MSNBC news anchor: What this network needs is an “I am Other” message

posted at 4:01 pm on July 15, 2013 by Allahpundit

An instant classic via Noah Rothman. Only on MSNBC, only on MSNBC would you find someone ostensibly on the “news” side of the operation complaining on air that his network isn’t aggressive enough in pushing an agenda. I wonder which parts of their programming he thinks are presently deficient in identifying with the Other. “Morning Joe” is hosted by a Republican (a centrist, independent-leaning one), so let’s grant him that one for argument’s sake. Who else? Chris Hayes? O’Donnell?

Two punchlines. One: No one but no one Other-izes its political opponents as crudely and zestily as MSNBC does. You don’t even need to get to their primetime line-up to see that; consult our archive of Bashir and Matthews clips if you’ve got a few days to spare. (If you want to throw Olbermann in there as part of a longstanding pattern, you’ll need weeks.) In fact, the parent company was so eager to Other-ize George Zimmerman, it’s staring at a defamation suit. Rest assured, tea partiers will remain quasti-terrorist “teabaggers” even in a newly Other-friendly MSNBC. Two: Speaking of Zimmerman, the network went all in on trial coverage in hopes of goosing its deflating ratings with a morality play full of Larger Truths about “the Other” aimed at electrifying liberal viewers. Here’s what they got for that on Saturday night when the verdict was read:

In the 10-11 p.m. hour on Saturday night, when the verdict in, Fox News had 3,682,000 total viewers; CNN had 3,407,000 total viewers and won the coveted demo with 1,716,000 viewers aged 25-to-54.

In the same hour, MSNBC had 1,298,000 total viewers — about one-third of Fox’s total — and a mere 510,000 viewers in the demo. (These are preliminary numbers; finals are in tomorrow.)

Despite branding itself as “the place for politics,” MSNBC went wall-to-wall on the Zimmerman trial after watching its ratings tank in recent months. It doesn’t seemed to have helped.

I don’t understand that last bit. They went wall to wall on Zimmerman not in spite of being “the place for politics” but because of it. Their interest in it was purely political, not legal and certainly not factual. I’m honestly surprised they did as badly as they did. They’re not a place for breaking news anymore, as their own chief admits, but they treated this whole thing less as “news” and more as a sort of referendum on race relations in America. You would think their audience would be there as the returns finally came in.

Having said all of that, I don’t think news anchors should be discouraged from talking this way. The guy’s being honest about his and his network’s agenda, and that’s creditable. There’s an old saying that news media is supposed to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted; not so — they’re supposed to tell the truth, even if it means afflicting the comfortable — but if you’re going to follow the activist blueprint, own it. He’s owning it. Would you rather he lied?


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Comment pages: 1 2

I am other…man, I hate that stupid psychobabble nonsense. I am other… Gah… Who talks like that? Oh, yeah, idiot leftists.

pannw on July 15, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Newspeak, pannw. Remember its purpose is to homogenize thought so no one can have either an original or disagreeing idea.

Wino on July 15, 2013 at 6:27 PM

“Known as other”? There’s another crack head new outlet?

onomo on July 15, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Oh, yeah, idiot leftists.

pannw on July 15, 2013 at 6:18 PM

The Redundancy Committee Of Redundancy called, and you are now on their list.

John the Libertarian on July 15, 2013 at 6:29 PM

but if you’re going to follow the activist blueprint, own it. He’s owning it. Would you rather he lied?

Sue them into the ground, Zimmerman.

papertiger on July 15, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Wino on July 15, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Yes, but it sounds so idiotic. I don’t see how it could accomplish any of that for making viewers gag or LOL. I feel like I’m watching a movie based on a really bad dystopian novel. I am other…sheesh. Of course, I often feel I’m living a bad dystopian novel…

John the Libertarian on July 15, 2013 at 6:29 PM

Ha! :*) True.

pannw on July 15, 2013 at 6:44 PM

The 3 million that watched Fox will go about their day and return to work, or looking for work.

