who the heck wants to watch news stuff on Mondays?  Not me.   And her election night analysis/coverage?  Ugh, Rachel, why even bother?  Who's watching or cares about anyone's analysis on election night  -- except from Kornacki?  Well, I am wondering if a history podcast (even from Rachel) will attract much listeners.

Look, Rachel is just as sharp as she ever was, but she is absolutely in oblivion now to me, so if I want news analysis, I gotta look elsewhere.  Kara Swisher seems to be popping up everywhere lately & she's been around forever, but mostly covered the tech world.  Yet she's not just talking Musk & Twitter, but politics in general.  Replacement for Rachel?  Who knows, but her podcasts are great, just sayin' . . . 

Edited by ScoobieDoobs
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The timing for the podcast is poor now that the fascist threat has been somewhat alleviated.

As for the show at 9pm? Give it to Ari Melber or Joy Reid; they're the only two of the anchors, other than Rachel, that I can stand and I would love better timing for both shows. Ari for the legal analysis and the understanding of rap culture and Joy for the understanding of the world and what it means not to be a white man in that world (not to mention the sensa yumor).

Edited by The Solution
forgot something
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On 11/20/2022 at 9:58 PM, The Solution said:

The timing for the podcast is poor now that the fascist threat has been somewhat alleviated.

The last episode of the podcast goes over how important it is to not let anti-American actions slide and get stuffed down the memory hole (“let’s heal and move on”), although that is mostly what happened. It’s a timely warning for today, especially with the special counsel just being named to dig into 1/6. 

On 11/20/2022 at 9:02 PM, ScoobieDoobs said:

Kara Swisher seems to be popping up everywhere lately & she's been around forever, but mostly covered the tech world.  Yet she's not just talking Musk & Twitter, but politics in general.  Replacement for Rachel?  Who knows, but her podcasts are great, just sayin' . . . 

I do listen to both On and Pivot—Kara is great. Different from Rachel, but she does give me that “current events” hit through the week (along with the Crooked Media podcasts). 

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So, OK, Rachel is a dramatic & interesting reader & I'm sure, as Hayes said, she makes the podcast series interesting.  But how much can she say about Nazis & WW 2 politics & connect it today?  I guess to her, maybe it's endless & this topic lends itself many similar series of podcasts?

I still think Rachel using podcasts as a format for delving into history, rather than news analysis (that pretty much everyone else is doing on podcasts now) is her way of saying -- I'm burying myself in history cuz NBC/Universal is paying me zillions to do what I want & that's only what I wanna do.

To me, this so disappointing cuz I saw Rachel as a journalist as well as a pundit.  But now she's morphed into what?  A history buff?  Well, mostly, if not entirely -- yet, at least.  I watched her show a bit on Monday & she did discuss the Colorado shooting & some Trump court shit, but mostly her show was Nazis & WW 2 politics, so I kinda checked out.  Makes me sad that her show & this podcast are of so little interest to me . . .

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I guess the point of the podcast is how the country has had serious, seditious issues in the past and how the law and the courts failed to protect against it.  In the end, the only thing that saved the country was the ability to vote the bums out. 

It's a warning that this has all happened before and will happen again.

I don't think she understands that the people who will listen and get the point aren't the ones who need to heed those warnings. 

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I think what she's doing is important. I'm not sure whether it's going to have much influence, because I'm not sure who is following it. But I suspect that the people who watched her show on MSNBC are similar, in that we're also not the people who most need to hear it.

But I have no idea anymore how you'd get anyone to hear anything they aren't already hearing. You can't force feed it to people who aren't interested. 

She is absolutely not just poking around in the dusty past. She is showing exactly how the present is related to the past, what did and did not work when it happened before, what the consequences are, and how dangerous it is. If the right people, or enough people, pay attention, it can offer a map for the way out of it. That's very important, and just blasting the day's shockwaves without context or analysis of what the vulnerabilities and leverages are, is not going to be enough, either.

But people are so busy wanting to be spoonfed and entertained, I don't know if a print book or an audio podcast will work, because a lot of people need multimedia sensations that are force fed into their eyeballs and advertised with explosions and glam shots of half naked celebrities in order to get interested.

And, to be fair, a lot of people are just overwhelmed and busy surviving, so you really do need to make it easy to find and clear why it's important. "Ultra" is such a vague title, and the ads I've seen are extremely light on any actual sense of why you'd want to find it and set aside the time. If you're already watching a lot of MSNBC where they talk in more detail about what it's about, great. But otherwise, who would guess, based on the promos? They're basically relying on people who will just prioritize it because it's Maddow.

Maybe they could advertise it in some other way, I don't know. Maybe they are. I see the ads on MSNBC. They might be promoting it elsewhere, and I just didn't see that.

