Previewing #HackMadness2021

Cinderella is back… And she’s pissed. The inaugural Liberal Hack Tournament brought together two absolute powerhouse programs in CNN and WaPo. It was Duke vs Kentucky, Carolina vs Kansas. And in the end, the Bluest of Blue Bloods did prevail. But not without leaving an even more determined coalition of adversaries in his wake.


This year, Top seeds find themselves on the same side of a packed field of Hacks. I believe they are on yet another collision course. “The Potato” himself will face incredible competition from what I believe is the toughest region: The Fake News. If Stelter can get through possible back-to-back matchups vs either Alcindor or Cupp, his prize will be the winner of Acosta / Reid. I do believe he will narrowly weather the storm and emerge battle tested, and ready for Rubin.

Rubin, on the other hand, should be well rested after strolling through what I believe to be the easiest path for a 1 seed. She will cover the spread easily vs Wallace and Harwood. To make it a little easier for her, I do look for an early exit from Boot this year. He has really rested on his brand over the past few months and may not be in game shape when having to face possibly Tapper and Navarro in consecutive matchups.

On the other side of the bracket, we have some newcomers who are getting hot at the right time. I’m calling for a UMBC style upset of Matthew Dowd in round 1… Jeffrey Toobin knew how to get his brand back in the spotlight in just the right way for an online contest. He was clearly seated to low by the committee, and I believe will pull off the 16/1 upset over Dowd, who will be looking ahead to Goldberg/Karl; classic Hack trap game scenario. However, the celebration will be short lived as Jeffery will soon find out why this is the “Establishment Region”. Coming for him will be Kristol, Maddow, Todd, Scarborough, and Cuomo. It will be a bloodbath, and I believe the man with the most recent experience navigating a bloodbath will emerge: Fredo will advance to the Final Four.

The final bracket will have more than its fair share of drama, especially with the region’s namesake holding the final 1 seed: the WAY-too-online T-Lo. What Tay Tay lacks in knowledge and experience, she more than makes up for with volume. She has both an aggressive offense and still leads the league in blocks like a young Alcindor (Lou, not Yamiche, but close). By the time she gets to Cillizza, she’ll have your respect on her way to the semis.

Overall, this is possibly the most talented field of hacks in tournament history. With very few snubs, apologies to the Lincoln project, we are set with arguably the greatest hacks in the country. They’ve shot their garbage shots. They’ve blocked their detractors. They’ve persevered through ratios and cyberbullying to get to the pinnacle of their Hack profession. Now let’s roll out the balls and leave it all on the table. Not you, Toobin. Calm down.


Everyone should go to RuthlessPodcast.com and fill out their own bracket, tweet it out with #Hackmadness so everyone can follow along.


Here is mine, better luck next year to everyone else:



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Mathew Foldi is a Lib