Home | About | Donate

Is MSNBC Going Conservative? Supposedly Liberal News Network Loves #NeverTrumpers More Than Leftists


Is MSNBC Going Conservative? Supposedly Liberal News Network Loves #NeverTrumpers More Than Leftists

Paul Rosenberg

In the wake of Donald Trump’s election in 2016, MSNBC had at least two clear options: It could respond to a swelling progressive viewer base by moving left, or it could keep playing the Beltway game and move right, loading up with #NeverTrump Republicans and dumping actual progressives. In choosing the latter — albeit with a head-fake — the news channel has significantly skewed its coverage, to the detriment of progressive politics and its own viewers.


The mainstream media today has taken on a new modus operandi. It basically works on bringing to its viewers exactly what they want to hear, what makes them feel good watching.
MSNBC, in particular, attracts the large segment of the population that vehemently hates Trump, so they consistently air segments which feed this “pleasure” of hating Trump, in order to attract a larger and larger audience.
Truth is thrown aside, and entertainment takes precedence.
Of course, as always, more and more money is the ultimate goal. If they happen to feed the possibility of a nuclear war, well, somehow it’s worth that risk.


“IGNORING the activist left” ?

Mainstream media including MSNBC continues to accelerate their DEMONIZATION of the activist left. The more that Americans recognize that the activist left is the 99%'s only hope, the harder mainstream media comes down on the activist left.


The mainstream media is owned by a handful of multi-billionaires, people not usually known for promoting causes dear to the “activist left.” The appearance of liberalism in their broadcasts promoting the corporate run Democratic Party is enough to fool a majority.


It makes sense when you put it into the light of news=gossip. I can’t really blame people for wanting national news to be nothing but gossip. It’s so immense and out of control there’s little else it can be.

That’s how ClearChannel became popular. Before Bill Clinton’s sex scandals, Bill O’Reilly was little more than a sleaze promoter. He only became known as a political commentator when talk about the scandals evolved into talk about hating everything Clinton.

The never-Trumpers also fits this pattern. What better way to prove Trump is horrible and to substantiate your gossip than to interview people in his own party who can’t stand him? They did the same thing under Bush when most of their interviews about the wars were from retired generals who criticized him.


I don’t like this bias left or right cable TV news to begin with. I think TV news should strive for accuracy in reporting and be catering to people on the left or right.

In any way equating right wing extremism with Democratic corporatism the two big problems is bizarre. First of all Republican corporatism is much greater than Democratic corporatism. But more importantly when you are talking about right wing extremism you are getting into fascism, white supremacy, extreme libertarianism supported by the Koch brothers, and conspiracy theories about the New World Order. Be very afraid of right wing extremism. All kind of people on the left need to band together to fight it. Creating deep divisions on the left is very risky these days considering what is looming on the right.


The political spectrum isn’t left/right. It’s top/bottom, and media—and your beloved Brand D—are either owned by or operated to benefit the top. “Blame it all on the wicked Rs” isn’t selling well, in case you hadn’t gotten the memo.


What I am afraid of are the Democrats who say “Elect us!! We’re not as bad!!”

Yes, indeed. Keep marching right, but slowly and steadily, not all at once. Do not create divisions in the “left” that never was left, only slightly less right. Creating such divisions may expose the lie that a left that promotes capitalism and corporatism is not a left, it’s just a softer form of fascism.


The graph looks like a simple variation of the Political Compass, which I found a link to in the Common Dreams comments many years ago. I think it is much more useful (and explains why right wing libertarians seem to make sense half the time).


Scroll to the bottom of the page to see where they graphed Bernie Sanders.


Kind of skewed spin, there. Trump is easy to hate within the parameters of real news; the Ol’ Lyin Machine, doesn’t need much help with gossip. In point of fact, the Corporate Media pretty much stopped the everyday recording of The-Liar-In-Chief, once they figured out the 35-40% who like him don’t much care that he’s a big lying s.o.b. Or, is that p.o.s., since it’s easy to confuse the two with Trump. And, increasingly with his defenders, as well.
As to the machinations of the Corporate Choreographers at MSNBC; well, they’re framing is overtly designed to place a center-right tower of babble between the left-center ( progressives ) and emerging power groups of millennials. Who aren’t buying the traditional Dims v. Rebubs flotsam and jetsam.This is very apparent in their use of folks like Kace Hunt, Robert Costa and others ( C. Matthews being the exception ) who look like they could still be living with their parents. If those aren’t Young Establishment Republicans, they’ll certainly fill in well, until some real ones come along.
The narrow-scoping of the American mind will continue in the MSM until THE MIC & MSM 2.0 are harmonized again. Say, now about that Connor Lamb…


Sen. Sanders positioned himself as a Socialist to steal the votes and thunder from the GP, obviously. Ya know, all 1+% of them.
Nice try.


