July 11, 2013
Rachel Maddow tends bar at an MSNBC event. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters) Rachel Maddow tends bar at an MSNBC event. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

When Americans get frustrated with their media, they often feel inclined to take their gripes to a higher power. That would be the government. Commentators, journalists, pundits, etc., drive news consumers over and over to dial up or e-mail the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) — the better to lobby for relief from all these folks. The Erik Wemple Blog a while back requested a cross-section of complaints from the FCC and hereby kicks off a series showcasing the best ones.

On Dec. 20, 2010, the FCC received a complaint from a man in New Albany, Ohio stemming from MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show.” Here it is, typos and misspellings included:

Rachel Maddow said that US Senator Jon Kyle “…wished 9/11 responds would die…” OMG, why is this verbal behavior allowed to be broadcast – My 17 year old daughter said… “Dad, Rachel just said Republican Senator Jon Kyle wants the 9/11 responders to die”…

Please stop all of these maniacs from distributing their absolutely filthy opinions!

Yes, I have “turned the channel” but this has got to stop! How is this not “hate speech”?!?!

A peek at Nexis yields a different interpretation of Maddow’s remarks. On that particular night, the host was ripping then-Sen. Jon Kyl for his concerns over a bill to provide health care for 9/11 responders. One of those concerns pertained to the cost of the program, at which point Maddow riffed:

I mean, hey, 9/11 was almost a decade ago now. If we wait longer for more of these people to die, maybe the price for carrying them will go down? Maybe we can re-import their oncology drugs from Canada or something? Why do we have to spend money on this?

The lesson here: Never, ever rely on your family members to abridge Rachel Maddow.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.
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