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14 Dec 2011 21:08


Politics: MSNBC is sorry…for what, exactly?

  • An unnecessary apology? Yesterday, a post over at America Blog noted that “Keep America American,” a phrase Mitt Romney sometimes uses while campaigning, is also a slogan once used by the Klu Klux Klan. Now, while this is embarrassing for the Romney campaign, it’s probably not an intentional effort by Romney to co-opt the KKK’s message, or pander to the group’s base. That is, it’s almost certainly just an unfortunate coincidence. What’s odd, though, is that hours after reporting on the story, MSNBC felt the need to issue an apology. But why? We missed MSNBC’s original report, but as you can see above, Chris Matthews specifically apologizes for “report[ing] on a blog item that compared a phrase used by the Romney campaign to one used by the KKK way back in the 1920s.” But…the phrase was used by both groups. It’s a fact. MSNBC doesn’t dispute this. So why was it, in Matthews’ words, “irresponsible,” and indicative of an “appalling lack of judgement,” for the network to point it out? Can someone who saw the original report shed some light on this? source

16 Aug 2011 21:39


U.S.: Out-of-context Perry quote leads to race controversy

  • controversy On Tuesday, Rick Perry gave a speech in which he referred to a “big black cloud” hanging over America. The propagation of this quote by Ed Schultz and ABC News led to charges of racism against Perry.
  • explanation Both the Ed Schultz edit and the ABC quotation excluded Perry’s full comments, wherein he makes it explicitly clear that the “big black cloud” to which he refers is the nation’s debt. Not, as Schultz claimed, the President. source
  • » There are several different elements to this. First and foremost, two respected media outlets provided a half-quote when they should have provided a full quote. The intent (if any) behind the ABC article is debatable—they later updated it to make Perry’s comments clearer—but Ed Schultz was being flatly disingenuous when he said that “[the] black cloud Perry is talking about is President Barack Obama.” It wasn’t, and that was clear in the original quote. However, it is legitimate to ask whether or not the phrase “big black cloud” was consciously chosen to evoke—however subconsciously—racial imagery. The whole strategy behind race-baiting is to suggest race with a veil of plausible deniability, and while it’s not at all clear that Perry was doing this, it’s at least a fair question to ask. What do you think?

03 Jul 2011 12:42


Politics: Looking back: Why Mark Halperin’s quip is really par for the course

  • It would be nice to think that the rapidity of the official reaction had to do with legitimate disapproval. Actually, it is a reflex quickened by practice because what cable news now calls political journalism is set up to produce just this kind of ‘television moment’ and its attendant swirl of attention-getting faux controversy.
  • L.A. Times columnist Tim Rutten • Offering a room-clearing take on the whole situation with Mark Halperin and “Morning Joe.” To put it simply, he doesn’t think it’s actually any sort of controversy of the real kind, but instead an opportunity to create a conversation-of-the-day moment. (Which Halperin’s quip successfully did, by the way.) It’s an idea that started with Fox News but has kinda expanded from there. There’s even a site dedicated to this idea. And well, you know, he’s right. But it makes good TV, and that’s all that matters, right? source

25 May 2011 23:25


Politics: Yes, MSNBC was right to suspend Ed Schultz

  • Un-ED-cceptable: MSNBC is giving Ed Schultz a one-week, unpaid timeout for calling Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham a “right-wing slut.” And good for them. Obviously, Laura Ingraham’s sex life is completely irrelevant to her political views, but more importantly, the use of the word “slut” as an insult implies that having many sexual partners is something bad, something to be ashamed of. This is exactly the kind of antiquated, 1950’s-era thinking that progressives have been trying to move past for the last fifty years, and for Schultz to resort to that kind of base rhetoric is not only offensive and inappropriate, it’s counterproductive to the cause he claims to champion. If anything, we say he got off easy. source

