Russell Brand’s Rant About MSNBC, Rachel Maddow Goes Viral


A clip of a histrionic Russell Brand on Real Time with Bill Maher went viral on Saturday—in which the comedian, who owns multiple multi-million-dollar homes, accused political analyst and fellow guest John Heilemann of hypocrisy for criticizing Fox News from “within the castle of MSNBC.”

In the two-minute clip, a shouting Brand maintained that MSNBC was fundamentally no different from Fox News. All this, he loudly insisted, contrasts with the “real journalism” of National Security Agency consultant-turned-Russian defector Edward Snowden and former RT host Julian Assange.

Talking over Heilemann’s attempts to answer his criticism, Brand asserted that both channels are merely “mouthpieces for their affiliate owners in Blackrock and Vanguard,” naming a pair of controversial investment firms.

“Just spiritually, mate—if I may use that word in your great country—we have to take responsibility for our own perspectives,” Brand said, citing his own infamous appearance on the channel’s Morning Joe program a decade ago as evidence.

Heilemann and Maher finally managed to cut in on Brand, with the host and the Recount founder telling the Get Him to the Greek star that he was engaging in “false equivalency.”

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“You don’t actually know anything about any of these organizations you’re talking about,” said Heilemann. “You went on MSNBC once. Big fucking deal.”

Pressed to provide evidence that MSNBC had ever engaged in comparable practices to Fox hosts’ amplification of election fraud conspiracies they knew to be false, Brand decried the liberal network’s “ludicrous, outrageous” treatment of podcaster Joe Rogan’s promotion of ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment.

“Deliberately referring to it as a horse medicine when they know it is an effective medicine,” said Brand.

Studies have repeatedly shown that ivermectin, which can treat parasite infestations in humans and animals, is not an effective treatment for COVID-19. Brand also ignored that even enthusiasts for this off-label and medically discouraged use of the drug refer to it as “horse paste” and have openly celebrated its equine applications.

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Brand also highlighted MSNBC host Rachel Maddow’s incorrect description of how the COVID-19 vaccine functions in a March 2021 broadcast, in which she repeated a common misunderstanding that the vaccine completely inoculates against symptoms and transmission. In fact, the vaccine builds up antibodies and enormously reduces the likelihood of fatality in the event of infection, a subtle distinction which Maddow acknowledged in the same broadcast.

Brand did not explain in the segment why he believed this incident was comparable to Fox hosts repeatedly airing conspiracy theories about President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory over ex-President Donald Trump that recent court filings show the conservative network’s stars referred to as “total bs” and “mind-blowingly nuts.” The network’s founder Rupert Murdoch even admitted in a deposition that some of the station’s top shows “endorsed” these baseless allegations, which form the basis of a $1.6 billion defamation suit Dominion Voting Systems has brought against the channel.

Brand ended his tirade with a loving paean to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders that won raucous applause from Maher’s Los Angeles audience.

“Did you not just listen to Bernie Sanders, someone who plainly, legitimately believes in this country and believes it’s possible to change, but is bound by corruption, is bound by the lobbying system?” said Brand of the independent lawmaker, who is a frequent guest on MSNBC.

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