Sunday, July 07, 2013

TV: MSNBC Exposed

The runner up is not  a role most desire.  By the same token, there's no real choice between the gold or the silver, Miss America or first runner up, lead or understudy, first string or bench warmer.  In other words, no news network wants to be MSNBC.


It's been that way for years but has only become more so in the last months when reality has transformed the elephant in the room to the truth that cannot be avoided: As much as no one wants to be MSNBC, no one wants to watch it.

Even Huffington Post's Katherine Fung and Jack Mirkinson couldn't put a positive spin on MSNBC's third place spot in the ratings behind a resurgent CNN and the long popular Fox News.  Joe Flint (Los Angeles Times) tried so hard Tuesday to spin, "It was a particularly tough quarter for Rachel Maddow. Her show's average audience of 774,000 was the smallest since its debut in September 2008. A large part of the problem is All In with Chris Hayes, which airs before Maddow's show and has yet to click with viewers."  A large part of the problem for an established, four-year-old show's ratings dive is its new lead in? 

In what world?

TV ratings drop significantly if a network moves a show to different time periods.  TV ratings drop significantly if a new powerhouse show debuts opposite it.  But when an established TV show in the same slot loses ratings and you're reduced to whining about the lead in, you're really not dealing with reality, are you?

Reality is that when your nearly five-year-old show experiences its lowest ratings since its premiere, that has nothing to do with a lead in, it does signal that your show may be too long in the tooth and not aging well.

Reality hasn't been kind to the talk show network passing itself off as a news one.  MSNBC exists to be the official fan club of the White House.   It looks as ridiculous in that role as Fox News did when Bully Boy Bush occupied the White House.

Actually, it looks even worse than Fox News.

Fox News is right wing.  That means many things.  MSNBC is left wing which is supposed to mean even more.

For example, you're supposed to be helping the youth of America, not misusing them for free labor.  But free labor is what MSNBC stands accused of in a new lawsuit from former intern Jesse Moore who was used to book guests -- that's a paid staff position at MSNBC.  It's not an intern position.  This case should be very interesting.

Being left wing?  It's supposed to mean a commitment to the environment and an opposition to global warming.

"Who the f**k does that high-yellow think she is, Christine Baranski?"

That's what an African-American film actress asked us about bi-racial Melissa Harris-Perry last week.  We had no clue what she was talking about, so she kindly explained that Melissa flies to New York each weekend to do her show and then back to New Orleans.  This is a lot like the other MSNBC host, Lawrence O'Donnell who flies to New York from California each week to do his show. 

That's not very green is it, not very environmental friendly.  No reason they couldn't do Melissa's show from WDSU and let her stay in New Orleans and let Lawrence do his show from any number of California outlets.  Not only would such a move be better for the environment and allow the hosts a little more stability, MSNBC shows broadcast from New Orleans and California could also serve to break up the sameness of the look and feel of the shows and provide better opportunities for in house guests.

Melissa, especially needs stability.  Her family life is falling apart and if she doesn't like that being known she might ask her daughter not to talk so much at school about what goes on in the house.  We'll be really kind and leave it at that.

Kind isn't lying, so we just fall silent.  Lying is claiming Melissa Harris-LieFace Lacewell Perry is attractive.  She looks like Sabrina Le Beauf, you know, the only plain actress in the otherwise photogenic cast of The Cosby Show?  So we don't have a lot of respect for little suck-ups like Gary Leupp who tried to soften his criticism of her last week by insisting she was "stunningly beautiful."  She's not.  On a good day, she's plain.  On a bad day, that bad hair isn't her worst feature.  But that makes her perfect for MSNBC which really has collected a wide assortment of male and female eyesores -- more so than any other network. 

If Leupp hadn't been so focused on his delusions about her beauty, he might have been able to call out her Martin Luther King Jr. 'history' the way Bruce Dixon did at Black Agenda Report.

See, and this is another reason ratings are in the toilet, MSNBC hosts can't seem to stop trashing NSA whistle-blower Ed Snowden.  The left and Libertarian right applaud him for the spying he exposed.  So when 'left' Melissa or Joy Reid starts trashing Ed on MSNBC, it's not helping the network inflate the ratings.  But then, neither are those ridiculous sun dresses -- use the Bruce Dixon link -- which are ugly, show off the fatty upper arms of Melissa and look really unprofessional.

