Breaking News: MSNBC “Runs a Significant Amount of Conservative Programming” : Daily Witness

Breaking News: MSNBC “Runs a Significant Amount of Conservative Programming”

September 26, 2012 | By | 26 Replies More
Breaking News: MSNBC “Runs a Significant Amount of Conservative Programming”

In an interview with Rachel Maddow, Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher inconspicuously dropped the following bomb: “…MSNBC runs a significant amount of conservative programming every day.” He provides no data or offers any evidence to substantiate such a bizarrely counterintuitive claim although he obliquely acknowledges it is controversial, calling it “an overlooked fact”.

And what turn of argumentative sorcery could possibly justify such a boast? (And surely, it is intended boastfully, presumably demonstrating the network’s bipartisan balance.) What exactly counts as a “significant amount”? Since there are only two conservative commentators on MSNBC, Joe Scarborough and S.E. Cupp, a network otherwise populated by a happy band of liberal warriors, Christopher must be relying on some other metric he won’t deign to share.

It’s also worth noting that Scarborough and Cupp appear on ensemble shows more often than not dominated by liberal guests, and so are usually lone conservative voices straining to be heard over a left-leaning cacophony. Is the representation of one conservative viewpoint sufficient to stamp a program conservative in character? Is The View a conservative show because Elizabeth Hasselbeck, one of four commentators, is regularly ridiculed for her minority dissent? If Mitt Romney ever actually appears on the David Letterman show, can we then consider Late Night to be a bastion of conservative thought? Yours truly just enjoyed an Americano at Starbucks which I have now officially anointed a conservative coffee empire.

One unobtrusive hint provided in Christopher’s otherwise evidence-free zone is a link embedded within the comment that leads to a story about the outsized influence of Joe Scarborough’s Morning Joe. Despite its relatively modest ratings, it can still be considered the most consequential show on MSNBC:

Morning Joe is the most influential show on cable news because of who watches it; namely, every member of the Washington, DC political ecosystem, from journalists to legislators, to consultants, to staffers, right on down to Bo Obama, I’m sure. To Scarborough’s credit, he has demonstrated a willingness to speak out against members of his own party, but that tendency is the currency that allows him to retain that influence.”

First of all, it’s more than a little hyperbolic to claim that “every member” of the Washington elite class watches the show: is there any data to support that implausible contention? Can they really be “sure” President Obama is a faithful viewer? Nothing like pure conjecture to back up flights of faux empirical fantasy. It might be worth noting that MSNBC’s card carrying conservative has been one of the most spirited critics of Mitt Romney among the professional pundit class, often drawing ire from fellow conservatives for his relentless attacks.

Christopher only pulls off this untenable claim if he fundamentally alters the meaning of the words “significant”, “conservative”, or I suppose “programming”. It’s not at all clear if his flippant comment is a function of self-oblivion or willful dishonesty but, either way, it serves as a helpful reminder that MSNBC runs a significant amount of egregiously partisan pablum.

Category: Featured, National

Comments (26)

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  1. With all due respect, sir, you got two things wrong with your story:

    Joe Scarborough is NOT a conservative; he is a liberal who has become more liberal over the years.

    Second, “Morning Joe” does not have “modest ratings.” Perhaps compared to CNN’s shows, yes – but when paired against Fox’s shows, “Morning Joe” is known as “Morning Joke” for a reason. Any program that would have a dummy like Mika Brzezinski on cannot be taken seriously.

    A third point is about S.E. Cupp. It is known that she demanded to have her own show on Fox and then departed in a huff when she was turned down. She fits right in at “The Circle” – a show with no ratings and four dunderheads talking about things no one cares about.

    • Ronnie Jackson says:

      I disagree because I am a liberal and I disagree with them on almost everything but I would say joe is closer to a moderate then a you just don’t like msnbc so you give them no credit. Joe has defend republicans on every show but he does have common sense even thought i totally disagree with him on things he’s is the same as he was in the 90’s if anything the problem is your party has gone to far right for mods like olympia snow.

  2. Bill Ballinger says:

    Misleading headline. Needs to include “claims” as there is in fact no substance to the statement. Who the hell writes these things? Basic journalism, no wonder the MSM is so distrusted.

    Agree, Joe Scarborough is not a Conservative. He is probably best described as less Liberal or former RINO.

  3. Chase Miller says:

    I’d never heard of this website until I saw a side-banner link on CNN claiming “Breaking News: MSNBC Runs A Significant Amount of Conservative Programming” with a picture of Rachel Maddow. I don’t know how much you pay for that kind of exposure, but it works.

    Also, wow.

  4. YahooUser1 says:

    i’m not sure what this article was about, it took a roundabout way to say that there is balance where clearly there’s not. but, that’s okay because it’s amusing, and as a conservative, i would rather watch chris mathews and maddow and watch them simmer. i get a kick out of hardball. isn’t hardball a game played between TWO teams? Why does Mathews only have one team pitching to members of the same team? is that liberal ‘hardball’? As in congress, the other side should be heard, perhaps in time for the NEXT election.

