The latest worst thing to happen to the U.S. news industry (except for all those newspapers dying) is NBC’s decision – its business decision – to turn cable-news channel MSNBC into a wing of the Democratic Party.
The sad folly of that decision is evident in MSNBC’s “coverage” of the health-care debate. Specifically this month’s town-hall meetings with members of Congress... where some citizens have gotten loud ’n’ salty.
MSNBC has packed its primetime lineup with doctrinaire liberals, adding radio talkers Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz to the bombastic duo of Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann. Apparently MSNBC has instructed these hosts to behave like a Fox News of the Left. All partisan, all the time.
I remember (fondly) when libertarian Tucker Carlson and moderate Republican Joe Scarborough were part of the evening mix. (Olbermann, petulant adolescent that he is, would refuse to “throw” to Scarborough, meaning that Keith never ended his show with “And now, here’s Joe Scarborough,” the way he does nightly with Ms. Maddow.
(Keith actually bragged on the air about dissing Scarborough when Rachel Maddow took over. “I’ll be glad to throw to you,” he told her. Or something like that. Fucking child.)
The problem with an avowedly partisan “news” channel is... you can’t trust it. You can’t believe what they say, because objectivity and even- handedness are not values for Olbermann, Matthews, Maddow and Schultz. Their leftist agenda drives everything.
They are Soldiers for Christ (figuratively speaking) in the war against evil conservatives, corrupt Republicans, their greedy corporate puppetmasters, and Ronald Reagan’s ghost.
Even summer-vacation substitute hosts like Lawrence O’Donnell are licensed to push the Democrats’ party line.
MSNBC, in other words, is almost as worthless as Fox News.
Rachel Maddow this month has been pushing a narrative regarding those town-hall protests over health reform. She calls it “astroturfing” and “false-flagging,” not genuine grassroots opposition.
Every night, Maddow tells her viewers that the public dissent is being orchestrated by right-wing political pros.
Which relieves Ms. Maddow of the mental discomfort of having to contemplate why anyone would want to resist socializing health care. It also relieves her of the hard work of analyzing the Obama Administration.
Olbermann, Matthews and Schultz have also pushed the “astroturfing” narrative.
Thank goodness for “Morning Joe.”
Joe Scarborough got sent to 6 a.m. (3 a.m. on the West Coast!), and he made it the best show on MSNBC.
This morning, Scarborough gave the simplest, most cogent explanation of President Obama’s current political problem that I’ve yet heard on MSNBC. Joe said that Obama is “overloading the circuits with ideological items that most Americans just don’t give a damn about. Especially when they’re not working.”
When the people are not working, that is. It’s the economy, dumbass. Obama needs to show people he can fix the economy before he starts trying to change the health-care world as we know it.
I’m just saying... the best marketing minds on the planet couldn’t sell “New Coke.” Because the people didn’t want New Coke. They liked the old Coke.
Barack Obama is out there trying to sell the “New Coke” of domestic policy.
Yet most of the talking heads on MSNBC would have you believe he’s on a mission from God. (Figuratively speaking.)