But while it’s not anywhere near Fox News in its criticism, MSNBC has taken some recent shots at the way the Democrats are doing business – knocking the left, from the left.
The New York Times‘s Brian Stelter writes about the ways MSNBC has worked in criticism of this administration, focusing specifically on the 9pmET host, Rachel Maddow. One of the most obvious examples is Maddow’s recent crusade against the Stupak amendment which was added to the health care bill in Congress. As her attacks continue almost nightly, the implication is clear – the Democrats in Congress are wrong. “I don’t think our audience is looking for unequivocal ‘rah-rah,'” she told the Times.
Maybe not, but they still get quite a bit of ‘rah-rah.’ While Maddow’s show, along with another liberal talker Ed Schultz‘, often have debate with those they disagree with, the linchpin program, Keith Olbermann‘s 8pmET hour is almost entirely devoid of the same debate. Has he ever been critical of Pres. Obama? Yes, but Maddow’s show has more clear examples of this.
One interesting takeaway is regarding the previous administration. MSNBC President Phil Griffin says, “We heard a whole lot more from the Bush White House,” implying the former administrations tactics of dealing with a network it felt was out to get them differed from this new method the White House has employed to deal with Fox News. Instead of cutting them off, they would reach out and voice their concerns. This does appear to be where the relationship is headed now between the two sides in the WH/FNC battle.
Was Fox News as critical from the right as MSNBC is being from the left during the Bush years? It’s hard to tell. Sean Hannity certainly wasn’t, but Bill O’Reilly was often critical of the Bush administration on a variety of topics. Glenn Beck wasn’t around the News Corp. hallways until Obama reached office.
One note: Maddow said, “We’re articulating liberal viewpoints…but we’re not saying ‘Call your congressman, show up at this rally!'” (She’s implying this is what separates MSNBC tactics from Fox News tactics.) While she might not be, Gawker found someone else on the network who most certainly is.
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