  5. Derek Coyle says:

    While I would agree that it is laughable for anyone to conclude that msnbc runs ANY amount of conservative programming, I would agree with most of the other commenters about Scarborough and Cupp. They’re not Marxists, like the rest of lineup at NBC, but neither are they conservatives. In fact, Scarborough claims to be a part of the “no labels” crowd. To be fair, Fox is not overflowing with conservatives either. The nightly primetime lineup consists of one.

  6. Carl Milan says:

    MSNBC sux.. they wish they could be the #1 news channel (FNC).. MSNBC is not even news,just a bunch of hateful IDIOTS with their head so far up obamas ass they need to stick their head out his nose just to get some air…. It’s time we the people with common sense throw these SQUATTERS OCCUPYING the White House out the BACK DOOR !!!

    • Paul McGann says:

      Hateful idiots? Have you read your own post? The “squatters” that you allege to be in the White House were duly elected by WE, the PEOPLE in 2008 and have an equally good chance of being reflected in November.

      You might consider remembering that occupancy of the White House is NOT a God-given right for Rebulicans.

  7. What is wrong with being liberal…..?? Forward thinking….??

  8. Phyllis High says:

    msnbc regularly has conservatives. We know, we watch a lot, enough to daily be frustrated at word & mind games of many extreme right guests. The list is long, but from Michael Steele to Reince Priebus, even panels w/ Grover Norquist as last week on Meet the Press. Tho’ we miss Tim Russert. Martin Bashir has a genius, broad international view& translates beyond our US bubble. Oour family is educated and has political habits which include fact-checking

    Joe Scarborough is very conservative but not Neo-con & not quite not the classic conservative. Mika is smart and prepared, but it’s a shame she’s openly bullied by misogynist Joe, such as when she tries a health report & asks guest intelligent Q, he interrupts w/ sports, is constantly demeaning. Rachel (a Rhodes scholar), is brilliant & cheerful; Lawrence’s Capitol Hill deep experience shows. Others constantly openly invite Republicans of all stripes to their shows, many refuse. Rachel esp treats all guest with good manners, and I recognize real real journalism from growing up since the 50s in a “bipartisan” family in D C/MD suburbs. Their facts can be checked elsewhere which we do as followup. We look forward to the refreshing real information on msnbc, Jon & Stephen :-).

    There were reports last yr of many respected institutions & some by University studies which agree that msnbc tops others in accuracy. CNN was rated fairly accurate but lots of fluff entertainment stories (not bad, just not singularly politics focused; OK, too) & not as many hard-driving Q. Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert rate way higher accuracy than Fox! Fox “News” not only didn’t rate high, it shows its watchers (& probably its own pundits) know LESS after a report than before; since there is ZERO accuracy — all propaganda.

    • @Phyllis High, what you didn’t address is the shift in politics that has been constantly pulling the standards to the right. If you read the Republican Party Platform under Eisenhauer ( http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=25838 ) you would see that the people who call Joe Scarborough liberal would call Eisenhauer and the Republicans of 1956 radical left wingers today. The John Birch Society was ostracized from society for being crazy radical right wingers yet the tenets they espoused are mainstream conservative ideology today. The left wing ideology of Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin from the 60s is nowhere to be found in today’s political spectrum so the ultra right calls people like Obama liberal. Semantically that might be true because he is on the left side of the middle line but that fails to consider just how far right the entire spectrum has shifted. Justice John Paul Stevens, a Republican, was appointed to the Federal bench by Nixon and to the U.S.Supreme Court by Ford. When he was appointed he was a conservative yet when he retired in 2010 he was considered one of the most liberal judges on the Court. He never changed but the left-right political spectrum shifted drastically during his tenure. There are a number of Republicans, Lincoln Chafee, Olympia Snowe, Charlie Crist, Christie Todd Whitman, Michael Steele, Scarborough, etc, who have seen the Republican Party shift past them to the right, leaving them behind. I do not think this tendency bodes well for the U.S. The balance of a two party system has worked in the past but when the two parties are Republican and Republican-lite the union may be doomed. The single party ideology did not work well for the U.S.S.R. and eventually the Chinese people will get fed up and change things there. We shouldn’t let that happen here.

      • Wow and you are being serious? Our country is so far left now it scares me to think how soon Vladimir will be moving his office over.

        JFK would be considered republican today as many of our past presidents and vice-presidents.

        Liberal means anything for everyone that is as short as I can get it…for now. Conservative by nature means not-wasteful.

        Our two parties are polar opposites at this point. One says the other controls all the money, the other wants to actually do just that.

        One says you did not build that, the other spent the money, paid the workers and built something.

        One has hands extended for anything and everything, the other which earned the money is buying guns to keep it.

        I do not owe you a dime or a penny. I worked, I earned, I saved and guess what I pay more in taxes for fewer services than you do.

