Tuesday, January 04, 2005

MSNBC Continues Its Rightward Tilt by Wooing Carlson

Just what America needs.

MSNBC is reportedly close to a deal with CNN's Tucker Carlson, who would fil the primetime slot soon to be vacated by apolitical Deborah Norville.

So if you're scoring at home, that would make the primetime lineup:

-- Liberal Keith Olbermann
-- Fox Democrat wannabe Chris Matthews
-- Conservative Tucker Carlson
-- Conservative Joe Scarborough

Carlson would be the first major hire for MSNBC president Rick Kaplan, a one-time head of CNN. Kaplan has long been criticized as representing "liberal media bias," for being a "FOB" (Friend of Bill Clinton).

Conservatives, rightly or wrongly, flag CNN as being too liberal, mocking it as the "Clinton News Network." Liberals, rightly or wrongly (I would argue rightly) label Fox News as a mouthpiece for the GOP. Ratings-challenged MSNBC? It just wants to be popular, and as a result, has swung all over the political spectrum, although of late it seems to be trying a "Fox-lite" strategy. Carlson's hiring would, for now, cement that image in a lot of minds.

Phil Donahue grabbed higher ratings than Chris Matthews, but was abruptly dumped last year for "low ratings," although the buzz was that MSNBC thought the show was too "liberal." Ashleigh Banfield became a cable sensation for her heroic reporting on 9/11, but after globetrotting to mediocre ratings while offering a left-of-center focus, she, too, was dumped. On the other end of the poltiical spectrum, Alan Keyes claimed he was "making sense" on MSNBC, but viewers thought otherwise, and his stay on the air was brief.

Olbermann, who some have speculated may have saved his spot on the network after a boost in ratings from woeful to just bad, offered this last month:

"The poor ratings of MSNBC owe to incredibly unstable scheduling. For three years we did not have the same nightly line-up for more than six weeks successively. We've now gone over a year since the last change."

Oops. Norville is out, and Carlson appears to be in. Will Olbermann be lopped off next? Pat Buchanan is available ...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing, one of the most passive conservatives on television is portrayed to be some right wing nut job. He is the conservative foil to the likes of Begala, Carville, and Brazile, kind of the Republican Alan Colmes.

Maybe MSNBC struggles because they are not as good.

By the way, if we were talking about a conservative that was formerly a Chief of Staff to a rabid partisan, as Democrat Matthews was, you would clearly label him as such. However, since it refers to a liberal, you are only able to label him a moderate, or a Fox Democrat. Liberal as they get, yet that makes him moderate in your book.

9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris Matthews' personal background aside, it's what he says on Hardball that counts.

JABBS and other sites, such as dailyhowler.com and mediamatters.org, have highlighted examples of Matthews touting the conservative line, distorting liberal viewpoints, praising conservatives like Trent Lott as representing his audience, and saying that he "hates, hates, hates" liberals like Hillary Clinton.

The reason, most likely, that JABBS called him a "Fox Democrat" is because Matthews has been wooed by Fox News, and apparently has considered moving there when his MSNBC contract ends.

10:55 AM  

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