Sunday, May 29, 2011

MSNBC Stoops to Fox Tricks

MSNBC can be just as bad as Fox sometimes. You saw that Ed Schultz was suspended for a week for calling Laura Ingram a right-wing slut. If he had just said nut instead of slut everything would have been hunky-dory. But, aside from blurted-out insults, I've noticed lately the folks on the leftie network stoop to Fox tactics. Just after Obama released his long-for birth certificate and effectively shut off the whole conspiracy theory about his status as a US citizen, Lawrence O'Donnell had Orly Tatz, the so-called birther queen, on his show. He basically harangued and screamed at her. Granted, this nutbag, Zsa Zsa Gabor clone deserved it, but why have her on if all you're going to do is browbeat her.

O'Donnell asked if she would acknowledge that the long-form birth certificate was real and would she admit she was wrong and apologize for taking up everyone's time like a sorry little girl. She held up some document she claimed was Obama's civil service record--whatever that is--and then O'Donnell basically went ballistic on her. She refused to answer his question, and he kicked her off the show. That was as bad as any Fox show. It would have been more effective if he'd calmly asked her why she was evading the obvious evidence right in front of her? Then she would have looked like a loon and O'Donnell would have seemed like the sane one. Instead he came off as a screaming maniac rather than a responsible journalist.

On another MSNBC show, Martin Bashir played similar games. He was interviewing this ultraconservative former Congressman Tancredo who, during his term, had said Obama was more dangerous to America than Al Qada--is that how you spell it? Bashir asked Tancredo if he was in favor of Obama being assassinated since by the reporter's logic if the president was more dangerous than the terrorist organization, and the head of that organization, bin Laden, had just been assasinated, ergo it's a fair question to ask if the former Congressman thought the prez should be offed. Tancredo replied Of course not. He wished Obama political harm, but not actual physical harm. It was an unfair, sensationist question.

I love MSNBC most of the time, but these extremes are unbecoming. The NewsHour on PBS would never stoop to such tactics. One more note on MSNBC: I was watching Morning Joe right after the special NY election when Paul Ryan's Medicare overhaul cost the Repubs a safe Congressional seat. Joe Scarborough and the panel basically took the tack that at least Ryan was trying to do something to stop the popular program from going bankrupt and that the Dems are just in favor of doing nothing. So the repubs just need to get the message right and they won't lose the House in 2012. That may be, but how about the fact that the Repubs REFUSE to even consider raising taxes on rich people, which would help the Medicare situation. It's funny that the Repubs are moaning about the Dems "demagoguing"--is that how you spell it?--and scaring seniors over the medical insurance claims. They've already forgotten all the "death panel" horror stories they cooked up. Remember Michele Bachman saying "Grandma is not shovel ready"? It's looking like the Ryan budget is a loser and Boehner is stuck with it. All Obama has to do is say these guys want to take away your Medicare and replace it with a voucher system plus they won't even give aid to tornado victims in their own states without spending cuts elsewhere and he will be in the White House for another four years.

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