        Last I give out of my heart’s desire to help, currently 12% gross. I have another 28% taken form me every year from the Federal government. Now add the same taxes the low income earners pay that is equal (the only equal area), I have a total gross removal f funds of nearly 50%. That is the highest tax burden anywhere in the free still legal world.

        Please stop crying over what you do not have and see the blessing of what you do have.

    • Wow, you just wasted your allotted cyber ink for life.
      Please disable your touch pad and mouse on your computing device and back away from the screen.
      You are also is violation of article 2010 of the “Merger of Typing and Texting Prohibition Act” signed into law by me.
      Last you are disgrace to my wife and all others females and actually put the females back to a pre-nineteen sixties era.
      Ignorance is not bliss but rather embarrassing, please at least respond to your own meaningless verbiage with an apology.

      Now consider the following:
      • Your children if you have any should be removed from your home, quickly.
      • Your husband if you have one is an apparent weak kneed, balding and more than likely was picked on as a child because he deserved it…regularly.
      • You have fake nails, with foreign debris under them and you pick your teeth…in front of others.
      • Your children are rude, even around your like-minded friends (which really dismiss you) children. By the way your children hate you and despise your husband for not shutting you up.
      • No one wants to be around you and when you do force your way into circles everyone talks about you as a plague when you leave.

      Now, saying all of that was for a reason, that is how MSNBC sounds every day, that is a fact. The hate is overwhelming; I once the media would never allow such on any program. None of the comments were about you as a person; those are examples of what you seemingly adore. That is tragic.

      Hate does not pay the bills, heal a nation of the sickness we have or cause us to work together.

      Please turn the channel, maybe watch some Lifetime program, Hallmark movie or cartoons, any would be better than your current situation.

  9. Vivien Cambridge says:

    Every day at MSNBC starts with a three hour show run by and named after a partisan Republican congressman from the deep south who was instrumental in the Republican impeachment of Bill Clinton and who has already declared his support for Mitt Romney. Is that not “substantial conservative programming?”

  10. For the most part, I”d agree with the criticism about MSNBC. But this line made me howl……”and so are usually lone conservative voices straining to be heard over a left-leaning cacophony”. What gallant souls those two voices must be…..amid such stark bloviating……talk about melodramatic. Also enjoy all the Conservative dunderheads who seem to have the prescription in hand of what a Conservative is. Bet they like volcanic high-blood pressure nonsense of Erik Erickson. Joe S. is old school, G Bush Sr. Conservative. I know….not hip enough for you ideologue neo-cons who see commies in your sleep. And yes….MSNBC is pathetic as a network; that is why they get rid of people like Dylan Ratigan. He speaks too much truth and sense. And I love how these Freedom Loving Cons hate Rachel Maddow. Mainly because they cannot refute the facts that she draws out for you. Sure she is a hardcore liberal, maybe even socialist dem, but I’d love to see you scholars challenge any of the fact she lays out. Glad most of you are lost in blogger land. As Bill Maher said, Conservatives are well informed about politics…they just don’t know a thing about policy.

  11. Barry Shambaugh says:

    MSNBC is a joke all day long. The shrill hatred and ugly way they portray the “news” is amazing. How many pundits did they have to let go or give time off because of their shameful actions or speech. I’m surprised they are still on the air at all.

  12. Ian Zerreg says:

    The only problem with all this snarky conservative chest thumping is – you have no hair on your chests (if that’s what you call a chest at all). Faux Snooze doesn’t run a SINGLE show, or even a single story without a right-wing agenda from beginning to predictable conservative double-speaking end. Shame on you for thumping, when you don’t even have the pecs to thump!

  13. John Donovan says:

    MSNBC is about a fair and balanced as Fox News, which is a joke. Ed Schultz conducting phone surveys during his hour long show to measure some opinion is as laughably objective as Rachel Maddow being careful on one show to use coded language to camouflage her advocacy of third trimester abortion. Martin Bashir meanwhile spends his 4:00 PM ET slot in an hour long, all conservatives are evil doers, screed, leading into the Rev. Sharpton’s hour of, bomb throwing, power.

    • Both networks have issues, that is easy to say and true. MSNBC cannot and should not be considered news for the most part is also true, it is cable enterianment, and notthe best. FNN has real news several times a day, several programs give us information, we make the choice. Hannity IS NOT news, it is enertainment, and not the best.
      Now as for the tall guy, Fair and Balanced is the best way to tell anyone about Bill O.

      So to compare the two is unfair, MSNBC is like a pimple on the ratings charts, a few devoted and twisted folks watch it, I will at times to give my heart a workout, that’s all it is (good) for.

  14. I just watched MSNBC for 3 hours…saw the post election programming of Rachael Maddow, Last Word by Lawrence O’Donnel and consider all of them to be liberal and what’s more, I now understand how the middle class was able to prevail despite all the negative ads against Obama and secure the presidency with a 303 electoral college vote. I just hope the Republican party can re-think their platform because I was a Democrat that crossed party lines to vote for Mitt Romney and he lost. I met another woman today who was a Democrat and also crossed party lines to vote for Mitt because she, too was unimpressed by Obama’s record.