Monday, September 08, 2008

This Is Why You're Losing

Christ, they don't get it, do they?

MSNBC tried a bold experiment this year by putting two politically incendiary hosts, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, in the anchor chair to lead the cable news channel’s coverage of the election.

That experiment appears to be over.

After months of accusations of political bias and simmering animosity between MSNBC and its parent network NBC, the channel decided over the weekend that the NBC News correspondent and MSNBC host David Gregory would anchor news coverage of the coming debates and election night. Mr. Olbermann and Mr. Matthews will remain as analysts during the coverage. [snip]

The McCain campaign has filed letters of complaint to the news division about its coverage and openly tied MSNBC to it. Tension between the network and the campaign hit an apex the day Mr. McCain announced Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. MSNBC had reported Friday morning that Ms. Palin’s plane was enroute to the announcement and she was likely the pick. But McCain campaign officials warned the network off, with one official going so far as to say that all of the candidates on the short list were on their way — which MSNBC then reported.

“The fact that it was reported in real time was very embarrassing,” said a senior MSNBC official. “We were told, ‘No, it’s not Sarah Palin and you don’t know who it is.’ ”

The bolded section says it all. McCain's campaign bitched and whined about how UNFAIR the coverage was, and then went out and deliberately played a dirty trick on MSNBC/NBC to humiliate them. NBC then decides it can't afford to have Olbermann and Matthews hosting, and puts toolbag David Gregory in the big boy's chair. You know why Fox succeeds? Because Democrats don't pull the same stunts with Fox, and because Fox has no morals on these matters. Fox sticks by its people, right or wrong.

Okay, yes, there were slanted moments, but that's cable news these days, and Olbermann's questioning, while pointed, is incisive and intelligent. Matthews has always been incendiary, so for McCain to be bitching about it now is just sour grapes, because Matthews was very praiseworthy of Palin, and it was the REPUBLICANS in Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan who ripped the idea of a Palin pick before it came official. Which, speaking of, Joe and Pat got as much speaking and airtime as Olbermann and Matthews during these conventions, and it was PAT BUCHANAN who called the Obama speech the best one he's ever heard at a convention.

This is part of McCain's bomb the media strategy. He's pulling Bush's dissent suppression card out of his deck and laying it on the table, hoping to stifle criticism, just like the false claims of sexism after the Palin firestorm hit. He's done a pretty good job of weathering it, mainly because the media is letting themselves be cowed. They need to hit back, and not stop asking tough questions, because Sarah Palin is so inexperienced it's not even funny. Lest we forget, she's also petty, vindictive, extreme right-wing, and an activist evangelical, who thinks we are on a mission from God in Iraq. Oh, yes, and she's a liar.

She lied about the Bridge to Nowhere, lied about how the Alaska state jet was sold, lied about her ties to the Alaskan Independence Party (and yes, even if just her husband was a registered member, that's a big deal, since they are secessionist), lied about earmarks, etc. You get the picture. It's not a pretty one for her.

Press digging into her, her background, her experience, her political beliefs, are not sexist or unfair. She is a cipher, an unknown, to most of America, and the American people deserve to know her, for better or worse, and the McCain camp is hiding her because they know that these questions are lying out there for her, and they don't want them asked.

Long story short, MSNBC, you let the Republicans roll you again. Good job. I hope you feel good about being played.