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28 March 2012

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ked

My observation of what's left of Leftist Media is they don't have it together (discipline, tons of cash, willingness to break laws as corporate policy ala Rupert, etc) to achieve the impact the rightist media seeks. What MSNBC is doing is just "biz model de jure".

Medicine Man

I wouldn't shed a tear if all of these propaganda networks were flushed down the proverbial crapper. But how would this be accomplished?

Matthew

Col: I stopped watching network news and listening to even NPR. The "daily outrage" media formula misinforms by design.

Andy

I don't think the FCC can do much because MSNBC runs on cable, not the regulated airwaves. Not that I think they should or could since I'm a free speech purist. The sad reality, however, is that there is a market for left-wing demagoguery. If MSNBC doesn't fill that market, someone else will.

The easiest way to deal with them is to not watch, which is exactly what I do with them and Fox and most of what constitutes the "MSM."

turcopolier

Andy

Which Andy are you? The FCC censors cable programs. pl

SteveB

If MSNBC is the polar opposite of Fox News where is the Morning Joe-like liberal on Fox? Nowhere to be seen.

While it's a popular view on the right to portray MSNBC as the counter weight to Fox News it's simply not true. 1) MSNBC doesn't pretend to be an unbiased news network. 2) It doesn't have the sway with the liberal establishment that Fox News does with the conservative one. Fox pretty much owns the right and sets the agenda. MSNBC can't even come close to that sort of influence.

But I think you are right about one thing: They changed their programming because of ratings. They were getting squeezed in the middle (if one accepts that CNN is the middle) so they moved into the one space that was really not represented, i.e., a mostly unapologetic left-leaning slant on the news. It was a business decision, not an editorial one.

Rehabilitating the American Communist Party? Come on.

howler

Sir, Completely agree with the 'cognitive dissonance' between these two crap-spewers (and others). Lie's too short to waste time on them. As for FCC censorship it seems like a now-and-again thing when it comes to other than 'on air' broadcasts. Their FAQ (@ http://www.fcc.gov/guides/program-content-regulations) isn't all that clear.

turcopolier

Howler

I watch a lot of cable programming. Someone blurs out the image of a woman's naked a-s in a painting in a twenty year old episode of "Maigret." This was the one about Manuel Palmari's death. Who does that? pl

turcopolier

SteveB

You are right. That would be too much. How about Alger Hiss or the Rosenbergs? That was back in the forties. pl

Andy

PL,

I'm the Andy that's been commenting here, off and on, for about six years.

As for the FCC, here's what they say on their website:

The Communications Act prohibits the FCC from censoring broadcast material. Additionally, the Communications Act and the First Amendment to the Constitution prohibit any action by the FCC that would interfere with free speech in broadcasting. For example, the FCC cannot interfere with a broadcaster’s selection and presentation of material for the news and/or its commentary. The FCC does, however, regulate content in some narrow areas. For example, federal law prohibits or limits the broadcast of obscene, indecent or profane language. But the FCC must be guided by decisions of the courts in determining whether specific material may be prohibited under this law. Similarly, the FCC may penalize licensees for knowingly broadcasting false information.

I had thought that the indecency regulations only applies to broadcast programming, but that is no longer the case. You are correct that the FCC can censor cable programs. Here's what they say::

Do the FCC's rules apply to cable and satellite programming? In the past, the FCC has enforced the indecency and profanity prohibitions only against conventional broadcast services, not against subscription programming services such as cable and satellite. However, the prohibition against obscene programming applies to subscription programming services at all times.
alinaustex

Col Lang
C-Span is just about all I watch anymore. That Frontline and the Al Jezeera news reports . A Pox on both MSNBC & Fox news, -

Dongo

Col. Lang,

As (probably) one of the most "left" commentators on this site, I'd just like to take a moment to strongly reject the trashy, shallow nonsense that is MSNBC. I imagine most MSNBC fans and contributors would call themselves "leftists", but I see them as nothing more than reflective partisan supporters of the Democratic Party, regardless of whether the policy or action in question is actually left-leaning.

Any network that can support both Obama's assassination of American citizens and his demand that all Americans purchase corporate health insurance (among tons of other horrid policies that MSNBC supported) clearly has no principles other than slavish worship of the current president, who they seem to see as their king.

Lars

Col. Lang:

Have you considered watching less TV? I have some 270 channels on my cable feed and there are times when I cannot find anything even remotely interesting.

That, and at other times, is when I read.

turcopolier

Lars

Are you suggesting that I abandon my duty to the SST community? I would be glad to do so. pl

steve

I don't think either Fox or MSNBC represent polar opposites of much of anything.

