Why MSNBC is failing
HOUSTON, November 20, 2013 — Liberal institutions from the New York Times to Newsweek are failing while conservative institutions like the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal are thriving.
The television world sees the same phenomenon as Fox News continues to crush MSNBC in the ratings. MSNBC and CNN take turns in the ratings cellar while Fox News Channel (FNC) has a larger audience than both competitors combined. The reasons for MSNBC’s descent are numerous.
MSNBC is not a real news network. Despite its desperate attempt to become an ideological counter-balance to FNC, MSNBC left out the news portion of its programming altogether. A Pew study showed that CNN programming was 54% hard news and 46% opinion. FNC contained 55% opinion and 45% hard news. MSNBC programming consisted of 85% opinion and only 15% actual news.
MSNBC does not even have a news division. They borrow news reporters such as Chuck Todd from parent company NBC.
MSNBC decided several years ago to brand itself as a leftist opinion network. The slogan “lean forward” became a mantra for Obama cheerleading.
CNN already existed as a liberally biased network, but MSNBC was going to be more aggressive and confrontational. CNN was too “boring” in an attempt to create the illusion of fairness. MSNBC would not make that mistake.
When Americans are obsessed with an upcoming election or political intrigue, MSNBC has a fighting chance to preach to the converted who want hyper-partisan leftist red meat.
The problem with this strategy is that when serious world events happen, most Americans do not want opinion. They want serious, dignified news delivered in a matter-of-fact manner. MSNBC is designed for people who want Americans pitted against each other in the name of political combat. Apolitical stories tugging heartstrings and bringing people together have viewers looking elsewhere. One billion people around the world cheered when Chilean miners were rescued. We grieve when natural disasters takes innocent lives. CNN benefits at the expense of MSNBC whenever the world stage veers away from politics.
MSNBC decided to be the home of leftist activists. Every social cause became a cause celebrate, and again the approach was confrontational.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper is a newsperson who happens to be gay. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow is a gay activist attacking anyone who disagrees with gay marriage. CNN’S Bernard Shaw was one of the most respected men in news when he retired. FNC’s Wendell Goler reports straight down the line with no editorializing. Both men happen to be black, which is as irrelevant as Cooper’s lifestyle.
MSNBC offers militant black activist Al Sharpton.
Other MSNBC personalities have included Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz and Alec Baldwin. Despite trying to portray Republicans as angry white men, these hosts spend plenty of airtime screaming at anybody disagreeing with them. They are the angry, self-righteous left.
This leads to the biggest problem at MSNBC, an overt lack of professionalism. Forget leftism. The real problem is too many of these hosts act like terrible human beings.
Ed Schultz referred to radio host Laura Ingraham as a “talk slut.” He fantasized about taking Vice President Cheney’s heart and “ripping it out” and “kicking it like a football.”
Alec Baldwin has a history of screaming epithets at people. He called his own daughter a “rude, vile pig” for being untimely with a return phone call. Last week he used an anti-gay slur, which was not his first instance. He has attacked Sean Hannity on numerous occasions using harsh language.
Al Sharpton fomented physical violence that resulted in innocent Chasidic Jew Yankel Rosenbaum being murdered. He has referred to Jews as “diamond merchants” and was convicted of falsely defaming law enforcement officer Steven Pagones for the rape hoax perpetrated by Tawana Brawley. Pagones has yet to be paid by damages by Sharpton despite a court order to do so.
Keith Olbermann each night declared somebody like Rush Limbaugh or Michele Bachmann to be “the worst person in the world.” Olbermann has a history of abusive behavior against staffers and employers.
Martin Bashir recently declared his desire to “defecate” on Sarah Palin.
Chris Matthews recently lamented the coarseness of today’s political culture while remaining a major source of it. His history of misogynistic comments was found indefensible even by liberal Washington Post columnist Kirsten Powers. He recently made a crude sexual remark involving Governor Chris Christie’s wife. Matthews’s book “Tip and the Gipper” is a fake romanticizing of a more civilized era that never existed and a vital role he never played.
Rachel Maddow is the least heinous of the bunch, but the bar is set incredibly low. While the world worries about lives lost to natural disasters, she whines endlessly about the Koch Brothers. She ignores the even wealthier convicted financial felon George Soros. Maddow also has a tendency to snicker like a junior high school girl when delivering her opinions. She chortles at her insults of conservatives, which she mistakes for sophisticated wit. The men scream. She acts like a playground child engaging in “rankout” contests.
The targets of abuse by MSNBC hosts all share a commonality. They are political conservatives who are attacked in a vicious personal manner just for being conservative and participating legally in the political process.
The Koch Brothers are private citizens who have broken no laws. Sarah Palin and many of the other targets are social conservatives. That in itself does not make them evil, hateful, or deserving of malicious treatment. MSNBC hosts far too frequently subject conservatives to personal vitriol.
Their guests are often equally awful. Joan Walsh at Salon writes thoughtless screeds about how all Republicans are racists and white people are responsible for the world’s ills. Her “analysis” fits right among the network’s grievance-mongers and bomb-throwers.
MSNBC is the darling of the progressive movement, but that only shows how far removed from decency and civility the movement itself remains.
MSNBC is perfectly comfortable being the fringe network for the hostile left rather than a serious news organization interested in furthering intelligent discussion.
The ratings speak for themselves.