Opinion No, MSNBC is not the Fox News of the left

cigaretteman

HR King
May 29, 2001
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A primer on America’s screwy mediascape unfolded on the Oct. 11 edition of Sean Hannity’s Fox News program. In his coverage of the Senate race in Pennsylvania between Republican Mehmet Oz and Democrat John Fetterman, Hannity highlighted some comments by reporter Dasha Burns on MSNBC regarding her interview with Fetterman, the 53-year-old Pennsylvania lieutenant governor.


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“Just in some of the small talk prior to the interview before the closed captioning was up and running, it did seem that he had a hard time understanding our conversations,” said Burns, an NBC News correspondent. The candidate suffered a stroke in May and has auditory processing difficulties; he uses closed-captioning technology in interviews.
After playing those comments for his viewers, Hannity dropped in a disclosure: “Now, by the way, that was on MS ‘DNC’ and see, they’re even raising concerns.” Boldface added to highlight a critical word in the Hannity canon. “Even,” in this context, is the host’s way of claiming that MSNBC remains an appendage of liberal media but it had to yield to reality in this instance.






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The real reality is a bit different: While Fox News remains a talking-point-promotion outlet for Republican candidates, its liberal counterpart on the cable box does something vastly different for Democratic candidates. It covers them, that is. That’s an enduring lesson from the Burns drama.

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Hannity doesn’t have a lot of new moves. He has been with Fox News since 1996, the network’s founding year. He makes few waves because his attacks and rhetoric are so predictable. Like Trump, he uses repetition as a weapon, clearly figuring that with enough iterations, his audience will buy in.
The Oz-Fetterman campaign is a decent example. Night after night, Hannity voices the same critiques of Fetterman and seizes on all available news morsels favorable to the Oz campaign. Over five programs toward the end of the midterm campaign, for instance, Hannity called on Fetterman to “drop out of the race for his own well-being” (Oct. 26); said he was “not fit to serve” (Oct. 27); ripped him as a “trust fund brat in a hoodie” (Oct. 28); ripped him as a “trust fund brat” (Oct. 31); ripped him as a “socialist trust-fund brat who never worked a day in his life in a hoodie” (Nov. 1).







Many critics over the years have posited that MSNBC is the lefty mirror image of Fox News. If so, it needs to pick up its game in the propaganda department. There’s no question that it can be more hospitable to Fetterman and his Democratic peers than Fox News and some other outlets. Following Fetterman’s debate troubles, for example, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell compared him to Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. And Rebecca Traister, who wrote a Fetterman profile for New York magazine, provided a sanguine viewpoint on the candidate’s debate performance. “I think it’s tough to say whether or not it will wind up being an asset with voters,” said Traister in a discussion with MSNBC’s Alex Wagner shortly after the debate. “But it was certainly an example of such remarkable transparency.”
Yet MSNBC has no analogue to Hannity, a guy with the message discipline of a coxswain. Nor does it relish forking over its airwaves to promotional interviews with like-minded candidates. According to Media Matters for America, Fox News hosted Republican candidates in eight top Senate races “more than twice as frequently as MSNBC and CNN hosted their Democratic opponents — combined.”
The comparison, however, goes far deeper than MSNBC. Mainstream outlets writ large simply don’t do for Democrats what Fox News does for Republicans, an argument recently advanced by Media Matters senior fellow Matthew Gertz.


 
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cigaretteman

HR King
May 29, 2001
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The Dasha Burns episode speaks to this asymmetry. She scored the first in-person, sit-down interview with Fetterman since his stroke. At his home in Braddock, Pa., the NBC News correspondent pressed Fetterman on crime and abortion, though she started out with more than 15 questions about the candidate’s health, including several about his failure to release his medical records. Fetterman answered that he had been plenty transparent.
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Clocking in at more than 32 minutes, Burns’s interview was adversarial bordering on brutal, such as when she circled back to the health-transparency issue more than 20 minutes into the session. Fetterman stuck to his talking point. (Burns’s interview with Oz was shorter and less tense.)
In her on-air chitchat with MSNBC anchor Katy Tur, Burns observed that Fetterman was having difficulty keeping up with small talk outside the interview. That comment — and the interview itself, which showed Fetterman using captioning technology — touched off a round of criticism that circulated on social media and beyond. Journalists took part in the backlash. Kara Swisher, who had previously interviewed Fetterman for her podcast, tweeted that the assessment was “nonsense” and snarked, “Maybe this reporter is just bad at small talk.” “The View” took a swipe or two at Burns and a New York Times op-ed criticized her for suggesting that “certain kinds of accommodation are illegitimate.”



