MSNBC is a joke

chucktoddIt doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that MSNBC is a joke, but they’re not a joke because of their liberal bias. I like their liberal bias, and it is because I’m a liberal I’m a critical thinker. All that I ask is to have the facts presented to me so I can inform my own opinion.

MSNBC doesn’t do that. They solely rely on contributor content. They present a story that they pluck from the headline of a newspaper and they have contributors opine on that story. These contributors work for major beltway newspapers, mostly from the Washington Post. In and of itself, that is not so bad. However, these people are already gainfully employed. And in a Country that has an unemployment rate of 7.6% it is highly reasonable to concur that some of those unemployed are investigative reporters and journalists. Wouldn’t it be nice to have them contribute? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a cable news network have their bullpen of journalists and reporters scouring the Country to dig in to the news stories? Wouldn’t it be nice to find out the real reason why the politicians vote the way they do? These are all the things that I demand from the media. MSNBC doesn’t want to do this because they are lazy. They heavily rely on a point/counterpoint style of programming in which most of these point/counterpoint are argued by inside the beltway spin masters. It’s the same strategy that FOX and CNN deploy, but those networks are different. Fox doesn’t piss off their viewers. I would surmise that Fox feeds their viewers. I would like to get fed.

As with any cable news outlet, sometimes breaking news overtakes the normal programming. Executive Producers, Producers, interns and the main anchor work really hard to put on a program that the viewers want to see. Sometimes an entire day, or an entire week of programming gets scrapped for a major explosion, a hurricane, a tornado, a terrorist attack, a celebrity death, or even some boy flying around in a helium filled balloon. This shouldn’t have to be the case, but they have to cover it for ratings. And it is how they cover these events that makes this network a joke.

For the past four weeks, all the major cable networks have been covering the George Zimmerman trial in Sanford, Fl. For the past four weeks, the major networks have been devoting some time on the news covering this case. Like it or not, this is news. But it doesn’t seem to be the news for most of the MSNBC commentators. This case would never have received the attention it did if it wasn’t for the actions of Al Sharpton, Lawrence O’Donnell and the hard work of Trayvon Martin’s family. However, what I can see from the on-air “talent” over at MSNBC is their frustration of having to cover the case. It’s hard not to see Chuck Todd’s disdain for having to cover this as a non-news story. Andrea Mitchell looks like she doesn’t even want to sit behind the anchor chair when it’s her time to be on. Alex Wagner sees this as a nuisance, because it interferes with her pretty face time and time to show off her flirting with guests. In fact, she was so pissed Joy Reid had to fill in for her for the first two weeks of the trial. Joy Reid also had to fill in four hours later, because he decided to take a “vacation” as well. One of the networks most popular host, Chris Matthew’s, has decided to not cover the case by going on “vacation” having to rely on his substitute host Michael Smerconish. Chris Hayes, one of the networks newest “rising star” devotes a few minutes at the end of his broadcast, but one can tell that he’s annoyed with having to do it. The networks biggest “star”, Rachel Maddow, has decided not to cover it at all. She’s decided to wage a personal attack at the Governor of Virginia, and she’s the only one in the media focusing on it. The only two that have devoted most, if not all, of their primetime on this trial are Al Sharpton and Lawrence O’Donnell. So, why do I find myself angry at MSNBC? Setting aside the fact that I’m still pissed off about the firing of David Shuster and Contessa Brewer, it is this…

You can’t go around, for the past three years, calling the Tea Party racists. You can’t go around speculating that all republicans are racists. You can’t go around saying that the new voter ID laws, springing up around the nation, are racist, and you definitely can’t go around saying that the politicians who don’t support immigration reform are racist without facing the fact that the Zimmerman case is all about race. The deference displayed by these anchors rolling their eyes and dragging their feet for having to be forced to cover this story says more about the person than anything.

At some point in time, we have all been forced to do something we didn’t like. In this economy, millions of Americans have had to take a job that pays considerably less than their previous job, but it’s how they perform in their job that sets them apart from others. Minor setbacks will only be minor if people rise to the level they want to be. It makes no sense to me that someone who craves attention so much, someone who begs for their own one hour cable news show can be so pissed off for covering a trial that millions of viewers are watching every day on HLN.

You wanna know what pisses me off? Sending reporters to Boston to broadcast from a street corner while you have on “experts” speculating from their living room via Skype. You wanna know what really pisses me off? Sending a reporter to South Africa to stand outside a hospital for four weeks to say that former President Mandela is still in critical condition. You wanna know what really, really pisses me off? Sending a reporter to Sanford, FL to hang out in the parking lot of the court house just to view a live feed of the proceedings.

You know, all this time I thought that CNN was a joke but at least they care enough to broaden out the story to bring out all the sides, to draw in more viewers and to get the big interviews from the people directly involved in this trial. During the Boston bombing, CNN was the network to get an exclusive interview with the SWAT members of the Boston police. Also, during the Boston bombing they went into the hospitals to interview victims. John King did screw up by throwing out false information, though. In that action, however, it garnished the attention of Jon Stewart and viewers started to tune in to CNN. MSNBC used to be in second place at the time. MSNBC is no longer in second place. In fact, they are in fourth place. Their ratings have suffered so bad that HLN is above them.

…I guess that’s what happens when you fire or replace big name talent for the person that looks like the paper boy who heavily relies on the person in the parking lot to report on the big cases.