Top Menu

Follow Taylor on Twitter

MSNBC Bests Fact Free FNC

THE OBAMA network, aka MSNBC for those in an alternate universe, is annoying, because the American public has learned not to trust anyone because of our media picking sides. However, considering the prowess Fox News had achieved since its founding it’s clear something had to be done, so NBC did it.

In the election of 2012, MSNBC became absolutely indispensable, because CNN has no audience, and up against Fox News Channel’s cheerleading noise machine that Romney was going to win in a “landslide,” ordinary viewers had no place to go on cable to get a fact check.

From Brian Stelter today:

Inside the NBC “Sunday Night Football” studio that MSNBC was borrowing for the night, the stage manager loudly called out, “Here we go.” Ms. Maddow softly repeated, “Here we go,” and reported the news to three million viewers.

When President Obama won Virginia and most of the other battleground states on Tuesday night, ensuring himself a second term as president, some at MSNBC felt as if they had won as well.

When I continued to press through the entire election season that it remained advantage Obama, even though I wasn’t cheering for anyone in the presidential race, people still weren’t convinced. When I weighed in that Obama would likely get a big win, citing 323 electoral votes as my best estimate, was I crazy? came the call.

If you weren’t watching MSNBC you likely didn’t know what was going on.

While monitoring Fox News Channel, especially after Benghazi, watching MSNBC and their continued fawning, non-critical coverage of Obama, no matter the subject, while ignoring Libya completely, it further reveals the rot at the center of cable that remains an issue. It’s troubling to me, because what we need in the media is unbiased coverage, not picking sides. Unfortunately, there’s no ratings in it, as CNN proves, though their real problem is their anchors.

The addition of Steve Schmidt was also important for MSNBC, as the man who coined the “wackadoodle” contingent who keeps robbing Republicans of potential Senate seats, even amid his wrong-headed view that voter suppression doesn’t exist as a plan by some of his party.

Joe Scarborough’s partisan roots seduced him into believing what the Romney campaign was saying might be true, because they Boston believed it. However, throughout the election he railed against the GOP primary circus and Mitt Romney’s extreme positions, while also learning some lessons of his own about women, abortion and the cost of sounding like an idiot on air.

Mark Halperin continued helping Romney, because access journalism drives him, as does a book he’s writing for next fall with John Heilemann, their 2012 version of “Game Change,” which has been teased all year.

But it was when Karl Rove imploded that MSNBC’s prowess was solidified for 2012. The humiliation of Rove on a network that lied to their viewers from O’Reilly to Hannity to “Fox and Friends” and everywhere in between, minus Shep Smith. “Fox Five” at least having Bob Beckel, though how anyone watches that show remains a mystery to me.

As the dust settles, MSNBC has earned a moment in the spotlight. Rachel Maddow the headliner that just kept pressing, with Ed Schultz the blue collar champion who during the Wisconsin fight had my husband cheering. Chris Matthews gaining new relevancy by how hard he charged at the right.

More from Stelter:

MSNBC, a unit of NBCUniversal, has a long way to go to overtake the Fox News Channel, a unit of News Corporation: on most nights this year, Fox had two million more viewers than MSNBC.

But the two channels, which skew toward an audience that is 55 or older, are on average separated by fewer than 300,000 viewers in the 25- to 54-year-old demographic that advertisers desire. On three nights in a row after the election last week, MSNBC – whose hosts reveled in Mr. Obama’s victory – had more viewers than Fox in that demographic.

“We’re closer to Fox than we’ve ever been,” said Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC, who has been trying to overtake Fox for years. “All of this is great for 2013, 2014 to keep building.”

Anyone who trusts Fox News Channel after their Benghazi coverage right before the election is daft. But after Karl Rove’s performance election night, if Roger Ailes doesn’t demand a rehabilitation from top to bottom he’ll further damage the Republican Party he markets.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10 Responses to MSNBC Bests Fact Free FNC

  1. Ga6thDem November 12, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    If Fox news was concerned about being a “credible” news source, they would fire Rove and Morris but they aren’t going to because fleecing the “rubes” (their words) and their bottom line are more important that actually being a credible news organization.

    Taylor have you read Mike Lofgren’s book? I have not but I have read some of the excerpts and have found it to be enlightening. I finally understand what the heck is going on in the minds or Republicans. After the Fox implosion, I have decided that conservatives really like being fleeced and lied to.

  2. Taylor Marsh November 12, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    What happened in 2012 election was the inevitable climax of right wing radio’s prowess, which led to the Tea Party taking over in 2010. That they won in that election gives you an idea of how feckless Dems are beyond Obama, which I’ve been warning about could be foreshadowing of what’s to come, especially if Clinton doesn’t run in 2016.

    I’ve been watching right wing radio take over the GOP going back to 1991, which came after Reagan’s dereg crusade.

  3. spincitysd November 12, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    CNN issue is not the anchors. It goes much deeper than that. CNN issue is that it does not do journalism.