What they both represent are the allowable parameters of critique of the status quo within a very narrow range of what is considered "serious", which is to say, not much of a critique at all.

Dr Onan Agitprop

Pat,
Kill your TEEVEE. Same way I did mine...blew it away with a 12 gauge pump gun I bought at the Kmart for cheap some years back. I blasted away with buckshot, blowing apart the screen first and then completely destroying the innards and most of the cover. Emptied the magazine and laughed like a maniac afterwards. I feel much better now. It's much cheaper than a lobotomy, and no side effects.
It's not worth getting torqued out over. Kill your TEEVEE.Kill it NOW!

I am trained professional and I know what I am talking about.

Agitprop

Fred

The Democratic Party should re-habilitate the American Left but sadly there's no FDR out there, we are stuck with the likes of Mr. Rush of Chicago and a plethora of tired grey haired men who have outstayed their time and refused to mentor any kind of leadership in the generations that are following in their stead. Just look at the Michigan Democratic Representatives, John Dingel, 85; John Conyers 82; Sander Levin 80; Dale Kildee 82...

HankP

Col. Lang -

Liberal does not equal communist, unless you also believe that conservative equals fascist.

Don Quijote

Please...

MSNBC is as far left as Corporate America will go...

If you want to see what the real Left media looks like in the US, you should listen to Democracy Now!

Current TV is slightly to the left of MSNBC, and has better hosts...

Cronin

Colonel,

I couldn't agree more. Like Dongo, I'm certainly on the Left side of the aisle, but I cannot for a moment stand today's MSNBC and it's FOX/Pravda tactics; the worst is when on the "Ed" Show they have these cell phone polls that are written like they came out of the East German political commissar's office -- "Does the Republican Party hate women?" -- which reliably come back with East German-like results, 97 or 98 say "Yes" while 2-3% say "No". Or the grim, prosecutorial "humor" of my tribesman Lawrence O'Donnell, or Rachel Maddow's whole condescending and supercilious act -- they're just all so awful, so opposed to the spirit of actual information-gathering and actual political discussion and argument. It's very dispiriting for the future of our polity to have political discourse dominated by such rank garbage.
As for the matter at hand, the Martin shooting -- this is a matter for the Law, for the Courts, and for the families involved; it just shows the fundamental indecency and vampiric quality of cable news to see them feasting on the tragedy down there in Florida, fattening off human sorrow. The hell with them all.

Richard Armstrong

I miss the days of the old "Fairness Doctrine". It seems to me that it did a pretty good job of keeping in check the kind of crap we're all complaining about.

Will Reks

It should be apparent that the media exists not to inform but to hype up narratives that will drive up ratings. That's just how corporate media works. They're milking this for all it's worth.

Amileoj

MSNBC has indeed become the anti-Fox News.

To be sure, it has long been a deeply problematic 'news' organization. Exhibit A: Chris Matthews, whose record of train-wreck journalism on this network stretches back to the late 90s. Back then, the main targets of MSNBC's anti-journalism were prominent Democrats.

The new element is the one you identify, Colonel: the evident corporate decision, no doubt commercially motivated, to become the national avatar of mindless left-wing tribalism.

This is, among other things, a major blow to the remaining shards and fragments of the American Left. The very last thing it needs, in its weak and distracted state, is to start sharing the contempt for facts and reason that has long characterized Fox News and right-wing talk radio.

Nothing good can come from such means. Yet this is what MSNBC is serving up for would-be liberals and progressives, in great poisonous helpings.

Edward Amame

There is video (via NY Daily News) of a handcuffed George Zimmerman taken at the Sanford, Fla police station.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/trayvon-martin-case-shooter-george-zimmerman-appears-uninjured-police-video-night-shooting-article-1.1052433

Look for yourselves. There appear to be no injuries at all to his nose or to the back of his head. The back of his jacket is clean, not wet or marks of any kind. The reporter notes that "He [Zimmerman] walks easily and appears to be in no pain."

Yes cable news has turned this into "Bonfire of the Vanities II." But it's my understanding that it was a dogged blogger or reporter who stayed on this thing and kept the story alive until other news outlets and the public began to take notice. If not for that reporter, and the subsequent outcry in the media as more info came out, this thing might very well have just gone away quietly. Which IMO now, would have been a whole lot worse than what MSNBC has been up to....

Lars

Not at all. Here you will engage in reading, which I find superior to watching TV and thus assessing various networks is unimportant and in the future will be made even more so.

No doubt video can be useful, like the one the Sanford PD found that shows an unblemished George Zimmerman in custody but most of the talking heads on TV are of minor importance, if any.

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