Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink, Say No More…

I must have seen MSNBC’s new weekend promo dozens of times now but I really wasn’t paying attention I guess because last night I saw it again and my alarms went off. The spot in question shows Chris Hayes doing his thing, Melissa Harris-Perry doing her thing, and Alex Witt doing her thing. Seems innocuous enough, right? I’m not as sure now.

It was the clip of Witt MSNBC showed that was what threw me for a loop. It showed Witt at her desk saying, “A fascinating look inside the Obama White House and who the President is as a person and as a leader.”

Of all the clips of Witt MSNBC had to choose from to show her as a news anchor and MSNBC chose this one about Obama? MSNBC could have chosen any number of hard news story clips, any number of current affairs issue clips, and yet they chose a clip of Witt talking about a “fascinating” Obama profile?

I try to give MSNBC the same benefit of the doubt that I give FNC but this is just too co-incidental to dismiss as an accident. You have a promo touting MSNBC’s new progressive pundit shows and follow that up with a clip of an MSNBC anchor talking about an inside look at Obama and the White House which just happens to dovetail nicely with the progressive themed shows prior to Witt’s newscast.

This is entering tinfoil hat territory but the inferred takeaway from watching this ad is that Progressives should stick around as there might be news they want to hear about. If MSNBC had opted to use a different clip other than one dealing with a profile of the Obama administration, it would be impossible to come to such an inference and I hate having come to such an inference because it makes me look like a conspiracy theory crank for choosing to write about it.

The Witt clip is also used as for a standalone spot for just her show so one could theoretically argue that MSNBC is just using the spot for everything Witt related so there’s no valid inference of Progressive courting here. But, again, MSNBC could have chosen any news clip of Witt and it opted for this one. They didn’t just stick a bunch of clips in a hat and randomly pull one out. This clip was chosen and it was chosen for a reason. So, barring any new information coming to light on why that clip was chosen, I still believe in that inference that MSNBC is trying to bait Progressives into watching her newscast. This of course has nothing to do with Witt herself. She didn’t choose this clip…

Update: J$ posited the following Tweet

@InsideCableNews 1. How do you know Witt had no say over the clip choice? B. Are you sure the clip is real and not done just for the promo?

It would seem unlikely that Witt would be involved in the promo process as those are produced by the network’s promo department. It’s certainly possible Witt saw the clip beforehand and had no objection to it but that doesn’t say much because she might not have caught the inference and since we can’t read her mind and are lacking any evidence to the contrary I must give her the benefit of the doubt.

As to $’s second observation, it’s one that I had pondered for a moment but ultimately dismissed. I can’t think of a single instance of MSNBC staging newscasts and making it look like it’s from a real newscast ever so it would seem very unlikely that they would choose to do so now. Plus the subject matter of a “fascinating” look inside the Obama White House would be easy to fact check to see if it ever happened on MSNBC’s air. If MSNBC was going to do what local newscasts frequently do and shoot some fake newscasting, they would have chosen to do it the way local newscasts do and keep it generic so you can’t tell really what they’re talking about. This clip was anything but generic. Toss in the fact that the clip was shot from the viewing angle normally used for real newscasts and I’m pretty confident this clip came from a real newscast.


11 Responses to “Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink, Say No More…”

  1. Uhh..why wouldn’t you want to bait progressives into watching her newscast? They’re the only ones watching her lead-in.

  2. Do all the news shows of MSNBC Have the lean forward ad yet or is that still just Tamron Hall’s?

  3. You’ve heard it before so I won’t say it. But someday MSNBC will come right out and say it, too.

  4. No. Witt doesn’t have one. Jansing doesn’t have one. Roberts doesn’t have one. Bashir doesn’t have one and I don’t consider Bashir’s show a news show. Wagner doesn’t have one either but her show is so new it could be argued there hasn’t been time yet.

  5. Andrea has one.

  6. She’s had two actually…

  7. Are we really trying to pretend MSBC in nearly ALL aspects these days is not the propaganda arm of the DNC? Go watch Casablanca. The only sense of journalistic integrity left is Chuck Todd (who is played by Claude Raine in the movie). Rick Scarborough tried to hop a plane out to CBS, but failed.

    You played it for my once, Spud, you can play it again.

  8. Shocked progressive pandering going on.

  9. It’s good to see Dr. Dollar’s Conspiracy Cap is still working. “It was her idea! They filmed a fake clip just so they could say something awesome about Obama! I have no evidence!”

  10. But it’s good $-baiting…

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