    Dan Carlin did a podcast where he laid out where he could make CNN relevant again. His point was that “real” journalists are naturally confrontational. His CNN would be chock-a-block full of Monica Crowley types. They would ask tough questions and would not accept any kind of evasion, obfuscation, or lie. They would not do any kind of access journalism, but follow the great traditions of I.F. Stone and Jack Anderson.

    CNN issue is that the culture of the organization is rotten to the core. The anchors are brought up in a system that is rotten to the core and they are a reflection of that.

    • Isis November 12, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

      Hmmm not sure. Which politician wants/has the courage to be grilled and asked tough questions? Not Obama for sure nor anyone else. At the moment it seems they all go out of their way to avoid any situations that derive too far out of scripted narrative. Even town halls are filtered.

      If CNN goes the way of confrontational journalism it would be great, more informative, more interesting but….they will struggle for access and ultimately will be irrelevant again. It is a tough one. I am fine with partisanship as long as it is not fact free. You can have your opinion even tell me what it is but give me facts first. I would watch fox news if they were all like Shep Smith.

      The problem with Fox is that they have made the conscious decisions to make stuff up because so far there has been no consequence and mostly because that is what their viewers want to see and hear.

      That’s why so many of us were ecstatic on election night. I personally got to see something I had given up on ever seeing, FOX news schemes and lies exposed, Karl Rove exposed, all of them with nowhere to go because at some point reality caught with them and there was just no way they could spin it.

      Not sure CNN would go very far with what you are proposing.

      • Isis November 12, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

        Bill Clinton is probably the last politician I remember who actually enjoyed “real” journalism and had the confidence to go unscripted. He saw this as an opportunity to engage in real debate. At least he did before Monica. After that well we got gems like “it depends on what the meaning of “is” is….”

      • Cujo359 November 12, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

        “Hmmm not sure. Which politician wants/has the courage to be grilled and asked tough questions? Not Obama for sure nor anyone else.”

        So what? You seem to think that politicians are the only thing that affects the political environment in DC. The news has been an important part of creating the current class of politicians, who are so used to not having to answer questions posed of them that they can ignore the few who do.

        Being faxed or e-mailed the latest “news” from those politicians doesn’t strike me as a big enough advantage to completely ignore what journalism should be about. Go find the news. That’s what a lot of online journalists, and a few others, still do. It’s expensive and it doesn’t always result in splashy stories, but it’s the kind of news that’s useful. The kind of journalists who inhabit CNN and other like-minded “journalistic” organizations, the ones who need access, are about as useful as tits on a boar hog to a democratic society.

  4. thoreau November 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    Media Inc. – is it any wonder the population is so misinformed. fox + msnbc play ‘pigpen’ with their viewers. CNN is home for the ‘he said/she said’ ers. their anchors are plain awful, i agree. Wolf
    (how ironic) refuses to confront even the most egregious stuff. i watch cable, for what it’s good for,
    to see whats being dissembled!

  5. autumnal November 12, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    I don’t want to see “confrontational” journalism. “Journalists” hear “confrontational” and they think Bernie Shaw asking “Gov. Dukakis, how would you feel if Kitty was raped?” Oh that was wonderful, I learned so much I needed to know. Or, they think holding Bill Clinton’s feet to the fire because “He LIED! He lied to US!, He LIED to Congress! He LIED to the AMERICAN PEOPLE, don’t you get it yet? He LIED!” Yeah cuz I care about that garbage, and I “need to know” .. not.

    Real Journalism is boring. Anyone ever watched Edward R. Murrow? Walter Cronkite? Aaron Brown? Boring. No holograms, no magic walls, no set of twittering “cute” people. Real Journalism is Jack Webb deadpan. What’s hard about it is KNOWING enough about what one is reporting to ask germane, probing questions and being INTELLECTUALLY HONEST enough to give voice finally to FACTS some people are afraid to face, even if those people are the one’s one is interviewing.

    Yeah Edward R. Murrow’s got cred because he earned it. By usually being boring and during the course of being boring he was intellectually honest. Ditto Cronkite. Ditto Aaron Brown, whom CNN saw fit to throw away not too long after his own on air burst of intellectual honesty. Aaron Brown was the first mainstream newsperson to tear into the veil of lies, and Dick Cheney in particular, long before Keith Olberman brought sports caster Drama to “News”.

    • Cujo359 November 12, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

      That’s not what I meant by “confrontational”, and I don’t think it’s what Taylor meant, either. Reading the article again leads me to the same conclusion as the first time I read it – she means that the press needs to be willing to tell the truth, even when that means that they will no longer be favored by politicians they’ve exposed or contradicted. Journalists who value access over telling the truth are useless in a democratic society. At least, they’re useless if they’re achieving as much as they can on behalf of their society. At worst, they’re propagandists.

  6. secularhumanizinevoluter November 13, 2012 at 5:48 am #

    “We’re closer to Fox than we’ve ever been,”
    I nearly gagged when I read that!

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong