The political commentary shows on MSNBC, such as Countdown, have really gone off the deep end. They were unbelievably biased in favor of Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries, and have been even more biased in favor of Obama over John McCain. Let me preface this by saying two things. 1) That I understand that Fox News is so one-sided that it has been a caricature for many years. What Fox and the Rush Limbaughs of the world did with their anti-Hillary rhetoric for no good reason for the last 15 years lasted long enough to impact her chances in this election. And 2), I’m about as Democratic as you can get. Why?
· I believe very strongly that poor and sick people should have the same opportunity at health insurance that wealthy and healthy people do. People shouldn’t die fighting insurance companies to cover their bills.
· I believe that we should not only try to minimize the damage from climate change, but that we should have a clean environment. Large corporations shouldn’t be allowed to pollute our air, water, and soil, causing the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat to be contaminated. I believe we need more regulation on businesses to ensure that the environment is safe, and we also need regulation to make sure that products don’t have dangerous chemicals. All of these problems are leading to birth defects and disease.
· And I believe that we need gun control so that automatic weapons, etc. aren’t easily available by anyone.
So I’m definitely pro-Democrat on most issues.
Back to MSNBC. Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and Rachel Maddow have become even more to the left than Fox News is to the right. Strangely, they really jumped on the anti-Hillary bandwagon. It was odd, because Hillary and Obama had basically the same policies. They made Hillary out to be a villain, exaggerating each misstep during the primary campaign, delighting in and ignoring any of Obama’s flaws, being completely unwilling to criticize him at all. But it’s more than the anti-Hillary bias that seems odd. MSNBC was so vehemently against the Republicans that it became ponderous to watch.
Olbermann has been the worst culprit. I never would have thought that Olbermann, a former ESPN Sportscenter anchor, would be hosting his own national show on politics. The self-important Olbermann has such a bizarre style, yelling into the camera and constantly slamming his opponents. He is so over the top. There’s nothing worse than people who think they are much funnier than they are. I never thought I would defend George W. Bush, John McCain, and Sarah Palin, but Olbermann’s commentaries against them have become personal and nasty. Olbermann also had a couple of nasty special comments for Hillary Clinton, blowing campaign miscues way out of proportion.
One other thing – you have to wonder about someone who constantly yells and screams while on TV. It’s not professional. I’ve had the same criticism of Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon on ESPN. In sports it’s more understandable, but even then, stop yelling all the time.
I believe in telling it like it is, but Keith has gone way off the deep end. Olbermann is now wearing those wire rim glasses which fit him perfectly because he is so pretentious.
Matthews may be just as bad – because though his bias isn’t as blatant as Olbermann’s, his show is ostensibly more objective, as he interviews people from both the left and the right. However, he was clearly anti-Hillary, and his rhetoric was almost all pro-Obama against McCain. His stream of consciousness statements have become increasingly wacky. He interrupts answers of his interviewees constantly with non-sequiturs. Some of the panelists are amused by his humor; others clearly are laughing at him. His increasing bias has left him on the sidelines rather than in the game. He used to be a heavyweight; now he’s a lightweight.
Finally, if Rachel Maddow is so deserving of her own show, why would so many commentators have had to congratulate her so much for the first two months of her show?
CNN is probably a little more boring, but at least they are more objective.
Part of the problem is that politics has become too partisan. The shows are simply a moderator interviewing one person from the left and one from the right – each one equally biased. And these are the objective shows. Fox and MSNBC are heavily slanted in one direction. This us vs. them mentality isn’t anything new, but people can take news shows more seriously if they at least pretend to be objective. Whereas most people understand that Fox News is a joke, I think that most reasonable people are now understanding that MSNBC is too.
Keith: you’re a buffoon. Keith Olbermann – tonight’s WORST PERSON…IN THE WORLD!”
Maybe I should just watch PBS.
P.S. If there was any doubt that MSNBC was not a channel devoted to news, on Friday, November 28, just two days after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, MSNBC showed a highlight show of the most wild videos caught on tape, or something like that, while the attacks were still going on.