Sock Puppet Greenwald: Us Neocons Dictate MSNBC’s Programming

Following up on a post from earlier today Sock Puppet and updater extraordinaire (plus famous author!) Glenn Greewald has a hysterical, and long winded, piece out entitled The right dictates MSNBC’s programming decisions. Snort. Chuckle

MSNBC’s announcement that it is replacing Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews with David Gregory as anchors for its main political events (the upcoming presidential debates and election) vividly illustrates several long-obvious facts. First, nothing changes the behavior of our media corporations more easily than vocal demands and complaints from the Right, which petrify media executives and cause them to snap into line. From today’s New York Times article identifying some of the causes for MSNBC’s decision:

See, now I would follow up with “nothing affects the media more then profit.” When all was said and done, what did Dan Rather in was cBS’s diminishing $$$ returns off his “product,” as pointed out by Bernie Goldberg. But Sock Puppet actually tries to cover that

Second, in response to media criticism that the press is insufficiently substantive and adversarial to political power, the claim is frequently made that media outlets are simply driven by the profit motive, and that their programming choices are nothing more than a by-product of ratings. But in MSNBC’s case, that is plainly untrue. Back in 2003, they actually canceled their highest-rated program, Phil Donahue’s show, for purely ideological reasons — because, at a time when the establishment “liberal media” were systematically amplifying the Government’s pro-war views and excluding anti-war views, that short-lived MSNBC show was one of the only venues in America where one could hear anti-war viewpoints, and NBC’s fear of angering the Government and the Right clearly caused them, first, to impose extreme and unusual restrictions on the show’s content, and then to cancel it altogether.

An interesting viewpoint, which seems to ignore that he was getting waxed in the ratings:

In the 8 p.m. slot, Mr. Donahue’s show averaged 439,000 viewers over the past month, far short of his competitors, Connie Chung on CNN, who had 970,000 viewers, and Bill O’Reilly on Fox News, who dominated the hour with 2.7 million viewers.

and

The difference, an NBC News executive explained, was that Mr. Donahue’s show was extremely expensive to produce, because it involved a studio audience. The network was also disappointed that he was not more competitive with Ms. Chung.

Your serve, Sock Puppet. You’re down two sets

Third, this episode demonstrates what Eric Alterman documented several years ago: that the greatest and most transparent myth in American politics is that the U.S. has a “liberal media.” That is a myth that is maintained, first and foremost, by defining anyone who isn’t Rush Limbaugh as a “liberal.”….

Yes, because we all know how the majority of the media votes Republican and considers themselves Conservative. Seriously, Glenn, while you are writing your massive missive, deflecting away from the central issue of Keith and Chrissy being given the anchor chair heave ho, have you sat back and considered that Keith Olbermann is, in fact, massively biased and leans massively left, as does Chris Matthews?

Most American citizens can see the mega-bias in the media: why can’t you, Glenn?

So, before this starts becoming as long as a Sock Puppet screed, a couple quick points

  1. We on the right wish we had the power over the media you think we do, Glenn. Heck, we can’t even get Fox to stop their mega-focus on certain stories, such as the Natalie Holloway one
  2. Our only real power is to not watch the stations, and most of us are already tuned out. Hence MSNBC’s pathetic ratings. I used to enjoy the channel, till they went insane
  3. We can also boycot products advertised on those stations, but, really, we do not know what those products are, since we aren’t watching in the first place
  4. If the Left cared so much about Keith and Chris’ opinions so much, why do their ratings suck?

The rest of Sock Puppets post is simply yammering on with little content, but an attempt to cover himself(s) in glory.

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One Response to “Sock Puppet Greenwald: Us Neocons Dictate MSNBC’s Programming”

  1. sanford sklansky says:

    n the 8 p.m. slot, Mr. Donahue’s show averaged 439,000 viewers over the past month, far short of his competitors, Connie Chung on CNN, who had 970,000 viewers, and Bill O’Reilly on Fox News, who dominated the hour with 2.7 million viewers.

    This is really irrelavant, since all Greenwald was saying that Donahues show was the highest rated on MSNBC. I notice Connie Chung is not on tv anywhere. I don’t remember if Donahue had an audience, but I am not sure that made the show any harder to produce. The audience is not being paid. I am guessing that NBC owns the studio so there is no rent. Donahue was also forced to have two conservatives on the show for every liberal he had on.

    # If the Left cared so much about Keith and Chris’ opinions so much, why do their ratings suck?

    I am not sure about Matthews rating, but the number of Keiths people in certain demographics are up. The fact of the matter is if these shows were doing so bad they would be replaced by something else.

    Yes, because we all know how the majority of the media votes Republican and considers themselves Conservative. Seriously, Glenn, while you are writing your massive missive, deflecting away from the central issue of Keith and Chrissy being given the anchor chair heave ho, have you sat back and considered that Keith Olbermann is, in fact, massively biased and leans massively left, as does Chris Matthews?

    I would guess that a lot of print reporters would lean liberal at least in social matters. But the media is all owned by Conservatives. Disney, CBS, and NBC are hardly what you could call liberal. While they may put on some shows that piss off conservatives (mainly shows that have to do with sex. They don’t seem to mind violence too much.) And I should add language. Witness NYPD Blue. It wasn’t too violent but there were all kinds of complaints about skin and language. Lets face it networks are out to make money. They are not liberal when it comes on to whatever will make them the green stuff.

    As far as newspapers go I would gather most of them are or were owned by conservatives. The New York Post, and the Daily News are pretty conservative. The Chicago Tribune which would probably make Colonel McCormick roll over in his grave, is still a conservative paper. I don’t know if they have ever endorsed a democrat.

    Since Molly Ivins died there isn’t one well known Liberal columnist. If you look at the featured columnists at liberalopinion.com, I bet that most of them are not as widely syndicated as conservative.

    Here is an article from Media Matters

    http://mediamatters.org/reports/oped/

    They tried to get information from editor and publisher which covers syndicated columnists. They would give it out, so mediamatters called papers and found out who they ran in their papers.

    While there are certainly some voices on radio, mainly Air America. the landscape is dotted with conservative talk. I don’t get to listen to Air America but when I have listened to Thom Hartman he does have some guests on with opposing views. When he was at the Republcian Convention he had Rick Santoruem on. What a boob by the way. Ed Schultz will also put conservatives on. I know I have heard Richard Viguerie. I know that is spelled wrong. While I think Air Air America has some good hosts, a lot of times they are on crappy frequencies.

    If you don’t read it you should read Dailyhowler.com. While he is a liberal, he blames the so called liberal media for the fact that Bush was elected president. While Matthews may be a liberal, he never really critisized Bush, at least not to the point that Olberman has. Somerby (owner of the Howler) contends that Matthews along with others are just Jack Welch’s kids. He does take off on convervatives too, but not as often lately

    I find it interesting that in the long column that Greenwald wrote you did not come up with anything specific that he was wrong on.

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