December 13, 2012

Does MSNBC work for the White House?

Michael Calderone, Huffington Post -   In the final week of the 2012 election, MSNBC ran no negative stories about President Barack Obama and no positive stories about Republican nominee Mitt Romney, according to a study by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

...Former President Bill Clinton remarked earlier this year that MSNBC "really has become our version of Fox," the conservative cable network owned by Rupert Murdoch and run by veteran Republican operative Roger Ailes.

... Clearly, there are differences, such as Fox News giving significant airtime to contributors like political consultant Dick Morris, who acknowledged after the election that he had tailored his analysis to cheer up Republicans, and Karl Rove, perhaps the most powerful Republican operative.

.... "If the Democratic National Committee were to own a network and produce news programming designed to promote the party, it would look exactly like what MSNBC has become," said Glenn Greenwald, who writes on civil liberties and national security for The Guardian.

In an interview, Greenwald acknowledged that Hayes and Maddow have challenged the Democratic establishment position on occasion, but said the latter seemed more willing to do so in the past as a host on Air America, the defunct liberal radio network, and early on in her MSNBC career. "She used to criticize Democrats from the left constantly," Greenwald said. "Now she does extremely rarely."

....Matt Stoller, a fellow at the progressive Roosevelt Institute who had consulted for Dylan Ratigan's former MSNBC show, similarly said that the network's evening line-up is now "just part of the Democratic Party" and serves primarily as a "partisan organizing vehicle."

If there are issues the Democratic establishment doesn't want to discuss, Stoller said, it's unlikely MSNBC's hosts will either -- from the financial system to foreign policy. "It's a pro-Wall Street, pro-war narrative," he said. "It just happens to be the blue version of it."


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