When Pundits Run Wild…
I’ve gotten emails asking why I haven’t tee’d off on MSNBC for using its bomb throwing talking heads to cover a news event last night instead of people trained to do the job.
My response is this. I complained long and loud about using talking heads during the 08 primaries. It had not impact. I complained about the meltdowns at the conventions. It had no impact. NBC’s Washington Bureau had a mini-revolt at a town hall bureau meeting which only temporarily forced the network to rein things in. But it was only temporary. Come the inauguration, they talking heads were back at it again and it’s been that way ever since. MSNBC doesn’t care. Phil Griffin doesn’t care. He’s doing what your basic broadcast entertainment programmer would do, ride the hot glove. Until there’s an embarrassment of colossal proportions that the News Division cannot wipe away easily, and last night’s Michelle Bachman interview doesn’t come close enough, nothing is going to change that. I tried to watch the network last night but frequently found myself switching over to CNN and its annoying Election Matrix and sardine can squished together panel discussion groups or FNC which suffered for not having Shepard Smith front the newscast – I started watching Fox Broadcast instead of FNC at one point because of the Shep “gap”. I switched because I just couldn’t take the incessant progressive partisan talking when I wanted to hear something a lot more grounded in reality than ideology. MSNBC only became watchable for extended periods at 2am when the bomb throwers left and a journalist took over with another panel…a panel that included a conservative. The horror!
Look, I know it’s wrong and you know it’s wrong. But MSNBC isn’t concerned with whether if it’s wrong or not and as long as they don’t end up hugely embarrassing the news division they’ll continue to ride the whirlwind with the bomb throwers. Given that, I have little interest in repeating myself. There’s only so many ways you can say “you’re wrong” before you get bored. And I’m bored.
Incidentally, I would generally agree with Mediaite that FNC’s coverage was probably on average the most consistent.
Related: Phil Griffin explains the cable news election night audience…
I note this because it more or less re-enforces what I wrote on Mediaite about cable news’ politics obsession being aimed at a particular demographic, the politics junkie.