Well, at least one could make the argument that MSNBC is now somewhat honest with their slogan, "This Is Who We Are." The station that is oft criticized for its left-leaning views and distorted news has hired a former advisor to President Obama, Ben Rhodes, as a political contributor. In 2016, Rhodes willfully admitted that he took advantage of the mainstream media's lack of depth and pushed forward faulty, but positive, narratives regarding the Iran nuclear deal. In other words, "Who the mainstream media was" during that time was nothing but a cabal of de facto mouthpieces for the Obama administration because of the inability or unwillingness to challenge the administration's talking points.
Today, MSNBC tweeted they were "happy to announce" that the former Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications under Obama would be joining Meet the Press in his first official capacity as an MSNBC and NBC employee.
Happy to announce @brhodes is joining @NBCNews and @MSNBC as a Political Contributor. The former Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications for President Obama makes his debut appearance on @MeetThePress this Sunday and @allinwithchris on Monday. pic.twitter.com/cr5NiyF7UY— MSNBCPR (@MSNBCPR) June 2, 2018
As noted by the Washington Post, Rhodes gloated to the New York Times Magazine about his staff's ability to manipulate so-called experts into spouting off pro-Obama messaging regarding the now defunct Iran nuclear deal.
From the Washington Post:
"Rhodes, 38, said in the article that it was easy to shape a favorable impression of the proposed agreement because of the inexperience of many of those covering the issue.
“All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” he said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”
Rhodes set up a team of staffers who were focused on promoting the deal, which apparently included the feeding of talking points at useful times in the news cycle to foreign policy experts who were favorably disposed toward it. “We created an echo chamber,” he told the magazine. “They [the seemingly independent experts] were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.” (Emphasis added)
But Americans should not really be mad at Rhodes for taking advantage of the media's love affair with President Obama. It was Rhodes' job to portray the president and his policies, no matter how bad they were, in a positive image to the press. Americans should be angry at the lackadaisical reporting that occurred from 2008-2016. Rhodes, a former novelist, is literally bragging about how the mainstream media stinks at its job. Now, that same mainstream media gleefully claps as he joins their programs.
All this is not to say that Rhodes will actually be a good political contributor. If this recent video from the 2016 election is any indication, Rhodes will probably not be able to surmise any words regarding President Trump. This clip highlights a distraught Rhodes in the moments after the Democratic candidate lost. He is absolutely flabbergasted that Hillary Clinton lost that election.
I've watched this thirteen times. I have to stop now. My face is cramping up from this smile. pic.twitter.com/9CCfhVDurB— Jesse Kelly® (@JesseKellyDC) May 30, 2018