Disability advocates expressed concern that the interview belabored the “live transcription he required during the sit-down due to his auditory processing issues,” noted BuzzFeed. For the Fetterman campaign, however, the goal of inviting the NBC News crew into the candidate’s home was “a look behind the curtain of how John … does his job while also using captions,” said a campaign source.
The communication problems flagged by Burns resurfaced two weeks later, when Fetterman faced off against Oz on the debate stage and had difficulties completing sentences under the pressure of a live polemical showdown. Some observers called upon Burns’s critics to apologize to her.
According to an informed source, Burns has received some apologies, as well as private support from journalists. Good.

Now for the hypocrisy. On the day after the debate, Fox News host Tucker Carlson found a conspiracy in Fetterman’s rocky performance. “It’s the media who cover John Fetterman who should be the most ashamed. They’ve known the truth for months,” said Carlson on his Oct. 26 show. “With only one exception — that would be NBC reporter Dasha Burns — the media lied to voters about it.”


Steady viewers of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” might have grounds to object here: On any given night, the host blasts NBC News/MSNBC as an extension of the Democratic Party. On Friday night, after the network retracted a story about the attack on Paul Pelosi, Carlson said, “NBC News has no reporting standards.” Yet, Carlson wants to be able to cite the network’s stories when they cast Democrats in a bad light. Folks in rarefied media circles refer to this as Fox News Mainstream Media Citation Hypocrisy Syndrome. (Carlson’s claim that the rest of the media “lied” ignores the fact that Burns was the first to have an in-person sit-down interview with Fetterman after his stroke.)
A Fox News spokeswoman issued this statement regarding the broader critique of the network: “FOX News Channel’s coverage of one of the most newsworthy midterm elections in recent history has the highest viewership among all political persuasions, most notably democrats and independents.”

To sum up: An NBC News correspondent reports a damaging, journalistic observation about a Democratic candidate. Folks who favor that candidate blast the correspondent for various alleged offenses, perhaps wishing she worked for a Fox News of the left. Fox News promotes the correspondent’s observation, even though its top anchors had previously sworn that her network isn’t to be trusted. Then both the correspondent and Fox News return to their previously scheduled work — reporting and propagandizing, respectively.
That’s American media.
 
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Rudolph

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Oct 18, 2001
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I cannot stand any of it, msnbc, Fox, cnn. But let’s be real, the depiction in OP’s article is pretty fair.

Part of the psychology of “excusing” Fox News’ being so hard right is to accuse anyone and everyone else as being their equal opposite.

And it’s just not the case. And, unless you can debunk the content of that article supporting its thesis, maybe time to consider your perspective may be off.
 

FAUlty Gator

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Oct 27, 2017
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This might be your most ignorant post ever. LOTS of ACTUAL Republicans on MSNBC every day. Now do vice versa and Fox "News". You got duped by right wing propaganda too.
I thought All Republicans are pro-Trump. How many pro-Trumpers are on there every day? Bit of a conundrum there, eh?
 
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FAUlty Gator

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LOL...this is a bunch of BS. My God you're something. Nice fake production.
Her show is called "Destination White House". In the 20 hours of her show I've watched over the last two years, she has spent exactly ZERO Minutes talking about the White House or president. 99% of the time has been spent on 1/6 or some random Republican stooge in Arizona or North Dakota. Should be called "Anywhere but the White House".
 

binsfeldcyhawk2

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I cannot stand any of it, msnbc, Fox, cnn. But let’s be real, the depiction in OP’s article is pretty fair.

Part of the psychology of “excusing” Fox News’ being so hard right is to accuse anyone and everyone else as being their equal opposite.

And it’s just not the case. And, unless you can debunk the content of that article supporting its thesis, maybe time to consider your perspective may be off.
MSNBC is their equal....depends on your perspective.
 
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seminole97

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Jun 14, 2005
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LOL...this is a bunch of BS. My God you're something. Nice fake production.
Yes, she spouts and doesn’t correct a lot of BS.

