In an article by Lloyd Grove of The Daily Beast, MSNBC president Phil Griffin denies that the network has a liberal ideology, instead calling it a “progressive sensibility.” Grove writes:
Where some Republican operatives and office-holders see MSNBC as a liberal-Democrat collaborator of the Obama White House—with a promotional catchphrase, ‘Lean Forward,’ that echoes the slogan of President Obama’s reelection campaign—Griffin admits only to what he calls ‘a progressive sensibility.’ A ‘sensibility,’ he explains, is not the same as an ‘ideology.’
‘I think we’ve never had an ideology,’ Griffin insists. ‘An ideology is a single thought across all programs. We’ve never had that.’ As evidence, he mentions the spirited on-air debates in 2010, pro and con, concerning whether the Bush tax cuts should be allowed to expire. ‘Obviously I hire people who fit the sensibility,’ Griffin says. ‘We do stay true to facts. You have to build your argument. That’s why I call it a sensibility.’
Griffin is right that ideology and sensibility are not the same thing, but I doubt that MSNBC hosts like Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow think that a “progressive sensibility” takes precedence over their liberal ideology on their respective shows.
Ideology drives them and MSNBC every day.
While Griffin denies that MSNBC has an ideology, he firmly believes that Fox News has one, telling Grove that “every Republican who’s in trouble goes on that network to be taken care of…They’re owned by News Corp, which is run by Rupert Murdoch.” Griffin added that Fox News president Roger Ailes “comes out of the Republican Party.”
Griffin doesn’t cite any specific examples, and doesn’t mention that Fox News hasn’t been shy in criticizing the GOP on many occasions. Nor does he mention the roster of liberal Democrats employed by Fox News to provide an alternate point of view—something that is rarely seen on MSNBC.
If anything, MSNBC is much closer to being a Democratic Party mouthpiece than Fox News is for the GOP.
But that’s what happens when you just parrot a 2009 White House charge, and ignore the facts.