MSNBC Follows CNN and NPR

Posted: November 8, 2010 in Cable News, Journalism

In the wake of Rupert Murdoch’s contribution to the GOP, MSNBC made an example out of Keith Olbermann. The cable news host was suspended for two days after refusing to confess on-camera that he contributed money to the Democratic campaign. Apparently, MSNBC hasn’t come to terms with their left-leaning approach to news as easily as Fox has. Despite Fox’s stance on being fair and unbalanced, they know where they stand on politics. After Murdoch’s contribution they did run a short (very short) ad admitting the support the owner of the news organization gave to the Republican party. Just as David Carr said in his New York Times article, if MSNBC wanted to be objective, they wouldn’t have used such a subjective figure as Olbermann to host their election coverage.

In a time where providing impartial cable news is dwindling, the major players are struggling to find or admit their identity. Any intelligent newser could tell that FoxNews is for the conservatives, MSNBC is for the liberals and CNN is somewhere in between. Juan Williams suffered the consequences of NPR’s stance to remain objective. Then Fox picked him up to add to their highly opinionated staff. Rick Sanchez started the trend when CNN fired him for making his bigoted claims about John Stewart. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s the next to get signed by FOX. But, in FOX’s defense, at least they don’t punish their employees for towing the company line. They only seem to lie to their viewership with their infamous slogan, but stay true to their staff. FoxNews knows what sells, and that’s why they’re benefiting in the ratings. MSNBC suffers from a liberal viewership that branches out to various outlets to receive news. They’re not seeing the same results that FoxNews is.

MSNBC may not be publicly jumping on board with the current state of cable news, but they are following the trend their competitors at CNN and NPR began by punishing opinion or support. The suspension Olbermann was handed was short and nowhere near as severe has what Williams and Sanchez faced, but the message was just the same. An objective journalist is the ideal picture, but the present, realistic picture is someone that says and does what the viewers/listeners want.


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