MSNBC does this deliberately because they recognize there is an audience that craves it.


MSNBC Does Not Merely Permit Fabrications Against Democratic Party Critics. It Encourages and Rewards Them.

The network routinely allows outright lies to stand if aimed at critics of Democrats, especially fabricated allegations of being Kremlin agents. The latest is Malcolm Nance.


DURING THE 2016 primary and general election campaigns, various MSNBC hosts were openly campaigning for Hillary Clinton. One of the network’s programs featured Malcolm Nance, whose background is quite sketchy but is presented by the cable network (and now by NBC News) as an “intelligence expert” and former intelligence officer for the U.S. Navy.

On August 20, 2016, weekend host Joy Reid asked Nance about the supposed “affinity” for Russia harbored by Jill Stein supporters. In response, Nance told MSNBC viewers: “Jill Stein has a show on Russia Today.” You can still watch the video of this claim here on MSNBC’s own website or see it here:



Whatever your views might be about Stein and her third-party candidacy, there is no disputing the fact that Nance’s statement was a falsehood, a fabrication, a lie. Stein did not have a show on RT, nor did she ever host a show on RT. What Nance said was made up out of whole cloth — fabricated — in order to encourage MSNBC viewers to believe that Stein, one of the candidates running against Clinton, was a paid agent of the Kremlin and employee of RT.
Reid allowed Nance’s lie to stand. Perhaps she did not realize at the time that it was a lie. But subsequently, a campaign was launched to urge MSNBC to correct the lie it broadcast, based on the assumption that MSNBC — which is part of NBC News — was a normal news outlet that functions in accordance with basic journalistic principles and would, of course, correct a false statement once that was brought to its attention.
The media watchdog group FAIR repeatedly documented the lie told by Nance and urged MSNBC to issue a correction. The Intercept wrote about this falsehood on several occasions and also noted that MSNBC was refusing to issue a correction of what everyone knows is a false — but an obviously quite significant — claim. Multiple tweets were directed at NBC News, MSNBC, Nance, and Reid asking them to correct the fabrication to their viewers:


To date neither NBC News nor MSNBC, nor a single journalist who works for either one of those media outlets has corrected this significant falsehood, despite obviously knowing that it was broadcast to their viewers. In other words, NBC News and MSNBC know that they told viewers something that was materially false, and yet refuse to correct it. Please, defenders of this network: Tell me what that says about its integrity, about its real function, about whether it is a real news outlet.

Worse, not only was Nance never sanctioned in any way for the lie he told, but he was rewarded: He has since gone from “MSNBC contributor” to “MSNBC intelligence analyst,” and is far more pervasive on the network, and its hosts have spent the month aggressively promoting his new book on how Vladimir Putin is destroying U.S. democracy.

On MSNBC, lies are not corrected; they are rewarded, provided the lies are designed to smear the reputations of Democratic Party critics. Is this not definitive and conclusive proof of that: that this is not a news outlet but a political arm of the Democratic Party? What else could possibly explain, let alone justify, behavior like this? I’m asking that earnestly
.
 

Rudolph

HR Legend
Oct 18, 2001
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Yet MSNBC has no analogue to Hannity, a guy with the message discipline of a coxswain.

LOL

Not analogous, no matter how much you want it to be. Maddow has written books about Russia. It’s a specific interest of hers, journalistically. And her books are solid. Drift is one most of us could agree on, from a thesis standpoint.

She’s not doing what Hannity or Tucker does.
 

seminole97

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Jun 14, 2005
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Not analogous, no matter how much you want it to be. Maddow has written books about Russia. It’s a specific interest of hers, journalistically. And her books are solid. Drift is one most of us could agree on, from a thesis standpoint.

She’s not doing what Hannity or Tucker does.
When does she go ‘off message’ in your view?
 

seminole97

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A Newsmaxx link, to boot.
What does google put for the top video link when you type in Maddow saying Russia?

More to the point, what do you think about MSNBC’s refusal to acknowledge and correct the smear aimed at Jill Stein?

Is that something an actual news organization does, or a propaganda arm?
 

Colonoscopy

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I haven't watched for a few years now, but no, it wasn't the equivalent to the insanity that Fox news had behind the likes of Tucker of Hannity.