Fox News got a lot of criticism from 2001 to 2008 for its lascivious coverage of Bully Boy Bush.  On the left, we were appalled.  But it wasn't just those of us on the left.  There were elements of the right that were appalled by the toad-like manner as the network worked overtime to be a propaganda mill for the White House whose aims didn't always fit with conservatism. 

And MSNBC is struggling because it's propaganda for a centrist White House leaves it looking idiotic most days.  Nobody likes a suck-up.

Eddie Haskell is derided by each generation of TV viewers because, even at a young age, you can sense that he's insincere and will say anything from one moment to the next based on who's listening?  He has no core, he has no values, he's just a little suck-up.

Yep, we're back to Rachel Maddow.

Being a suck-up saved her several times over at Air America Radio.

Back in May, one of us wrote:

Rachel's a lesbian, she's not a leftist.  I believe we were the ones who explained what was going on after Rachel was solo.  She'd just started and she was making a controversial move.  While everyone was decrying Time magazine, in April 2005, putting Ann Coulter on the cover, Rachel was defending it and the idiotic copy.
The idiotic copy we noted.  We noted it because the man who wrote the article was drooling over Ann's looks and sex appeal.  We noted it because I'm not really sure that Ann's sexy or that a gay man is the best judge of what's sexy in a woman.
Yeah, the author was a gay conservative.
And we're the ones, not Rachel Maddow, who outed him as Rachel's dear friend.  (He called, at that time, Rachel his "angel.")  Rachel spent the whole week, multiple episodes, defending the article and insisting it was being wrongly slammed.  But she never revealed that she was friends with the author.
So when Rachel forgets to reveal today, you need to realize it's not an accident, she's got a long pattern of omissions and lies. (She also backstabs.  And we could go way back on that but let's just note, I don't care for Keith Olbermann but I don't owe my career to him.  Isn't it funny how he's a stranger to Rachel, after all he did for her?)

Oh, how her posse (we're suspecting it was her father writing yet again) did e-mail to complain and insist that Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann were as tight as ever.

No, they weren't.

No, they aren't.

And last week, Keith Olbermann made it clear.

As Josh Feldman (Mediaite) reported, when the ratings were released, Keith Olbermann left a sarcastic tweet, "Very, Very impressive#ratings @msnbc. Especially without the help of @KeithOlbermann.  @maddow great job filling his void."  And he then tweeted, "I don't know anything about her any more' she hasn't bothered to speak to me since I left" MSNBC.

She's an Eddie Haskell.  Keith Olbermann ruled MSNBC in 2008 and he made her one of his go-to replacements -- a great honor.  He advocated for her as a host.  And she couldn't stop sucking up in 2009 or 2010.  It wasn't until January 2011 that Maddow turned her back on him.  And, as Keith revealed last week, she's never bothered to speak to him again.

We're not Keith fans but we don't owe him our TV career.  Rachel Maddow can't make the same claim.

Mediaite said Olbermann was taking "swipes" at Maddow with those Tweets and The Daily Caller said he was taking a "jab at Rachel Maddow."

Heaven help the country when we're the only ones capable of reporting.

No, that wasn't a swipe.  No, that wasn't a jab.

Not that Keith Olbermann wouldn't go there.

In fact, he went there two weeks ago, June 25th.

"Except when it counted.  And sadly, that's her in a nutshell."

And, actually, it's MSNBC as well.

Air America Radio was the trial run for a 'left' channel and it failed in the ratings due to the fact that the left was against the Iraq War while the on airs at Air American Radio (such as Rachel Maddow and Al Franken) insisted upon demanding that the US troops remain in Iraq. 

The NSA whistle-blower Ed Snowden has provided another moment to tell the left from the 'left' and MSNBC has failed that test repeatedly with their on airs.  (Consider Chris Hayes the brave exception like Laura Flanders was on Air America.)  And what a blast of karma that Keith Olbermann, the only star MSNBC ever had, would be the one to deliver the critical blow:  MSNBC was always there "except when it counted."

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }