This is News?

Mediaite’s Noah Rothman launches a barrage at MSNBC dayside with Now with Alex Wagner as his primary target…

The success of MSNBC’s prime time programming has, however, apparently begun to alter how the cable news network approaches their dayside programs. Where the 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET block was once devoted to what the network said was straight, unbiased news programming, it is now leaning further towards left-leaning commentary and analysis. The most self-evident example of the shift to point of view programming in MSNBC’s dayside is Alex Wagner’s panel program NOW.

On October 10 alone, Wagner opened her program with a monologue admonishing Mitt Romney for his flip flopping on abortion rights issues (although, as I noted in this post, she had to selectively edit a 2007 presidential debate featuring Romney in order to make that point). Her panel of four guests has recently become bereft of conservatives. Yesterday featured Georgetown University Professor Michael Eric Dyson, MSNBC host and editor Steve Kornacki, The Grio editor Joy-Ann Reid and New York Times Magazine editor Hugo Lindgren. All the while, featuring chyrons like “Bird Brained” when discussing Mitt Romney’s promise to end federal subsidization of PBS programming or “Mitt-Go-Round” when describing Romney’s evolution on abortion. While Wagner’s panel is rarely bereft of Republican guests, they are almost always outnumbered.

While NOW may be even more partisan and ideological than it has been previously, Rothman’s post seems a wee bit out of place to me. The idea that MSNBC has dropped news and moved to POV analysis is not a recent development. Back in April I wrote about how this has been an ongoing change at the network since 2011. Rothman is correct that opinion creep is now infesting dayside but that’s not news. Using Now to argue that point is, on its face, a rather silly thing to do. Now has never been a news program. From its very inception Now has always been POV analysis. The same thing goes for The Cycle.

Let us be clear about this. MSNBC is not a news network anymore. It is a politics and POV analysis channel that covers a few meager news stories for a few minutes during a given hour…longer if there’s a big news cycle going on. Rarely does the network deviate from this format and even when it does it doesn’t for very long. This causes some major stories to go under reported…collateral damage as a result of the politics/POV analysis dominated format. Rothman is correct in noting the sheer number of dayside hosts that now do POV or POV analysis and gets extra credit from me for noting which talents have not yet succumbed to this practice despite the fact that they themselves aren’t really covering all big news stories anymore but a small subset of the news in a few soundbites and b-roll.

But, as I said earlier, this is old news. It’s the permanent paradigm. It’s not changing. So you can either keep railing on about it, shouting at higher and higher volumes as if that had any chance of making a difference. Or you can move on and, if you still tune in to cable news for news as I do, you look elsewhere to be informed.


31 Responses to “This is News?”

  1. I saw this when Mediaite first tweeted it today. I like Noah, but finding the topic now, and using NOW as the example, is tantamount to reporting the news in a time warp.

  2. I like Noah too (though he does wear his ideology on his arms sometimes when he types) but this didn’t really advance the story any.

  3. ^ “(though he does wear his ideology on his arms sometimes when he types)”

    As do many other writers at Mediaite

  4. Tommy can you hear me?

  5. The great thing about Tommy is that you can tell from the hysterical headline who wrote it.

  6. Unfortunately you can also do that with greater frequency for Noah…

  7. ^ Yep. When Mediaite tweets the link without the author’s name in the title, the title itself tells you who wrote it. Which isn’t a big deal, ’cause I’m not under any impression that Tommy or Noah are pretending neutrality.

  8. Tommy grabs onto every stupid, inconsequential story about Romney and plays it as though it means something. Airplane windows, anyone? The Stench? This article was dopey, but I don’t see Rothman latching onto every dumbass story that my side comes up with, and that’s a helluva lot more than can be said of Christopher.

  9. I’m not saying that Rothman is objective, per se, just that he doesn’t fall so much for the groupthink that affects many of us. Christopher is like Maddow, Schultz, Limbaugh and Hannity in that if a story scratches their itch, they run with it. The one thing about Christopher is that he’ll occasionally correct himself, perhaps out of personal honesty or the fact that he has coworkers who’ll smack him over the head with it. When you have your own show, you tend to lose those checks and balances. Plus, your words aren’t written down for future reference.

  10. Both Rothman and especially Christopher seem to be more interested in promoting a political view than they are in writing about media coverage. It’s “Mediaite” and not “Politicaite.”

    Sure, they’re often writing about media coverage of politics but the political angle should be ancillary to the media one. Otherwise, it’s just another couple of ideological bloggers promoting their blinkered agendas.

    There’s a million of them on the internet. Good media analysis is harder to find.

    The idea behind Mediaite is pretty good; but they don’t have the writers who can carry it through. Although I guess straightforward media analysis wouldn’t draw much.

    Spud would be a great addition, I think.

  11. I actually prefer the ideological posts over the rest, which are verbatim recitations of some segment they saw. “This is what people said on Hannity, with no comment” is pretty dull.

  12. Maybe he was just doing an anniversery story of MSNBC dayside being liberal propaganda masquerading as news.

  13. Like hot sauce, a little ideology in the analysis is good; too much makes it unpalatable.

    Media analysis first and then the politics. Otherwise, like I said, it’s just a liberal or conservative blogger. Gazillions of them.

  14. firstpoppa Says:

    As one of MSNBC’s own once said “We have a vested interest in the success of this administration.”

  15. lonestar77 Says:

    There’s no comparing Noah and Tommy. Noah is an adult. Tommy is a daily kos diarist. He goes beyond absurdity into pure hate. he’s mike Malloy.

  16. Noah can go off the deep end on occasion and has done so with greater frequency lately. He’s starting to lead with his chin like Tommy does.

  17. Until he tweets his own heart attack, Noah has some catching up to do to my buddy, Tommy.

  18. When I start reading a story and it calls an entity “they”… I figure the writer doesn’t know basic grammer and I then figure they probably don’t know what they are talking about. (MSNBC’s and IT not a THEY).

  19. ‘an’, Grammar Cop.

  20. Get back to me when Rothman refers to O’Biden as “The Death Ticket”. Til then, chow.

  21. lonestar77 Says:

    These are the last three headlines of Tommy’ stories:

    “Gunshot Shattering Window At Obama Campaign Office Part Of Troubling Pattern”
    “The Death Ticket: Mitt Romney’s Emergency Room Lie Outed By The Mitt Romney Campaign”
    “Republican ‘Some Girls Rape Easy’ Lawmaker Offends Paul ‘Forcible Rape’ Ryan…Spokesman Says”

    The guy is beyond nuts. I would bet my house that he has been diagnosed with some serious psychological issues. He’s the definition of a loon.

    Noah is a conservative. That’s all. He’s not overcome with hate the way Tommy is. He’s rational. To compare the two is absurd and idiotic.

  22. And here’s your “troubling pattern”.
    ’08 Obama staffer arrested for attack on Obama headquarters in Denver. Dems had blamed GOP “hate”. Oops.

  23. Spud would be a great addition, I think.

    It has been discussed. More than once. But it would have to work for both of us. And I can’t figure out a way to make it work for both of us. I can make it work for them and I can make it work for me. But not both of us.

    Plus the way the site has pivoted away hard since Krak left from media coverage into the realm of political discussion and clip regurgitation gives me great pause. I have little interest in that. I write about what interests me. More importantly, it shows when I write about stuff I don’t give a fudge about. That would be bad for them because I just can’t fake it.

  24. It’s more interesting here.

  25. lonestar77 Says:

    Here’s the latest from Christopher:

    Mark Sanford is a racist, now. I can’t believe Mediaite puts up with his crap. He’s certifiably insane and dishonest.

  26. TC didn’t accuse Sanford of racism. He accused him of using a racially insensitive term, which he certainly did. Anyone from South Carolina who doesn’t recognize the term “spearchucker” is either lying, or really stupid. In this case, Mark Sanford probably is that stupid; Shannon Bream is a lousy journalist; and FNC hires a lot of stupid people.

  27. lonestar77 Says:

    Most people don’t associate throwing spears in a debate with whatever racial code words you people are dreaming up. It takes a special kind of mind and a special kind of ability to look at all groups of people based on stereotypes to come up with this stuff. I guarantee if you picked 100 people at random and had them watch the clip, only 2 or 3 of them would prove to have the superpowers of you, Joe, & Tommy Christopher.

    People like Tommy are fascists. They want to silence all dissent. This is their way of doing it. Just baselessly accuse everyone of being a racist.

  28. lonestar77 Says:

    Axelrod said to expect a more “aggressive” Obama in the next debate. Michael Dyson and the other wingnut baiters at NBC keep telling me that Obama is scared of being portrayed as an “angry black man”. “Aggressive” makes me think of “angry”. Ergo, David Axelrod is a racist! Fun game you people play.

  29. If only 2 or 3 out of a hundred recognize the term, you’ve picked 97 or 98 insensitive a$$holes.

  30. Joe spends a lot of time watching people he says are stupid, so there is genius at work. I personally thing MSNBC has too many vulgar, nasty jerks on their payroll and so no longer watch them.

  31. Joe is out resident expert on South Carolina? Having spent many weeks there I can testify their 98% would throw his Californiating a$$ in the barbecue pit.

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