MSNBC’s leftward descent

I don’t watch much of the big 24-7 news networks anymore, but when I did, I always tuned in to either Fox or MSNBC, because I found both of them to be generally fair. I found Fox to be more fair than MSNBC, but gave MSNBC credit for being an offshoot of the liberal NBC while at the same distancing itself from NBC with its more balanced programming.

But over the last couple of years, the network has taken a decidedly leftward tilt, and it started with Joe Scarborough who, while a solid conservative, began rattling off harsh, many times unwarranted criticisms about the Bush administration. His motivation for doing so has been extreme frustration with the Bush administration on a number of issues, which is understandable, but nevertheless, his attacks on the admin and other Republicans have been blistering to the point that they oftentimes sound like something you’d read on the pages of Daily Kos.

Hardball’s Chris Matthews’ increasing hatred for Republicans is well-known.

And then there’s Keith Olbermann, a sportscaster-turned-“pundit” whose show Countdown debuted in March of 2003, and maintained mostly subpar ratings. That is, of course, until he decided to make his show devoted to bashing Bush, which have helped his show’s ratings some – thanks in large part to the moonbat left. He denies that he caters to the far left, but the proof is all there for the world to see. Here are some examples of Olby’s Nutroot-approved anti-W/Republicans rants:

Much, much more on Olbermann’s fruity nutrootiness can be read over at the excellent Olbermann Watch blog.

With Olbermann’s mild success under their belts, MSNBC has decided to continue their descent into leftyville, as the NYT reports:

Riding a ratings wave from “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” a program that takes strong issue with the Bush administration, MSNBC is increasingly seeking to showcase its nighttime lineup as a welcome haven for viewers of a similar mind.

Lest there be any doubt that the cable channel believes there is ratings gold in shows that criticize the administration with the same vigor with which Fox News’s hosts often champion it, two NBC executives acknowledged yesterday that they were talking to Rosie O’Donnell about a prime-time show on MSNBC.

During the nine months she spent on “The View” before departing abruptly last spring, Ms. O’Donnell raised viewership notably. She did so while lamenting the unabated casualties of the Iraq war and advocating the right to gay marriage, among other positions.

Under one option, Ms. O’Donnell would take the 9 p.m. slot each weeknight on MSNBC, pitting her against “Larry King Live” on CNN and “Hannity & Colmes” on Fox News.

But even without Ms. O’Donnell, MSNBC already presents a three-hour block of nighttime talk β€” Chris Matthews’s “Hardball” at 7, Mr. Olbermann at 8, and “Live With Dan Abrams” at 9 β€” in which the White House takes a regular beating. The one early-evening program on MSNBC that is often most sympathetic to the administration, “Tucker” with Tucker Carlson at 6 p.m., is in real danger of being canceled, said one NBC executive, who, like those who spoke of Ms. O’Donnell, would do so only on condition of anonymity.

The possibility of having the Bush-hating Rosie O in the MSNBC primetime line-up excites KO, who no longer appears to be denying that he’s playing up to the far left:

That said, in a separate interview last week, Mr. Olbermann acknowledged that for MSNBC’s nighttime lineup to ultimately work, viewers needed to be able to follow at least some common themes from one show to another. He likened himself and his fellow hosts, collectively, to the menu of a hamburger restaurant with several variations of the same dish.

“If you go into a burger place, and you go in there for the fish, you might want the fish occasionally but it’s probably a mistake” he said. “Could you be utterly different politically and succeed in this format? You’d basically be throwing your audience away.”

Ah, the double standards of the left rear their ugly little heads again. Let’s flash back again to what KO said about Fox News and Al Qaeda:

Al Qaeda really hurt us, but not as much as Rupert Murdoch has hurt us, particularly in the case of Fox News. Fox News is worse than Al Qaeda β€” worse for our society. It’s as dangerous as the Ku Klux Klan ever was.

Why would prompt him to say this? Because he believes Fox News’ programming tilts to the right, which to him is a big no no. In OlbyWorld, it’s good to have “common themes in programming” only if your programming is similar to how he thinks. He’s apparently convinced the bigwigs at MSNBC of this as well, in spite of the fact that his numbers, while increasing slightly, are nowhere near to winning the ratings battle versus Bill O.

Will be interesting to see KO end up being the warm up act for a Rosie 9 pm time slot against Hannity and Colmes and CNN’s Larry King. As I’ve said before, I actually don’t mind Rosie being on the air, as (to me) she is a perfect representative of the how far the left has gone in America these days, and the more that gets exposed to the American people, the more beneficial I think it will be to conservatives.

And on that note, Don Surber sends out a word of caution to news networks who believe overwhelmingly left wing programs are the key to big success.

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