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I hope she releases a book the way she did Bagman. That way it will be referenced more in years to come. I'm not sure podcasts are quite there yet. Though like the guy she had on her Monday show, I always get chills with old sound clips of real people and historical events. 

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10 hours ago, possibilities said:

If the right people, or enough people, pay attention, it can offer a map for the way out of it.

*koffkoff* Merrick Garland Jack Smith *koffkoff*

She did a bit of a publicity tour around various podcasts and shows to promote it, but they were mostly “preaching to the choir” types of venues where I heard her. I hope she was on a few other, more mainstream ones, too.

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21 hours ago, possibilities said:

But people are so busy wanting to be spoonfed and entertained, I don't know if a print book or an audio podcast will work, because a lot of people need multimedia sensations that are force fed into their eyeballs and advertised with explosions and glam shots of half naked celebrities in order to get interested.

Very good point.

I was just thinking that podcasts don't work well for me because I don't like to have someone read to me since I'm a grown, educated man. I need either a book in my hands or some video, even if it is just talking heads, but we've established that people like us aren't the people who most need to hear this information.

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5 hours ago, The Solution said:

Very good point.

I was just thinking that podcasts don't work well for me because I don't like to have someone read to me since I'm a grown, educated man. I need either a book in my hands or some video, even if it is just talking heads, but we've established that people like us aren't the people who most need to hear this information.

As a grown, educated woman, I agree.  I have many, many books on my iPad and not a single audiobook.  I don't listen to podcasts.  The only time I've ever listened to an audiobook or a podcast is during a long-distance drive.  I tried listening to a Chuck Rosenberg podcast once while taking a walk and I was bored out of my mind within five minutes, and I love Chuck. 

I read Rachel's book Blowout, but I would never listen to her read it or a podcast of her talking about it.  I have Bagman but haven't gotten around to reading it (something about having lots of books on my iPad!).  And I don't think I was the only one who was really annoyed every time Rachel spent ten minutes reading from somebody's book -- while we could see on the screen what she was reading! -- and only five minutes talking to the actual author. 

And agree with everyone who's said she's preaching to the choir.  The only people who will hear the podcasts are already Rachel Maddow fans.  Hard to imagine her garnering any new audiences.

I've had to go back to Chris Hayes, LOD, or Anderson Cooper when I need a dose of news analysis.  I wish someone had looked into some creative programming, like maybe giving Rachel a co-host so they could share some of the duties, that might have taken some of the stress off her to where she hadn't felt she had to leave.

Edited by meowmommy
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I suspect, as this podcast is #1 on Apple (I kinda wonder how it's measured), it shouldn't be a surprise, because Rachel's audience is loyal to her & clearly passionately so.  While I haven't listened yet, this subject seems like it would lend itself better as a book, since it is so important.  There are so many podcasts now, this could just get lost. 

Idk, now that Rachel has mostly retired from offering news analysis, I've been hooked on the podcasts of Kara Swisher & Molly Jong Fast.  I've found they consistently do really great, informative & current interviews & news analysis.  I try to listen whenever I can (commutes, working out, cleaning, cooking).  There are some other good podcasts too -- The Daily (from the NY Times), The New Abnormal, Ezra Klein, Mary Trump, Inside the Hive (Vanity Fair), among some others. 

Podcasts are becoming a better place for getting news analysis than cable news.  CNN is mostly a waste now & MSNBC without Rachel ain't great.  They both seem to be struggling.  Btw, Hayes actually has a decent podcast, that's way better than his MSNBC show cuz on a podcast he can't really fill it up with Fox, Trump, MTG & other awful Repub clips (the way he always does on his show).

Do I think Rachel is being random on her connecting Nazis & WW2 to today?  No, but she seems obsessed with the subject.  Well, if not obsessed, she seems (to me) more interested in the past than the present . . .

Edited by ScoobieDoobs
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Maddow was on Lawrence O'Donnell's show taking questions about the podcast. She says there IS a book coming, with even more detail than the podcast contains. 

It occurs to me that a podcast can get published a lot faster than a book, and maybe they each reach a different subset of the population.

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I did finally listen to the whole podcast and it does get better as you progress through the podcast. Pretty frightening how similar these events were to what is going on in our country today. Everyone needs to be aware of this info - democracy is worth fighting for; fascism is the easy way out.

Still beyond glad to hear that a book is coming!

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As I'm saddened & horrified seeing all the talk now of Nazis, seeming to be normalized, whether it's Trump casually having dinner with Nazis & hardly any Repubs being publicly bothered by it, & Nazis being welcomed back to post all they like on Twitter, I'm thinking Rachel, as usual, is way ahead of the rest of media in her take on Nazis.

So Rachel, go ahead & do zillions more podcasts explaining Nazis & pre-WW2 politics and the connecting dots to today.  It's OK by me.  But Rach, I still wish you'd go back to more news analysis than 6 seconds every other Monday nite, but maybe that's just silly ole me . . .

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