MSNBC VP: "MSNBC does not have a political agenda."

An interesting story by Paul Bond in the Hollywood Reporter. It’s focused primarily on MSNBC’s role in driving Palin-mania:

Olbermann first mentioned Palin on his show July 1, 2008…Since then, he talked about the former governor of Alaska in a total of 320 separate segments during his former MSNBC show, according to data compiled by LexisNexis…

But if the attention Olbermann gave to the diminutive and perky hockey mom from Wasilla sounds excessive, think again. LexisNexis indicates that MSNBC’s Chris Matthews has reported on her during a whopping 420 segments of his Hardball show since she burst onto the scene as McCain’s running mate two months after Kristol’s Countdown appearance.

This unattributed quote from a Fox employee is priceless:

Says another Fox insider: “Detractors are more obsessed with her than supporters are. And they can’t even explain why they hate her. Ask them about it, and they mumble something about her being stupid. But I’d hook her up to an intelligence test against Joe Biden any day.”

But here’s the quote in the headline that will make you shoot milk out your nose:

MSNBC vp primetime programming Bill Wolff maintains that his network covers Palin because she’s newsworthy. Period. End of story.

“She’s powerful and important, even if all you measure her by is her ability to raise money,” he says. “She matters. Her blessing and her endorsement mean something.’

Wolff called it “nonsense” that MSNBC is driven by politics or even profits when it comes to how much airtime it devotes to Palin.

“MSNBC does not have a political agenda. The idea that we’re beholden to one side or the other is ridiculous,” he says. “And if Sarah Palin is so good for business, why would we want to destroy her? We tell the truth. We hold up a mirror and say, ‘This is what’s going on.’ We’re not so crass to think that she’s good for business, therefore we’ll talk about her.”

Wolff is also executive producer of The Rachel Maddow Show, which ran 90 segments on Palin in 2009 and 99 in 2010, according to LexisNexis.

Yes, that’s the MSNBC we all know and love. Holding a mirror up to the truth. Offering unbiased reporting with no agenda. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

The article goes on to describe in detail MSNBC’s role in tying Palin to the Arizona shootings. In the context of this article it becomes clear that Palin is MSNBC’s Emmanuel Goldstein, the fictional villain from Orwell’s 1984. Their coverage (and that of much of the MSM) amounts to a daily two minute hate which serves their political and business interests even if–as in the case of the Arizona shootings–it has little to do with reality.

[Cross-posted at Verum Serum]