DNC2012: The Comcast / MSNBC convention

So who were the top stars of the Democrats’ big shindig in Charlotte this week? The easy answers would be the President, the First Lady, or maybe Bill Clinton. Depending on your perspective, maybe Joe Biden was the most anticipated speaker, if only for the humor. But for the fans on the scene, the real stars could be the on air personalities of MSNBC and their parent company Comcast.

“Network, party and partisan moment have collided, felicitously, in Charlotte,” the paper reports. “MSNBC’s on-air personalities are mobbed in the street, snarling pedestrian traffic.”

“Sure, the events here in Charlotte are a national celebration of the Democratic Party and its presidential nominee,” the report continues, “but in many ways, it’s the MSNBC Convention.”

Reporters Ashley Parker and Michael Barbaro document how despite torrential rains, five-hundred convention-goers got soaking wet in order to watch a taping of MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews.

MSNBC’s branded swag — pins, coffee cups and tote bags — are “ubiquitous collectors’ items for delegates,” the reporters said. The paper also notes that the networks’ promotional posters and banners around and within the arena are so “ostentatious” that even MSNBC personality Willie Geist reportedly compared them to “North Korean propaganda.”

Perhaps this shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. As with most things in the world of politics, you need to follow the money. Comcast employees are, as a group, one of the biggest contributors to Barack Obama and the DNC.

Employees of media giant Comcast have contributed more money to President Obama’s reelection bid than employees from any other organization, according to a new analysis of Federal Election Commission data by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Comcast employees contributed nearly $80,000 directly to Obama for America and roughly $200,000 to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint account benefitting both the Obama campaign and Democratic National Committee, through the first half of 2011 records show.

There’s a pretty cozy relationship going on there, as the linked ABC article details. You can get personal meetings with the President – or any elected official, really – if you dump enough money into the pot. Open Secrets has the full details of Comcast contributions.

But perhaps one of the most obvious and potentially embarrassing examples comes from the broadcast news coverage itself. The video below is from Joe Scarborough’s show on MSNBC from Friday morning when the new jobs numbers came out. Disclosure: I watch Morning Joe pretty much every day and enjoy Joe’s exchanges with people from both sides of the aisle. But knowing what we know now about exactly how the unemployment rate managed to drop, this is pretty sad.

“This is good news for the president. 96,000 new jobs… non-farm jobs, it has dropped from 8.3% to 8.1%. Ladies and gentlemen, what you call that is a tailwind.”

Chuck Todd attempted to jump in at that point and note that “less than 100K jobs” is hardly anything to be crowing about, but the live-set audience was already drowning out the speakers with chants of “FOUR MORE YEARS.”

Really? You want four more years of the labor force shrinking and failing to create enough jobs to hold even with the population growth rate? Well… OK then! Party on, dudes!