Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tipping Over

Howard Kurtz has a piece of work up at the Washington Post about how liberal MSNBC has gotten and what a scandal it is.

MSNBC, which bills itself as “the place for politics,” is being pummeled by political practitioners.

“It’s an organ of the Democratic National Committee,” says Steve Schmidt, a senior strategist for John McCain’s campaign. “It’s a partisan advocacy organization that exists for the purpose of attacking John McCain.”

Ed Gillespie, President Bush’s counselor, says there is an “increasing blurring” of the line between NBC News and MSNBC’s “blatantly partisan talk show hosts like Christopher Matthews and Keith Olbermann.”

Oh, set it to music. And I suppose CNN, with Lou Dobbs and Glenn Beck isn’t tilting right? And if anyone is too thick to discern the difference between MSNBC and NBC News, even with their reporters and Tim Russert stopping by, then there’s not a lot of hope for them. For one thing, MSNBC is on cable, while NBC News is a broadcast network. Oh, and MSNBC has two more letters in its name: M and S.

And it’s not like MSNBC is selling themselves as a paragon of objectivity by using some catchphrase like, oh, “Fair and Balanced,” or “We Report, You Decide.” They say, “The Place for Politics.” That doesn’t imply anything other than you’re going to get a lot of politics; no promises of evenhandedness. And if there aren’t a lot of conservatives on MSNBC, maybe it’s because the righties are all at FOX because they like being in an echo chamber and where no one calls them on their bullshit. (Alan Colmes doesn’t count. He’s like the token team that plays against the Harlem Globetrotters.) Or maybe MSNBC’s standards are high enough that people like Bill O’Reilly, John Gibson, Michael Savage, and Tucker Carlson can’t cut it. (How many networks has Tucker been fired from for trying to be the poor man’s George F. Will? Two? Three?)

I don’t particularly care that MSNBC has become the liberal counterpart to the rest of the cable channels. I’m over 21 and eligible to vote, so I think I can come to my own conclusions and decide what’s bullshit and what isn’t without the RNC, the DNC, and the presidential campaigns getting all wound up about it. I really think there are more important things to think about in a presidential election than whether or not a cable channel leans left, right, or is just tipping over.