Thursday, June 18, 2009

Why I don't watch MSNBC

I turned on the TV for the latest news from Iran this morning. CNN was doing its usual ad-laden drivel so I thought, why not try MSNBC?

Joe Scarborough, that's why.

Scarborough was originally hired when MSNBC was attempting to compete with Fox News, providing a non-stop GOP tabloid. Hiring an extreme-right former GOP Congressman fit right in with that bizarre plan.

After discovering for themselves that GE could not possibly outdo Rupert Murdoch in right wing tabloid TV, the channel has lurched to the left. This is at least a rational strategy. With Murdoch occupying the right wing tabloid space and CNN attempting to occupy the 'objective' space, the only place that is not being contested is the tabloid left space.

Hiring smart progressives like Rachel Maddow and Keith Olberman for prime time has turned MSNBC's fortunes round. But they still have a big problem, viewers still autopilot to CNN when they want news. Conservatives can flip to Fox and see programming that isn't going to challenge their prejudices with unfortunate facts. But Liberals can only find agreeable programing at MSNBC half the time. If they flip in the morning they will hear Joe Scarborough airing his rather simplistic and uninformed opinions.

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