The notion that MSNBC is now the most controversial gaffe-a-minute cable news network has been ratified by the Associated Press. AP media reporter David Bauder wrote a story headlined “Loose lips give ammunition to MSNBC foes.”
“Since MSNBC is in the political ring, its opponents are always on the lookout for things to attack,” Bauder wrote. “Lately, NBC's left-leaning cable news sister has offered plenty of ammunition.”
The firing of a staff member over an obnoxious tweet that the “rightwing” would hate a Cheerios ad with a biracial family comes after Alec Baldwin and Martin Bashir were let go. Now that MSNBC looks less like a serious news channel than Fox, even to the AP, the whining has commenced.
“There’s some feeling within MSNBC, and among its fans, that the network’s personalities are held to a higher standard than people at Fox News,” Bauder explained. He didn't say that perhaps MSNBC fans might have difficulty coming up with a Fox News host suggesting a national politician literally deserved to be force-fed human feces.
Then came the expert:
“MSNBC got the wrong message from its Keith Olbermann experience," Paul Levinson, communications professor at Fordham University, said of the anchor whose intense anti-GOP commentaries set MSNBC on its new path before his relationship with management soured. "You had somebody who was very charismatic and galvanizing and they thought it was OK basically to let anybody say whatever they want."
"...If you're going to be a news organization, I think you probably need a little more self-control than the MSNBC commentators have," Levinson said. "I think it does reflect badly on NBC."
The funniest line may be about MSNBC’s president, Phil Griffin. “Griffin, who declined comment through a spokeswoman, has quietly put the word out to hosts to avoid personal attacks.” That can't be quite right. MSNBC wouldn’t last ten minutes without a personal attack on conservative motives.
Then, this: “Rachel Maddow's meticulous, fact-based criticisms of conservatives is looked upon as the network's model.”
Bauder saluted the Bridgegate obsession as a hopeful sign of newsiness: “The network, particularly Maddow, showed signs of life with its attention paid to the New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie bridge story, hinting at better days when politics becomes a bigger story.”