Rick Moran at PJ Tatler discusses some recent incidents at MSNBC:
But really, I think what’s going on at MSNBC is the same thing that’s going on at many liberal blogs and in the liberal commentariat, not to mention in liberal salons and liberal coffee klatches all over the country. […]
Harris-Perry, Baldwin, Bashir, Schultz, and Hayes are not doing anything differently in front of the camera than they do when in casual conversation among themselves and their liberal friends. The wildly exaggerated caricatures of conservatives they routinely use to describe their political opponents — ascribing evil intent to every action, every utterance — is part of liberal culture. It’s a laziness of thought and mind that has become second nature to them. And, secure in their arrogant belief of moral superiority, they fail to see their own racism, their own bigotry, their own hateful, hurtful attitudes unless someone steps out and throws it in their face.
It makes you think, what are they apologizing for? They’re not sorry. This is how they talk. This is what they think.
It won’t be long before another MSNBC host steps over the line of decency. Perhaps it’s too much to demand fairness from the network. But perhaps we can ask for a little honesty from transgressors who aren’t really sorry about trashing their opponents as much as they are about getting caught at it.
I don’t watch MSNBC but I seem to spend a lot of time writing about them and the utterances of their staff members. That’s because MSNBC is a toxic environment – a literal hostile workplace. They HATE conservative Republicans.
Let’s take Sarah Palin. I like and admire Sarah, but the truth is what she does these days really isn’t news. She is a private citizen, an author, a public speaker, an advocate and a television personality/commentator/celebrity. As a public figure she is a legitimate target for criticism, but these days she is not particularly newsworthy.
She was the Governor of Alaska and then she was selected to be John McCain’s running mate. They lost, and she went back to Alaska. But she continued to make national news. So did her kids. So did her daughter’s baby-daddy. So did her daughter’s baby-daddy’s mother and sister.
It got so bad she quit her day job job as governor and went pro as a celebrity. She made some nice coin writing books and giving speeches. Even her daughter managed to cash in a little on her mother’s fame. But almost none of it was genuinely newsworthy.
Jump forward a few years to November 2013. Sarah Palin makes some comments comparing the federal debt to slavery. Hyperbole? Maybe, but hardly offensive.
But then Martin Bashir, an MSNBC host with his own eponymous show, blasted her comments and suggested that she should be punished by having someone urinate and defecate into her mouth. He got fired, but only after an uproar and a few weeks delay. He apologized, but MSNBC did not.
A few weeks later another MSNBC host (Melissa Harris-Perry) aired a segment about private citizen Mitt Romney’s black grandson. She subsequently apologized, both on Twitter and on the air.
Although I believe in individual responsibility and don’t want to absolve Bashir and Harris-Perry of any blame, in both cases I believe the real culprit is MSNBC.
Television is very competitive and television news is no exception. There is a lot of pressure to produce ratings. There is also pressure to produce original content. This is true at all the news networks, but in both cases the pressure comes from the network executives.
MSNBC’s business model depends heavily on attacking Republicans and other conservatives. That seems to be their prime focus. That focus determines what stories they consider news and how those stories are presented.
MSNBC sees themselves as the “anti-FOX” network. They intentionally present the news from a pro-Democrat/progressive viewpoint. That is perfectly legitimate, the First Amendment doesn’t say the press has to be neutral or fair.
The problem is that MSNBC has created an environment that causes its employees to lose perspective. The fact is that Bashir and Harris-Perry initially saw nothing wrong with there controversial segments, and neither did anyone else at MSNBC. (If they saw it they either didn’t speak up or they were ignored.)
I really don’t give a shit about MSNBC. What bothers me is that the same toxic hate we see at MSNBC currently occupies the White House. To be fair, I first noticed that same kind of sneering contempt for the political opposition coming from the Shrub Bush administration. It was ugly and disturbing back then too, but it seems worse now.
When George W. Bush left office I stopped caring about him. In a few years I hope to do the same with Barack Obama.
I guess I’m not a hater.