However, unfortunately the programming structure and aim of the business borrowed quite a bit from Fox, who pioneered this 24/7 bitch fest targeting partisan opposition. It's part of a poor information diet -- I don't think any of these networks should exist as they do. Or if they do, they're a "treat" to be enjoyed rarely.

Better quality trash is the answer, I guess? In general we're going the wrong direction no stuff like this, left or right. The right has quite a head start, though.

One of the things you'll still get more often MSNBC is actual reputable intellectuals. Barton Gellman, I saw mentioned, was just on one their programs. That's the guy with the brilliant piece on the Atlantic that totally predicted the attempted steal of the 2020 election.

You don't get as much of that on Fox. There's plenty of intellectual rot on the right currently and that's reflected in their media pretty well.

I will say, though, that it's easier for MSNBC to serve up sensibility than it is Fox from the simple perspective of content available to work with -- MAGA is nuts, you don't have to spin that too hard.
 

Tom Paris

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Sorry...I know you treat MSNBC as gospel.
It's like you purposely don't pay attention to what people say. Whatever fits your safe little narrative. The people I listen to on there are the lifetime Republicans. Having said that, AGAIN, feel free to fact check Maddow compared to Laura. Or Hannity. Or Tucker. Or Waters. Both sides!!!
 
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seminole97

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It's like you purposely don't pay attention to what people say. Whatever fits your safe little narrative. The people I listen to on there are the lifetime Republicans. Having said that, AGAIN, feel free to fact check Maddow compared to Laura. Or Hannity. Or Tucker. Or Waters. Both sides!!!
What are your thoughts on the lie MSNBC spread about Jill Stein?

Is that what a news organization does? Refuse to retract a demonstrable lie?

Or is that what a propaganda organization does, rewarding the liar and refusing to correct the ‘error’?
 

Rudolph

HR Legend
Oct 18, 2001
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What does google put for the top video link when you type in Maddow saying Russia?

More to the point, what do you think about MSNBC’s refusal to acknowledge and correct the smear aimed at Jill Stein?

Is that something an actual news organization does, or a propaganda arm?
It gives you some algorithmic bullshit and you click on the bullshit, clearly. Congrats, someone put together an affirmation-enhancing edit. Yippfućkingeee!!
 

seminole97

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Jun 14, 2005
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It gives you some algorithmic bullshit and you click on the bullshit, clearly. Congrats, someone put together an affirmation-enhancing edit. Yippfućkingeee!!
We agree MSNBC pumps out bullshit for clicks, but I’m asking about a clear lie propagated by that network and brought to their attention.

They refused to retract a lie.
They gave the liar a promotion.

Is that something a propaganda arm does, or a news organization?
 

binsfeldcyhawk2

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Yet another emotion-based, defensive reaction from someone who has the capacity to be better.

Come on, Bin. Your family and friends and peers will still like and love you.
I watch a lot of MSNBC. Morning Joe is a staple. Biased as F but pretty good when they’re not talking politics

Watch Katy Tur’s show when I get the chance cuz she’s hot as F




00-promo-image-katy-tur.jpg
 

McLovin32

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Feb 1, 2008
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Technically most of Fox News isn't actually news. It's solely for entertainment purposes. At least that's what whats his faces lawyers said to keep him from getting sued.
 

seminole97

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Technically most of Fox News isn't actually news. It's solely for entertainment purposes. At least that's what whats his faces lawyers said to keep him from getting sued.

In concluding that Maddow's statement would be understood even by her own viewers as non-factual, the judge emphasized that what Maddow does in general is not present news but rather hyperbole and exploitation of actual news to serve her liberal activism:

On one hand, a viewer who watches news channels tunes in for facts and the goings-on of the world. MSNBC indeed produces news, but this point must be juxtaposed with the fact that Maddow made the allegedly defamatory statement on her own talk show news segment where she is invited and encouraged to share her opinions with her viewers. Maddow does not keep her political views a secret, and therefore, audiences could expect her to use subjective language that comports with her political opinions.
Thus, Maddow’s show is different than a typical news segment where anchors inform viewers about the daily news. The point of Maddow’s show is for her to provide the news but also to offer her opinions as to that news. Therefore, the Court finds that the medium of the alleged defamatory statement makes it more likely that a reasonable viewer would not conclude that the contested statement implies an assertion of objective fact.