Wednesday, September 3, 2008
MSNBC "Coverage" of RNC Convention
By Gary Fouse of Fousesquak
After helping "celebrate" the DNC Convention last week, the MSNBC team of commentators covering the Republican convention reminds me more of a pack of hyenas picking apart the carcass of a zebra. This is not news coverage; this is propaganda in action.Tonight's crew of pundits was led by Keith Olbermann in New York, who, as a partisan commentator, needs no introduction. He was joined in St Paul by Chris Matthews (who melts at the sight of Barack Obama), Eugene Robinson, the Washington Post leftie, who is on Olbermann's show almost every night, Rachel Maddow of Air America, Nora O'Donnell, who has made it crystal clear that she thinks Sarah Palin's selection was a mistake, David Gregory, Andrea Mitchell, Chuck Todd, and, oh yes, Pat Buchanan, the token conservative (sometimes). With the exception of Buchanan, the slant on the reporting of this convention is pretty unanimous: The Republicans suck. McCain sucks, and Sarah Palin has a pregnant 17-year-old daughter. Some analysis!
Tonight, Chuck Todd pointed out that Palin had sold a private jet on E-bay, the implication being that this woman is out of touch with ordinary Americans, who can't afford a private jet. Just one catch: The jet belonged to the state of Alaska and was sold to cut down on state expenses.In addition, Olbermann immediately followed up on Mike Huckabee's speech by jumping on two factual errors Huckabee made dealing with American history. Good job, Keith! Matthews, for his part, struck out against those critics of the MSM coverage, pointing out that they (the media) were "doing their job" in pointing out the stories about Palin. ("We have a job to do.") Yes, Chris, it was the media's job to jump on the Daily Kos rumor about the Governor not being the real mother of the baby born in April. It was the media's job to make a big deal out of the news that her daughter was going to have a baby out of wedlock. Then Matthews informed us that Palin's speech tonight (which supposedly attacks the "boys club" in politics) was being written by some guy he described as a member of the "boys club". Chris, you are supposed to be an anchor. You could have let Robinson or Maddow mention that.
Robinson, who usually likes to write about racial victim hood issues, pointed out that the Republicans are "playing against the media". Why shouldn't they? Media bias is a fact, and it is nowhere better illustrated than at MSNBC.Most importantly, the reaction to Palin's speech:Olbermann immediately commented that it was a great speech, but as to content....then went on to quote some Lincoln-era quote-implication: Her speech was devoid of content. He later went on to bemoan the "condescension" shown to Obama, Biden and the Democrats. This from the lead anchor of the convention coverage.Matthews, the co-anchor, made a curious reference to Palin being a torpedo aimed at Barack and Michelle Obama on "cultural terms". Curious indeed, but Matthews has been making curious comments with increasing regularity lately.Eugene Robinson described it as "two speeches". He liked the personal part but dismissed the other half as "canned-written by a McCain speechwriter". Rachel Maddow described Palin's speech as "Sarcasm, mockery, insults, nasty sniping, and belittling" (toward Barack Obama). She should know.
White House press gadfly David Gregory described it a strong presentation that was well received (faint praise).Buchanan: "Sensational". That was about the only word he got out before they cut away to someone else, and Pat disappeared. Then NBC News Anchor, Brian Williams came on and read a blog entry from "anonymous" author, Joe Klein, who blistered Palin for her policies in Alaska. (Klein is the stand-up guy who wrote the book, Primary Colors, by "anonymous", denied being the author then admitted it. So much for his credibility.)So MSNBC has a two-fold mission, as they see it: First, to defend themselves against criticism being directed toward the media for being biased and trying to tear down Sarah Palin; second, to tear down Sarah Palin. None of the above is to deny news commentators the right to offer criticism of the convention, the Republicans, McCain or Palin. However, it would be nice to see some measure of balance among the commentators. In addition, how can MSNBC justify having two blatant partisans (Olbermann and Matthews) acting as anchors? Olbermann, for his part, detests Republicans, yet, here he is leading the coverage of the RNC Convention.In my own view, Palin gave a fine speech. She has poise and charisma, and the convention has received her enthusiastically-contrary to what the press would have us believe. She has a tough road ahead, and, unfortunately, the attacks on her are just starting. Just wait till Keith and his pack of hyenas get back to "Countdown."
Gary Fouse is a regular contributor to Radarsite with his popular and always incisive Fouse Report.