Wednesday, July 05, 2017

TV: MSNBC, the sewer as soap opera

"I'm not your friend."

It's a brutal moment in GYPSY, NETFLIX's new series starring Naomi Watts.  A patient (Brenda Vaccaro) tells Dr. Jean Holloway (Naomi) that she's her friend and is corrected with, "I'm not your friend."

It's a cold hard reality.

Here's another one: The press is not your friend.

Too many idiots make the mistake of assuming otherwise.

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Journalism is a profession.

And not only do they have to please bosses, they have to please consumers.

Smart people grasp that.

Carly Simon, for example, can talk with great authority about how the press loves you until they're out to get you and then can fall in love with you all over again once they've torn you apart.

Joni Mitchell, to cite another, can explain how it's a four year office.

Oh the power and the glory
Just when you're getting a taste for worship
They start bringing out the hammers
And the boards
And the nails

The entertainment industry has long attempted to glamorize the seedy profession with numerous pieces of bad drama -- often starring bottle blond Robert Redford.

Reality, when told, usually came from real artists like Ben Hecht who knew the tawdry profession having started in journalism.

It was a tawdry profession and it remains one.

No where is that more clear than on MSNBC.

If TV has a sewer, it's MSNBC.

The faces may change -- may -- but the garbage remains.

The loons preaching Russia hacked the election on MSNBC today are predated by the crazy of Gennifer Flowers and Chris Matthews dishing about the death squads working for Bill Clinton.

Rachel Maddows never-ending monologues aren't all that different from Don Imus' earlier MSNBC rants.

Last week, MORNING JOE was a news topic.

The MSNBC program wasn't in the news for anything resembling journalism -- MSNBC is about talk shows, not reporting -- just for a spat between US President Donald Trump and the whorish hosts Joe Scarorough and Mika Brzezinski -- two sluts who broke their vows and left their spouses for one another when living on the down low became too much.

Some might point out that Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton created a scandal for similar behavior in the 60s but the lack of scandal over Joe and Mika just telegraphs the reality of how little anyone expects from talking bobble heads these days.

That's good.

The shattering of illusions is good.

And Donald Trump's Tweets?

They're great all on their own.

They're a running commentary that will provide insight in the near future when historians tie them -- time wise -- to policy decisions.

It might be personally smart for Donald to stop Tweeting but it's historically important that he continues.

What did he Tweet last week?

Emily Jane Fox insisted it was "horrific" but, of course, she no longer works for CNN or writes about the economy.

No, now she runs with a rabid -- albeit non-prolific -- pack at Graydon Carter's VANITY FAIR.

Graydon used to be infamous for having the second worst media hairdo (David Brock possesses the ultimate hair don't).

Then he went after Gwyneth Paltrow.

Went after, yes.

We've read his nonsense -- and are shocked by how much sexism worked its way into that piece including referring to Gwyneth's reasonable response as "a hissy fit."

He allowed rumors of a 'takedown' piece on Gwyneth to circulate (and it was more than rumors as anyone present at the original story conference could tell you).

Gwyneth responding by asking those she knew not to speak to the publication was not "a hissy fit."

It's standard procedure when you know someone's out to get you.

Back in 1954, Joan Crawford didn't see it coming when Roby Heard was putting together his hatchet piece ("Joan Crawford: Queen or Tyrant? The Star Thrives on Feuds") and was completely caught off guard.

Since then, people have learned.

And, let's be honest, Gwyneth's actions were why the piece was killed.

Graydon felt serious push back.

And quickly learned he can't bite the hand he'd like to party with.

So he backed down.

And that's what he's known for now.

Emily Jane has finally found her true home -- where one can waste oodles of space venting over non-issues.

Trump has Tweeted that he'd bumped into Mika a few months back "bleeding badly from a face lift."

This was "horrific."

To idiots, it was horrific.

Mika wanted the world to know that (a) she wasn't bleeding and (b) it was to deal with her turkey neck.

No shame in her game that she'd sought plastic surgery.

Interestingly, none of the coverage noted any of Mika's recent comments -- including that Mika had implied on air that Donald was gay and that Joe had cut her off and moved the show to commercial.

Now, sure, that flies on the waste bin that is MSNBC.

But Mika trying to portray Donald Trump as a closet case?

In what world is that journalism?

Maybe in the same world where she can declare the Donald Trump's presidency failed -- declare that on air -- before he's even six months into his first term.

Is no one bothered by this commentary she provides?

And is no one bothered by the reality that once a cheater always a cheater?


Mika and Joe left their spouses for each other.

The pattern indicates that, at some point, they're likely to cheat again.

What happens to Mika then?

The show, after all, is called MORNING JOE, not MORNING MIKA.

And not only is Joe more popular with viewers, he's also more popular with the suits.

One of the reasons Mika had her cosmetic surgery was because the 50-year-old has been getting notes on how she looks "tired" on camera and she's been rejecting a regular woman joining the gang because she knows -- from suggestions made to her already -- that such a woman would be significantly younger than Mika.

All of these are media issues.

But they all got ignored by rally-round-Mika pieces because that's what the rabid pack does -- circles to protect itself.

Years ago, Barbara Walters own role in Iran Contra was briefly exposed.

Her passing on information of weapons sales in two different documents (passing on to then-President Ronald Reagan) could have ended her career (it was a clear violation of ABC's news policies).

She should have been held accountable but journalism's not about accountability.

It's about pack mentality.

They attack everyone else but they circle the wagons for one of their own.

Which is why the larger story of Mika isn't covered.

It's why people aren't asking about Mika telling IN STYLE magazine that Donald Trump's wife really wants to leave him.

The First Lady has rejected this charge.

We have no reason not to believe her.

But even if she were planning to leave her husband, what business would it be of Mika's?

What is it about this  sewer rat that makes her think she can say Donald's a closeted gay man and say that his wife is planning to divorce him and all this other s**t that doesn't hold up?

Mika is the sewer.

Donald is a celebrity.

He understands that the media is not your friend.

It's a concept foreign to many.

Did the media, in the recent presidential campaign coverage, press the candidates to address poverty?

Did they demand answers for how to end wars?


And no.

They don't care.

They're not part of the people.

Part of the reason Seymour Hersh is a legend is because he is something so rare: a reporter trying to tell the truth.

They don't get rewarded, people like Sy Hersh.

They struggle to get their stories out.

It's not a US outlet that's published Hersh's latest investigation.

Despite these and so many more realities, last week the criticism was of Donald Trump.

There was no attempt at self-reflection, there was no self-critique.

That alone said a great deal about the media.

It also made clear that in the sewer of what passes for journalism, Mika is the overflowing toilet.

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