Or as the comedy group the Firesign Theatre put it nearly fifty years ago: “Good morming. Those are the headlines. Now for the rumors behind the news.”

You make a strong point that news is immense and out-of-control. Compounding the issue is that, as Marshall McLuhan noted, television is a “cool” medium, meaning that the viewer must work to provide meaning into what is being presented. Alexander Cockburn used the term “depthless coverage” to describe the same phenomenon–that TV news does not provide context or history in sufficient volume to enable viewers to make sense of the current event. I recall a study published after the 1991 Gulf War, the “CNN War,” as CNN was a leading outlet for updates, that nevertheless concluded that the more TV news viewers watched about the war, the less they understood what they were actually watching, let alone the issues associated with the war.

Compounding that issues is, in a sense ironically, that although TV may be a “cool” medium, TV news seems to have concluded that having guests “hot under the collar” is ratings gold. This is why I stopped watching the “Big Three” US cable news channels years ago–watching several talking heads trying to shout over each other only made me agitated and unable to follow whatever thread was actually being laid out. It was like watching The Jerry Springer Show with guests in better clothes and with better vocabularies.


You should check back in. There’s very little yelling and cross-talk anymore.
Trump apologists are just not very visible on MSNBC, which has bigger fish to fry and synthesize, so to speak.
The Clintonistas & Republican Establishment is trying to reconstitute a new center. Maybe in anticipation of 3rd & 4th Parties emerging. Just a guess.


I think that there is another explanation beyond click-bait journalism (where they will do or say almost anything to get viewers to tune in) although that is clearly one of the main motivators. The extent to which a pro-war sentiment is ubiquitous in all news outlets now (NYT, WP, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, etc.) we all need to start thinking about the fact that journalism hasn’t just been bought out and owned by wealthy conservatives, but that all of US journalism seems to have also been infiltrated by intelligence agency/military spokespersons. Only some of the talking heads are identified as being part of the government/military/intelligence agencies, many of them, including some supposed “journalists”, are almost certainly on the payrolls of these agencies. It does not seem possible that every single news outlet in the US supports every conceivable war or bombing attack without ever mentioning the downsides or blowback potential. When I listen to any of them (which is very rare nowadays) they sound like state sponsored propaganda outfits. That would not be the case if news agencies were completely independent from government, military or defense corporation influence.


I agree. That’s why I have a whole container of Morton’s sitting on the table beside me, when I do tune in. When Max Boot is the guest, watch out. The Neo-Con bullshittin’ session has been called to order. Max & The Generals: this could be a whole new programming venture.


No one has to create deep divisions in Brand D. They’re already glaring in a party that ranges from Joe Manchin to Bernie Sanders.

And the division shines even brighter when a certain candidate literally purchases the supposedly neutral campaign support system and uses it to bludgeon ‘Bernie Bros.’

Now Lrx, you didn’t call anyone a Bernie Bro, did you?

Also, please don’t conflate the left with your party. Those are two different animals.


Maybe I should, just to see first-hand how the Big Three are positioning whatever “big story” is in the news cycle du jour.

On the other hand, a whole host of media analysts (Bagdikian, Chomsky and Herman, Parenti et al.) have been saying for decades how the MSM defines the parameters of acceptable opinion while FAIR, and now a number of mechanisms on the web and even a host of TV comedy show like Full Frontal, offer their digest of that.


Just as there is no opposition party to the combined “Republicrat” monster, there is no opposition corporate media. Get your investigative news online while you still can because you can bet your asses they’ve already got that targeted for censorship or total blackout.


MSNBC was never the “liberal” outlet that all the right wingers and a lot of “liberals” thought it to be. Anybody remember during the early Bush years that it was trying to compete with Fox with people like Michael Savage and Tweety creaming in his shorts watching “W” walk across the deck of the carrier in his superhero costume? They NEVER were anywhere as progressive as the Young Turks, Democracy, LINK TV, or FSTV. The best years were with Olberman at the helm in the evening. Now they’re a joke, I hardly ever watch them anymore. Seems they don’t know where or how to go, so every couple of years they change their editorial outlook.


Love the Firesign theatre, their satire is especially great in these times. I’ve always had a sweet spot for “We’re all bozos on this bus”.