From 9/10…I apologize for the overuse of exclamation points, but I think the emphasis is deserved; this editorial from today’s conservative Philadelphia newspaper of record deserved to be buried in our cat’s litter box, not featured in a place of prominence as determined by the Inquirer…
Here’s some “Breaking News” from MSNBC: The cable news channel has dumped two of its high-profile yakkers – Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews – from the anchor seats of its political coverage. David Gregory, a legitimate news broadcaster, will lead the political coverage going forward.
Oh, and by the way, here and here are examples of “legitimate” news broadcaster David Gregory in action; I assure you that I could find many more if I wanted to, but life is short (and by the way, here’s Greenwald again on this).
Liberal bloggers are upset by the move, arguing that MSNBC caved in to pressure from John McCain’s campaign and the right wing. Criticizing the media has been a cheap but effective tool by the McCain camp – but on this score MSNBC has no one to blame but itself.
The short-lived Olbermann-Matthews anchor duo was a misguided ploy designed to boost ratings. The experiment backfired when the coverage veered off into on-air spats between the anchors that began to sound more like talk radio.
Oh, and we could NEVER allow that to happen on behalf of the Democrats, can we now? Even though I cannot determine exactly what it was that either one of them said or did (I know Matthews took offense to Olbermann’s “yakking” hand gesture before they interviewed Steny Hoyer – who had a good laugh over the whole thing – and Olbermann chided Joe Scarborough to “bring a shovel” the next time he decided to heap praise on John W. McBush during the Democratic National Convention; other than that, your guess is as good as mine as to what the offenses were, the typical Governor Gidget/McBush whining notwithstanding).
And another thing; it is absolutely preposterous to imagine even for a second that Chris Matthews is actually left of center (another shining example of Tweety “riding the tire swing” is noted here).
The move left the cable network open to valid criticism of having a liberal bias. Serious news readers, such as NBC anchor Brian Williams, seemed put out by how the biased bickering was cheapening the news value.
And never forget how kind Williams once was to bloggers in general, as noted here; no doubt this endeared him to the Inky and Brian Tierney of Philadelphia Media Holdings, L.L.C.
There has been a blurring of news and opinion, especially at the cable networks, where talking heads manage to yammer on and on for hours without actually saying much.
Of late, MSNBC has emerged as the liberal counterweight to the conservative Fox News Channel. Both are preaching to their respective choirs rather than providing objective news coverage and useful analysis.
This time, MSNBC went too far by putting blatantly biased commentators in the role of news anchors. Even Fox knows better than to have Bill O’Reilly anchor its political coverage. So far, anyway.
Unfortunately, the real losers have been viewers hungry for substantive political coverage of the issues.
And never forget also the “substantive political coverage” the Inky brought you here, featuring Chris Satullo’s preoccupation with the cost of John Edwards’ haircut (again, the messenger has been discredited, but the point remains –
if the link “blows up,” blame Blogger, not yours truly).
Also, under the category of “the blurring of news and opinion,” I don’t know how the Inky can possibly claim with any degree of seriousness that that doesn’t happen at other corporate media TV channels (almost beyond redundant to feature Faux News yet again, but this link tells us the role that “journalists” Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham played in the network’s “news coverage” of the presidential election four years ago – instructive if, for no other reason, to see exactly how they decided to “dumb down” coverage then as now).
However, I must give the Inky points for noting that media consumers in this country desperately need reliable sources of information to learn about the issues and make the right decisions on November 4th this year. They are entirely correct.
And that is why we now read the New York Times instead.
Update 10/7/08: Here’s more of “legitimate” news broadcaster David Gregory in action (and still more “legitimate” broadcasting – keep “riding the tire swing,” Gregory).