Yes, it’s the Shemp of the Obama administration.
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
— MSNBC Public Relations (@MSNBCPR) June 2, 2018
There are two surprises. One: How was this tool not already signed as a contributor somewhere? He’s a perfect avatar of neoliberal conventional wisdom on foreign policy *and* he has a Hopenchange pedigree. By cable news standards he’s practically wearing a halo. And he understands the media very, very well.
As Malley and representatives of the State Department, including Wendy Sherman and Secretary of State John Kerry, engaged in formal negotiations with the Iranians, to ratify details of a framework that had already been agreed upon, Rhodes’s war room did its work on Capitol Hill and with reporters. In the spring of last year, legions of arms-control experts began popping up at think tanks and on social media, and then became key sources for hundreds of often-clueless reporters. “We created an echo chamber,” he admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. “They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.”
The media, which supported the deal, naturally ate up the Rhodes-orchestrated expert offensive. After spoonfeeding Obama talking points on Iran into their mouths, which they then happily regurgitated down the public’s gullet, it’s only natural that they’d invite him to join their nest. Somehow it took 16 months, though. How come?
Two: As most righty activists are well aware, Rhodes’s brother is the president of CBS News. How did he end up at NBC then? It can’t be that he and his bro were sensitive to accusations of favoritism; the industry is filthy with familial relations between media and Democratic operatives. My guess is that he simply saw more opportunities for airtime at NBC. Both networks have a prominent Sunday chat show but only NBC has a cable cousin that airs ’round the clock and needs to be fed constantly with fresh guests. If he went to CBS, Rhodes would have one or maybe two chances at most each week to do his “This latest Trump move is a disaster” routine. On MSNBC he could conceivably be on every day.
Conservatives should be thrilled, though. I sure am: The quest for blogworthy content is eternal and Rhodes should be good for plenty of this-guy-said-what viral clips on the right. But you should be happy too. For one thing, as a matter of pure schadenfreude, if the election had gone a bit differently Rhodes would be raking in mega-bucks as an influential lobbyist and/or political operative right now. As it is, he’s relegated to slumming it on cable, soon to be murmuring “You’re absolutely right, Rachel” over and over in the 9 p.m. bloc a few nights per week. Plus, now when Trump gets reelected in two years, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to watch him sputter into speechlessness in real time, on live TV, instead of having to wait years for documentary footage. Won’t that be nice.
Via the Free Beacon, a supercut for your enjoyment.