The article that really got my attention this morning — and not in a good way — is “How MSNBC Became Fox’s Liberal Evil Twin” by Alessandra Stanley. Clueless Wonder Stanley slams MSNBC’s coverage of the convention for its bias, preferring much more polite and even-tempered “coverage”
by cardboard cutouts on NBC —
NBC and the other broadcast networks cut their live convention coverage to an hour during prime time this year, which leaves barely time to show the main speeches, let alone analyze them. Yet NBC’s chief anchor, Brian Williams, has conspicuously avoided the most fractious MSNBC discussion panels. Those anchors who do make dutiful appearances, like David Gregory and Tom Brokaw, are badly needed but don’t stay long or join the fray — like piano players in a brothel, they don’t go upstairs.
This is a democracy, sweetheart. We need to know what’s going on upstairs.
And that leaves fewer choices for viewers who like their election coverage with informed commentary without a twist of bias.
Telling the truth isn’t “bias,” dear. Politely refraining from saying that someone running for the presidency is basing his entire campaign on lies is not “impartiality”; it’s journalistic malpractice.
For years, as the Republican Party became more and more extreme, mainstream media have attempted to even things out by filming Republicans with softer and softer focus, and with plenty of gauze on the lenses to make the wrinkles disappear. On the other hand, Democrats are placed under a Kleig light without filters and not allowed to wear makeup. And then the narrative accompanying this is “both parties are just as bad.” The polite political commentators dear Ms. Stanley prefers congratulate themselves for being unbiased, when they are nothing of the sort. They are enablers. They are making excuses for the alcoholic uncle by telling people he’s just been under a lot of stress lately. And this kind of enabling does neither the uncle nor the family a bit of good; it’s just socially expedient.
I can agree that Al Sharpton and Ed Schultz come across as Dem Party cheerleaders sometimes, but Chris Matthews has done more than his share of enabling of Republicans over the years. Ms. Stanley tears into Matthews for his recent “bruising harangue against Reince Priebus” — how impolite to point out that Republicans are dog-whistling racists — and finishes the column with this —
Virginia’s governor, Bob McDonnell, who backed, then rescinded, a state bill that would require women seeking an abortion to first have an invasive ultrasound, is a favorite target. After his convention speech, the MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry said sarcastically that Republicans might be nervous “standing next to a governor who represents a vision of small government that is small enough to put on the end of a transvaginal probe.”
No wonder Brian Williams stays away.
Oh, how crude to bring up Bob McDonnell’s actual record. What do you want to bet that Ms. Stanley really misses David Broder?