Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

GOP pressure on MSNBC showed in coverage from St. Paul

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Originally published on on Fri, 09/05/2008 – 11:19am

UPDATE September 8: The GOP landed a huge shot by getting Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews thrown off the anchor desk and replaced by status quo, corporate stooge David Gregory. The left complains a lot about right-wing media bias and nothing gets done. The right whines a little and instant success.

Republicans like to think of themselves as strong. Yet the few times they get attacked, they think of themselves as “whiners.”

The GOP has attacked NBC News and MSNBC for their “left-wing” take on the race, and how in the pocket Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann, among others, are for the Democrats. Well, Hillary Clinton supporters would vehemently disagree about Matthews, and Olbermann’s “sin” has been to be tough on people when someone needs to be tough on them. Right now, that is the Republicans.

When Joe Biden and later Barack Obama gave their speeches last week in Denver, the coverage went right to the panel. “What did you think about the speech?” A seemingly logical conclusion to do – need to know right away the first impressions after a speech.

So you figure if MSNBC is so “left-wing,” they would do the same thing this week in St. Paul – go right to the analysis. But no, it didn’t happen that way.

First we had to go to the convention floor to talk to delegates and gauge their reactions. WTF? Really? Let’s ask people who are there who you know will love the speech if they loved the speech. It would be like being at a Dallas Cowboys game and going up to someone in a Dallas Cowboys’ hat and asking, “So, do you like the Cowboys?”

If you thought some delegates wouldn’t have liked the speech, and you found someone who thought that was true, that would be news. Asking a dog owner if he likes dogs isn’t news.

The nauseating display of sucking up to Republicans was depressing in itself. After a considerable period of time after Palin’s speech, we finally got to the panel. After two people on the panel spoke, there was breaking news: Rudy Giuliani, who had already spoken earlier in the evening, was with Andrea Mitchell. That is not %$@#ing breaking news: that is more hype. Giuliani, standing next to his third wife, was asked about his own speech and Palin’s speech – more free time for Rudy to throw more cheap shots at Barack Obama.

Last night, more of the same: asking Republicans if they loved McCain’s speech. Surprise! They all loved it.

The charade would have been equally as poor if MSNBC had done the same thing in Denver. But if they had, then there would be equality.

The impression was that MSNBC felt it had to do this since the panel would trash the speeches, and if they didn’t offer “good things” about the speeches, even if the sources were heavily biased, the right-wing would have blasted MSNBC. And that is the wrong reason to make a news judgment.

There is a rule in baseball that if the skies are getting darker, you can’t turn on the lights in the middle of an inning. You have to wait until the next inning to turn on the lights, so neither team has an advantage.

Yes, when you are far to the right, everyone else looks left-wing. But MSNBC is trying to balance out the news world a tiny bit. The network of Pat Buchanan, Joe Scarborough, and David Gregory is still there for the right-wing fans.

The Republicans successfully did this to PBS. Their political team used to be Mark Shields and David Gergen, two centrists with no extreme agenda. Perfect for PBS. Then, the GOP whiners went on the attack. Now, PBS has Shields and Brooks, the right-wing columnist from The New York Times. For the GOP, balance means favoring the right-wing.

MSNBC, along with CNN, needs to do a better job at counterbalancing the far extreme right-wing agenda of FOX “News” Channel. And Republicans need to have a thicker skin when it comes to the media, perhaps a skin like an elephant.


Written by democracysoup

September 5, 2008 at 11:19 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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