Conservatives are the party of hate. This must be true, right? I heard it on the News. NBC News makes this point on its 24-hour cable news network at least 15 times per hour, and NBC is a “respected news source …” right?
I mean … right?
Growing up, I watched Tom Brokaw deliver the news weeknights and Tim Russert on Meet The Press every Sunday. I could tell by their story and question choices where they were coming from, but I never felt like their personal biases compromised their willingness to tell the truth. In other words, they had integrity.
Well, at NBC News, integrity is dead.
Chris Matthews used to be sane, I swear. I watched Hardball twice a day sometimes when I was in college in the late-1990s and early-2000s. He had great guests and interesting, honest discussions. He had it in him … at least back when NBC News was headed by people with an interest in journalism.
Sometime during the Bush years, NBC saw what it perceived to be an opportunity to capitalize on anti-war sentiment and become the voice of the opposition. The strategy backfired when it became apparent anti-war sentiment did not have the passion behind to sustain a movement.
MSNBC has loyal viewers, but they are few – and they seek reassurance at least as much as information. And that’s what MSNBC serves up.
The network likes to portray itself as some sort of counter-balance to Fox News, but unlike Fox, which has news from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Special Report at 6, MSNBC does not have one straight news show on at any time. The closest it comes is The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd at 9 a.m., but his background is not journalism, it’s as a Democrat campaign worker for Sen. Tom Harkin’s failed run for president. He plays it as straight as he can, but the environment at NBC News, one that advocates for “progressive” policies, makes that difficult.
Even NBC News’ Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, Andrea Mitchell, has gone fully activist on her 1 p.m. show. You’d be as hard pressed to find her not cheering for Democrats as you would to find her covering her supposed area of expertise on her show. It routinely devolves into an echo chamber, a poetry slam performing DNC talking points.
That’s all well and good. It’s NBC’s brand to ruin however it sees fit. But if new NBC News president Deborah Turness wants to cauterize the hemorrhaging of viewers and profits, changes in personnel and expanding the pool of progressive contributors won’t do it. It’s not who is delivering the message; it’s the message.
And that message is disgusting.