08 Feb 2011 11:25


Politics: It’s official: Keith Olbermann going with Current TV – and more

  • Well, there’s the tease. Olbermann’s coming to Current TV, meaning that now Keith has an outlet that’s going to basically let him do what he wants. He also becomes the network’s “Chief News Officer,” meaning that rather than fighting with Phil Griffin, he effectively is Phil Griffin. source

24 Jan 2011 11:14


Politics: Keith Olbermann: A long history of bad-terms departures

  • Give us a bit of credit for getting eight years out of him. That’s the longest he’s been anywhere.
  • A NBC News executive • Discussing Keith Olbermann’s ouster late last week. Olbermann’s departure (which was mutual) continued a long trend for the fiery-but-talented anchor, who has left every network he’s worked for on not-so-hot terms. Most famously, of course, was his departure from ESPN, which Olbermann described as a “nuclear war.” But his resume is littered with similar explosive exits. So maybe it was time. source

21 Jan 2011 22:07


Politics: Question: Post-MSNBC, should Keith Olbermann return to sports?

  • Personally, I liked Olbermann better as a sports anchor. He could be funny, but he wasn’t expected to wad up paper, or quiver his lip, or what have you.
  • SB Nation’s Jon Bois • Offering a relatively fresh view on Olbermann’s departure, whatever the cause. Fact is, as many wonky fans as he has, some still love him more for his ’90s run on ESPN’s “Sportscenter.” (We disagree, by the way, but that’s just us.) Should Keith get back into sports? He was pretty good back in the day at doing this, so it’d be an interesting time to return. But he might be harder to accept in this role, considering the by-default divisive nature of “Countdown.” Keith’s done some sports stuff in recent years, most recently with “Football Night in America.” But doing sports full-time might be a bit of a harsh left turn for a guy who’s banked so much on the cult of personality and earned many fans because of it. source

21 Jan 2011 21:33


Politics: So, what happens to Keith Olbermann’s old MSNBC slot now?

  • departure Keith Olbermann shockingly announced his departure from MSNBC tonight, making the left half of the Interwebs explode. (Here’s the video.)
  • replacement Lawrence O’Donnell will be replacing Keith in the 8 p.m. slot, and Ed Schultz will replace O’Donnell at 10 p.m. Why not give our boy Cenk his own show? source

20 Dec 2010 00:24


Politics: Max Headroom: MSNBC gets slam-dunk chance to mock Fox News

  • Like shooting fish in a barrel: As you might guess, MSNBC had a bit of a field day with the University of Maryland’s study that suggested that Fox News leaves viewers more misinformed. Let’s face it, if MSNBC couldn’t do an entertaining report on this story, why do they even exist? To give Contessa Brewer work? To make Rachel Maddow sound like the voice of reason? So Dylan Ratigan can make randomly awesome speeches? Let’s face it, as objective as they like to pretend to be on the surface, they live for stories like this one.
  • imaginary friends = Unhealthy This Fox News clip just makes us laugh. Father Jonathan Morris, who moonlights as a Fox News contributor, discusses why we need prayer to get through our toughest times. Hilariously, the study also suggests that atheists could benefit, too, with the help of an imaginary friend, a suggestion he pooh-poohs. And then, from there, it gets weird.
  • Larry King’s last stand “Instead of goodbye, how about ‘so long’?” We admit that we greatly enjoyed the comfort food that Larry King put on our plates for most of our adult lives. There’s nobody like him – those suspenders, those glasses, those ties, that hair – and Piers Morgan won’t be a good substitute no matter how many British tabloids he edited before becoming minorly famous.

01 Dec 2010 23:37


Politics: Poor guy: Dude loses joint custody of kids ’cause he’s agnostic

  • The poor guy in this Young Turks/MSNBC joint recently lost joint custody of his kids because he’s agnostic. No, really. The judge in the case cited Craig Scarberry’s (lack of) religion twice in making the decision to rescind the joint custody he had for four years. Anyone else see this as a first amendment/freedom of religion violation? Because we certainly do. source