Another muddled MSNBC promo
posted at 8:20 am on July 30, 2012 by Libby Sternberg
I promised, and I am delivering. That is, I’m continuing with my insightful reviews of MSNBC promos….
MSNBC has done it again, serving up another promotional spot for one of their marquee hosts that leaves me shaking my head and wondering: what are they thinking?
Here’s the latest–Chris Matthews opining in front of Mount Rushmore.
Here’s a transcript of the spot for those who’d prefer not to watch:
Coming out here to Mount Rushmore, it reminds you there are big issues at stake, issues of equality, issues of the pursuit of happiness, issues of freedom and this country standing for something. These guys were all looking forward to what they wanted to build in this country, every one of them. And this place reminds you of that. It’s not just about petty arguments over tax and environmental regulations but about what kind of country you want to live in.
Does Mr. Matthews think that arguments over taxes and environmental regulations are “petty”? Or is he saying those arguments are not petty because they do relate to the broader debate over the country’s direction? Heck if I know.
At least MSNBC has moved away from promos that scold. They’re now into ads that showcase their hosts’ muddled thinking.
What perplexes me about these promos is that they do the opposite of what good promotional material should do. Instead of highlighting their hosts’ strongest and most attractive features (and, to be fair, you could find some), they focus on their weakest and least flattering personality traits. In Matthews’ case, it’s his habit of demeaning adversarial points of view with odd non sequiturs. (Sometimes I expect to hear him burst into a discussion with: “Did you know God is Dog spelled backwards?”)
So, I wonder — does MSNBC really believe these promos showcase their “talent”? Or do they believe these faux-gravitas spots are what will appeal to their audience? Or…is someone playing a big joke on the MSNBC executive suite?
Libby Sternberg is a novelist. She watches too much MSNBC so you don’t have to.