Essay about media in cable news channels. Critical accounts of failing in supposed objectivity of TV journalists these are in fact paid attack dogs for their masters.
Business model of television broadcast relentlessly has been changing together with civilization adapting to technological inventions and demands of feeding hands. It is sort of for lack of better word and better television… good… But it is very dangerous for society as well. In some periods of history natural development of events are so logical and power that there is no way to change collective will of society to move together toward well defined goal. It happens during fair wars, expansion of geographical or social horizons, technological revolutions, when only emotionally deficient renegades could possible resist overwhelming atmosphere of serendipity to be co owner of perfect fabric of society. In such happy days self-serving tendencies of press are usually contained. Journalists are competing in reporting news and do not pretend to be most important part of any battle they has to be bystander.
With uneven periodicity dominating and seemed established forever trend of progressive development in building perfect civilization hits the wall of limited resources. At first some part of population begins to feel disillusioned. Then good life scenario of many active men that they were taught in family and school happens to be unrealistic to achieve. If big enough part of population disenchanted a change of formation in some form is unavoidable. The secret is how change will come. It could be blood; it can be humane toward poor and misfortune. If society well informed about problem it faces, if array of alternative actions are clear outlined and probable consequences presented on the base best scientific analysis and strategic modeling then chances to avoid catastrophic events on the road to new stable situation will be maximized. Critical role here belongs to mass media. Industry of information can play constructive role, but it could be very destructive if serving special interest groups or what even more sinister putting its own benefits ahead commonwealth it can mislead country or even whole humanity into irreversible defeat.
After this long, boring and lecture like prelude let’s go to real subject of this article that is outrage of irresponsible actions of cable news TV during 2012 president campaign and more specifically of MSNBC’s.
FOX chooses rednecks as primary audience thus it is anti-intellectual by conscious effort. I boycott this source after Bill O'Reilly without slightest hint of understanding that he was betraying very foundation of his profession, that is searching a truth, gloated on financial problems of 911 truth seekers and patronized Bush bashers Dixie Chicks and Sean Penn to be less financially successful as they could be if publicly leaked his ass.
CNN want to be confused with elegant jellyfish in cocktail dress; it cannot always contain specially born wild personalities like Rick Sanchez, just rids off them, but makes all possible efforts to dress their anchors in uniform of sunny professionalism with slight hint of imperfection as spice herbs in bulb of mashed potatoes. Healthy, veggie and almost always objective it is. There are very few cases when CNN is not trustworthy… only when information is really important. Even when CNN has order to mislead audience method of choice is not direct lie but information blockade of inconvenient facts as irrelevant. Startling example was first days of Georgia-Russia war 2008 ignored in CNN reports because first blood was spilled by Mikheil Saakashvili that put him in position of war criminal together with his sponsors in position of influence for CNN. So reports of war were “innocently” delayed for after Georgian provocation point at timeline. Good dance!
During dark years of W reign MSNBC earned political capital as isolated island of brave but reasonable dissident population of informed journalists talking truth to power. They lead democrat party to victory of congress in 2006 and presidency in 2008. Relentless critics of Bush administration politic for ignoring word and spirit of constitution was specially pronounced in Keith Olbermann countdown show. Outcry against torture, indefinite detention without do process of law for terror suspects, lay into Iraq war were instrumental for change of public mood and consequentially mild revolution that almost wiped out republican party from every geographic region of USA but deep south. Second civil war victoriously ended by coronation first not entirely white president.
Less than year after President Obama awarded Nobel Peace Price that really belonged to MSNBC, Keith Olbermann and Jonathan Turley. It is maybe real human tragedy for many presumably honest anchors of MSNBC to gradually sober with painful hangover of realization that will be no significant change of politics. Instead correction of course for cruise ship named America the Beautiful there will be moderate reshuffle in suits occupation and free medical examination for all victims of uncontrolled usage antibiotics and growth hormones in agriculture that is all but very rich.
Instead of promised closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and civil process on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, accused to be mastermind of 9/11 attack, Obama reauthorized Patriot Act. Instead of working at structure unemployment Obama used money pump to solve only one problem – his own job security. Instead of modifying health care system to be at least understandable Obama add to monster uncountable number hungry heads. Instead of honest discussion what term “fairness” means Obama pretends that it has nothing with Darwin natural selection law. Centerfold of Obama ideology contains only one pronounceable idea – if millionaires will pay more taxes everything will be better. Not good but better, he thinks that most of electorate should agree with it and vote for him to grant second term as “do nothing but tax” president.
For those who lived under communist party ruling it is easy to understand that there could be such bone crushing pressure on any person that he will obey and enthusiastically participate in public gathering. Only few dissidents were able open disagree with general line of party and headline of newspaper “Pravda”. At late, mostly toothless years of real socialism the main instrument of punishment those who voiced not politically correct was derailment of carrier. The same is MSNBC. If anchor is visible uncomfortable in performing emotionally believable projection of current editorial policy he or her will be out. There is nothing illegal in such behavior it is just nauseatingly sickening and so fast switch from position objective critics of power holders to guard dog of gate to progressive castle could be physiological damaging for news show masters.With experience as former sport commentator Keith Olbermann especially devoted to fair play concept. His psycho was broken soon after Obama election. He worked for “change and hope” so hard that just big change in pocket that already has sufficiently enough was not motivated enough to just read teleprompter. After two years of indistinctly gliding on the wave of his previous achievements he provoked some meaningless controversy and gone from my view. Best of luck, Keith.
