Saturday, July 25, 2015

Getting Away With The News

Once upon a time, a small, dedicated team showed that it is possible to do real journalism on teevee with almost no budget.

And it's still possible.  In fact, with technology getting better and cheaper, and with cable news running around the clock, the constraints on doing excellent journalism have never had less to do with time or money or talent.

The reason that political/cultural reporting in America is mostly tapioca or shit or shit-infused tapioca is because the people who own the networks like it that way.
MSNBC Is Canceling Ed Schultz And Giving His Show To Chuck Todd 
With this move, the long anticipated dropping of MSNBC’s liberal programming begins. What is interesting is that Ed Schultz has often pulled better ratings that Chris Hayes and All In at 8 PM, but Hayes is a favorite of MSNBC boss Phil Griffin, while the network head has been trying to get rid of Schultz for years. Griffin first tried to dump Schultz by shuffling him off to the weekend wasteland, but after Ed’s ratings didn’t nosedive Griffin moved him back to 5 PM ET.

One of the main problems at the network is the dreadful All In, but MSNBC had decided months ago that they would be dumping their liberal hosts in favor of people like Chuck Todd. MSNBC leadership completely mistreated their liberal audience, and when the audience walked away, the network used the declining ratings as an excuse to blame liberals.


Kathleen O'Neill said...

I don't watch MSNBC at all and don't care what its management does. Phil tipped his hand years ago when he fired Phil Donahue, who hosted at that time the highest rating program on MSNBC because of his opposition to the war in Iraq.

That being said, any network that puts Chuck Todd in its mix under the guise of "we want to focus on real news now" is showing anyone who is paying attention how ethically bankrupt it is.

Also, having read the linked article, I find it interesting that the execs and VSP's (Lloyd Grove is a VSP) blame MSNBC's failure on the fact it features "liberal" content. The "liberal" viewpoint is not the problem. MSNBC is flailing because its content is all over the map and Phil does not know how to program. He and his management team are incompetent. Probably also spiritually bankrupt.

I remember the demise of Air America and, frankly, welcomed it. The management did not understand how to program a radio network. Most of its prime time live lineup had no experience in radio (except Mark Reilly and Randi Rhodes) and it showed. I love Maron and Al Franken but Marc was not cut out for the AM morning format (his podcast, though, is brilliant) and Franken was not a radio guy and it showed.

The failures of "liberal" programming are due to clueless, incompetent management.

End of Rant.

Kevin Holsinger said...

Good afternoon, Mr. Glass.

MSNBC's relationship with liberalism has long struck me as being like the "bring out your dead" bit from Monty Python.

Be seeing you.

Sandman said...

Idiots. Why would the confederates tune into another Faux Noize wannabe when they can mainline the pure drug straight from its source? If they really wanted to shake things up, they would jettison Scarborough and Tweety and the rest of the neocons, then take the shackles off of Maddow and O'Donnell and let them tell the truth. Of course, the truth is antithetical to the mission of their parent corporation, so that was never going to happen anyway. The real purpose is to keep feeding money and warm bodies into the military-industrial-NRA-private prison-white outrage complex.

Kathleen O'Neill said...

Per LGF, tomorrow's MTP will feature Pat Buchanan:

Per Chuck Todd's Twitter response to Oliver Wills,

Todd tweeted in response to Media Matters research fellow Oliver Willis that Buchanan will be on the show “as part of a Trump segment. Trump 2015 and Buchanan 1992 share a lot of similarities on issues.”

Get yer mad photo shoppping skilllzzzz ready, DG.

Fiddlin Bill said...

The loss of liberal and labor voices on mainstream cable (surely that's what MSNBC is) is a very bad thing. Schultz voiced a lot of truth, and was really the only voice of American Labor. The short-term goal of the right wing oligarchs who aim to utterly destroy American's democratic voice is to utterly destroy unions. They are succeeding. They have also subverted democracy at the state level. As well as the obvious case of Wisconsin (now offering us a presidential hopeful), they have destroyed good government in my state, North Carolina. This past week the top legislators took a week off to go to the ALEC convention in California. This is not much different from legislators in the late '30s going to a government seminar in Berlin, or a government seminar in Moscow. Yet no one here even notices. But it's the sort of thing Schultz or Maddow or Chris Hayes might at least mention.

Re Trump, the comparison is with George Wallace, 1968.

dinthebeast said...

We are just different animals than Fox News viewers, and we can't be lined up and milked like they can, so we don't get pandered to, I mean catered to like they do. So even though there are more of us, we'll never make them as much money as FNC viewers do Fox.
If I had a TV, this would probably bother me more than it does.

-Doug in Oakland

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

"We can't be lined up and milked like they can"

I believed that before 2008, but during 2008, I sometimes felt like the only deaf rat in Hamelin.