As NewsBusters reported Monday, Newsweek featured an in-depth look at Fox News and chairman Roger Ailes in its most recent installment.
When this subject came up on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Tuesday, after the guests predictably carped and whined about FNC's conservative leanings, host Joe Scarborough observed, "People are shocked and stunned at the blurred lines when Roger Ailes and Fox does it, not so shocked and stunned when Democratic establishment figures have been doing it over the past three decades" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
JOHN HEILEMANN, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Let us never forget that Roger Ailes, you know, was before he was a great television producer was a great political strategist, and was someone who was a hard bone deep partisan.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI, CO-HOST: Maybe just a little too good at both.
TINA BROWN, NEWSWEEK/DAILY BEAST: Wow, exactly right.
HEILEMANN: I mean, won the election for George Herbert Walker Bush in 1988. He's, you know, he’s played both sides of that street for a long time.
BROWN: And as was just said, a little too good at both.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Just like, we got to say, just like a hell of a lot of people in the mainstream media over the past 30 years have played both sides of the street, but they’re always on the Democratic side. That's what makes it so unique. People are shocked and stunned at the blurred lines when Roger Ailes and Fox does it, not so shocked and stunned when Democratic establishment figures have been doing it over the past three decades.
MARK HALPERIN, TIME MAGAZINE: What sets Roger apart from most of the Democrats who play both sides of this is Roger has been awesome at both jobs.
BROWN: That’s exactly right. Awesome at both. That's why he’s such a fiend.
SCARBOROUGH: A fiend?
BROWN: A fiend to be so good at it.
HALPERIN: Fiend means something totally different in England.
So the problem with Fox and Ailes isn't the politics but the number of eyeballs witnessing the politics.
I guess that means if FNC was a ratings failure like CNN and MSNBC, liberals in the media wouldn't be so appalled by it.
Which makes the hypocrisy far more abhorrent.
For years we've been told by left-leaning press members - as well as Obama administration officials! - that Fox isn't a real news outlet and instead acts as a Republican propaganda arm.
Responding to this meme, Scarborough noted that much of the media have been a Democratic propaganda arm for 30 years, and nobody on the set including the perilously liberal Brown, Brzezinski, and Heilemann debated the point.
Instead, they kvetched about how good a job Ailes does at it.
This tells us they're not in the slightest bit offended by news organizations acting as political marionettes as long as the puppet masters are either liberal or incompetent.
Gives you a lot of faith in this industry called journalism.