Removal of truly conservative Don Imus from morning spot at MSNBC was sort of preemptive strike just after democrats took Congress in 2006 and preparing to presidential campaign. He was replaced by domesticated by democratic cocktail party, former republican congressman Joe Scarborough. There is not too much to say about Joe except that he is street smart village boy. It is unclear was in Joe life any occasion when he read thick book without pictures by his own will or not. Even if such incident someday took place it did not noticeable harm to his forehead. No need to attract any additional attention to his democratic commissar Mika Brzezinski, daughter of notorious global strategist of conflicts everywhere except to extra time underline that reliable anchor of MSNBC is not ordinary person from street of nowhere in somewhere. To be reliable puppet anchor must to have indisputable figure of authority to be reasoned into obedience, like father in case of Mika.
It is obvious pattern of MSNBC to invite on the payroll as anchor or regular contributor former politicians. Al Sharpton was presidential candidate in 2004, now he is anchor at 6 pm I am sometime not fast enough to switch channel from hardball to CNN and can here his welcome cry: “hey republican”. Bye Al, I am not republican, rise your voice on anybody else, I don’t want to hear you, I don’t want to see you, fight with empty space by yourself. Harold Ford, Jr. lost senate bid upon accusation in hedonistic lifestyle but was adopted as regular talking head. Pat Buchanan, former presidential candidate, was permanently on screen until lately cleaned out as too concerned for decline of American culture due to uncontrolled immigration, too independent thinker. Pat presented real big problem for any panel of talking heads when he spoke about substance of the problem at hand instead how any particular breaking news will benefit chances of democrats to be at power.
Chris Matthews presents very special case of Heminway like non-resolvable conflict between conscious and discipline of the solder of ideology battlefield that in his mind his place to push progress of humanity as far as his limited imagination can see. He is extraordinary by American standards educated person. Ultimate political insider as speechwriter for Carter and later aid of speaker of the House of Representatives Tip O'Neill. In my opinion Carter’s words in Inaugural Address: "Peoples more numerous and more politically aware are craving and now demanding their place in the sun—not just for the benefit of their own physical condition, but for basic human rights." made more for destabilization of Soviet Union encouraging dissident movement than Space War bluff of Ronald Reagan. Quite possible that Chris wrote this paragraph.
Lately it looks like there are tons of reasons to be concerned for mental health and harness of balls of happy warrior Chris Matthews. In his late sixties he obviously see end of active participation in political life. Records of achievements of USA political system in protecting poor and promoting social mobility after wrapping up war on poverty and initiating series of other wars on drugs, terror, Christmas, dictionary and common sense are mostly negative like welfare reform that practically eliminate safety net for chronically misfortune. Chris sees Obama’s second term as last chance in promoting progressive values.
He believes that liberated from fight for second term Obama will reveal his true nature as fighter for fair society whatever it could mean. What Obama will say it is fair it will be fair indeed by gospel according to willingly blind Matthews. So Chris concludes the time for final battle is now. He will help Obama to be reelected no matter what. If for this ultimate goal he will need to donate immortal soul to small village demon, to chert in Russian language (there is funny allusion with last name of Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Security in Bush administration), he will. If republicans will chose weak and dangerous opponent to Obama Chris will be only happy thus it will increase chances of Obama. The scenario when something happens and Gingrich became president is just unfortunate risk he is willing to accept. Grandpa is too old to care about sex. Simple precept do no harm seems too restrictive to Matthews and his employers.
For any responsible citizen simple logic in defining favorites in presidential race should be two step processes. At first find two most acceptable candidates on both sides cheer up for both of them and promote favorite at the stage of final head on race. Democratic Party together with MSNBC and all mass media decided to burn at bridges behind. They want to prolong primary game beyond any rational necessity to take financial benefits selling advertising on the base of high viewers rating. They will shamelessly call the only normal person in race – weird and silently wink-wink about obvious image of blood thirsty Vinnie the Pooh of his opponent.
System of Checks and Balances in political system should include mass media as well. Stayed alone it could became too power and not necessary positive force. It is private entity anyway and can promote only self-interest in critical times – why not?
Dylan Ratigan enthusiastically campaigns to get money out of politics. Money is the only thing that can break information blockade of mass media. If politicians will be disarmed from ability to buy advertisement who will decide who will have tribune on TV screen? It will be your employer, Dylan. At least until they keep you in staff. Bosses can change his hart on a bit, you know, will millions listen you then?
I would like to apologize to Rachel Maddow for not to be positively mention in the article. My only excuse is that you in such day to day joy sincere believing doing good job exposing right wingers that nothing can stop you except ambulance. As for Lawrence O'Donnell my last words to you – humanity is not so bad to wish it four more years of Obama.
Initially submitted at Feb. 3, 2012; 22:40
Two presidential campaigns came and went since this article was written. Some personalities are vanished from memory others has been falling into so deep state of insanity that for me impossible to keep any sort of attention. I would like not to use the word "boycott" as too childish - one person phobia of unstoppable stream of anti-Russia racist hysteria ordered by conspirators inside intelligent community and progressive cabal is so small and personal... If president Trump bows to CIA so be it. I just buried CNN and MSNBC in my memory of their better days. FOX is resurrected for this historical moment. Not completely forgiven but left the only source news entertainment.
Taker Carlson raises the torch of objective journalistic inviting and exposing crazy progressive on his show. One hero is much more than nobody at all. Keep be cool pall.
Nov. 21, 2017; 15:58 EST