In fairness to Rachel Maddow, at least she sounds convincing, even though her earnest assertions invariably collapse under scrutiny. Maddow embodies the smarmy belief that sincerity is all that matters -- fake it well and you've got it made.

Here's Maddow, for example, appearing as a panelist on Sunday's "Meet the Press" and on her MSNBC cable show Monday night (first and second parts of embedded video), weighing in on interrogation of terrorists --

MADDOW: There's, there isn't in this case and there hasn't been in any known modern terrorism case any correlation between the usefulness of an interrogation and whether or not somebody gets read their Miranda rights. It just isn't the case. And in every single instance, every single terrorism case where there's been an arrest in this country in a terrorism case since 9/11, every single one has been handled, the person has been handled as a civilian criminal.

There was a moment when Jose Padilla and Ali al-Marri were handed, handled in military custody. There's nothing magic about the time that they were in military custody. They didn't do any more magical forms of talking that they wouldn't do when they were civilians.

It's hard not to think that there is lingering Old Media disappointment that Jose Padilla didn't beat the rap.

One example supporting that belief is the coverage (bolds are mine) of Padilla's sentencing, along with the supporting no-info headline, by the Associated Press's Curt Anderson.

You also have to wonder if AP is trying to have the story escape future search engine inquiries, as the AP's headline avoids mentioning Padilla's name, or what he was convicted of:

17 Years for Ex-'dirty Bomb' Suspect

So, as you all know, the news comes out that Jose Padilla has been convicted of being a terrorist by a US Court, yet the AP wants to focus more on what it feels the government did wrong than what Padilla did. I guess the AP thinks the US government is more guilty than is a convicted terrorist.

Even after his conviction, the AP fills their report with "supposedly," "possible," and other mitigating verbiage to describe Padilla and the other terror suspects in the news. But even as they want to give Padilla a pass they cast the Bush Administration's efforts as their "zeal to stop homegrown terror." The story makes Padilla seem put upon and mistreated while the Bush Administration is cast as the overwrought party. This AP story gives a lot of space to Padilla's defense and little to the government's proven case. Apparently they just cannot make themselves believe that Padilla is really guilty of any thing.