The 1 million that watched MSNBC are being radicalized are are mobilizing.

Wake up folks.

faraway on July 15, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Not so sure about *being* radicalized. Their regular viewers are already there. I’ve met waaay too many of them. They’re far beyond your average D voter.
Remember Julian Bond, the former NAACP Chair who called the Tea Party the ‘Taliban Wing Of American Politics’. Many of Those MSNBC viewers think just like him.

lynncgb on July 15, 2013 at 6:49 PM

MSNBC is an orphan right now. They aren’t NBC network and they aren’t Microsoft.

They’re a splice that has been set adrift. A mistake of nature. A bastard stepchild. A macabre specter of a journalistic endeavor, reminiscent of the baby brought back to life in “Pet Cemetery”.

It would be an unqualified public service to the good for the MSNBC plug to be pulled, finally and forever putting them out of our misery.

papertiger on July 15, 2013 at 6:49 PM

“I am Udder”?…

He thinks he’s an udder..? Well that’s a new one….

I could be wrong. Could be he’s got the hots for Rachel Madcow. Guess no on told him she moos in the “other” barnyard…

“MSNBC: The Place For Creepy.”

DrDeano on July 15, 2013 at 7:02 PM

MSNBC is an orphan right now. They aren’t NBC network and they aren’t Microsoft.

They’re a splice that has been set adrift. A mistake of nature. A bastard stepchild. A macabre specter of a journalistic endeavor, reminiscent of the baby brought back to life in “Pet Cemetery”.

It would be an unqualified public service to the good for the MSNBC plug to be pulled, finally and forever putting them out of our misery.

papertiger on July 15, 2013 at 6:49 PM

MSNBC is still a division of NBC News.

Much of the “talent” from MSNBC freely appears on NBC News, and vice versa. MSNBC’s studios co-exist with NBC News’ operations at 30 Rock.

That the falsified 911 call came from a “Today” staffer was no accident.

Myron Falwell on July 15, 2013 at 7:19 PM

Instead of complaining about the Trayvon Martin verdict, they should spin it on how positive this is for the black community. I remember the recall election for Wisconsin governor Walker, when they were salivating at the guy getting recalled. After he survived the recall, Maddow etc. all got on the air and convinced everyone that this was actually a positive for the Democratic party, and a negative for the Republican party.

Why don’t they just do that here?

asc85 on July 15, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Because some attempts at “spin” are too stupid for even their audience to buy?

clear ether

eon

eon on July 15, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Heck, ppl like me watched to see their heads explode, that’s probably the only reason they got any viewers …………;-)

angrymike on July 15, 2013 at 8:23 PM

Heck, ppl like me watched to see their heads explode, that’s probably the only reason they got any viewers …………;-)

angrymike on July 15, 2013 at 8:23 PM

…I won’t even watch them for THAT!…I see heads explode around me everyday!

KOOLAID2 on July 15, 2013 at 9:08 PM

If it weren’t for Conservative blogs and radio hosts making fun of them, MSDNC would be in the ash heap of history already.

Decoski on July 15, 2013 at 10:13 PM

As always, have a conversation means everyone shut up and listen to a liberal lecture, nodding your head in agreement all the way.

We see every day how the left handle the existence of any opinion besides their own. Not well.

Moesart on July 16, 2013 at 12:16 AM

Liberals always make the mistake of believing everyone is as obsessed with skin color as liberals are.

Moesart on July 16, 2013 at 12:18 AM

Other=Leftist Misfit.

Maybe CurrentTV has some time-slots for all the MSNBC programs that nobody watches. They are the cable equivalent of Air America: even liberals don’t tune in.

virgo on July 16, 2013 at 10:59 AM

“I am Other” seems like a good message. Bound to work better than the “I am Stupid” message that they’ve been using.

Chris of Rights on July 16, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Comment pages: 1 2