MSNBC president Phil Griffin was interviewed by GQ and bristled at the notion that the network is the liberal antidote to Fox News.
GQ: Your network was beaten by Fox at the RNC but beat them at the DNC. Is MSNBC the liberal counterpart to Fox?
Griffin:… And see everybody tries to make an equivalence between us and Fox. You tell me when Fox praises the Democrats! Lawrence O’Donnell said it was one of the best speeches he heard by Romney. Ed Schultz talked about how a star was born with Ryan—even though he disagreed with everything he said. Steve Schmidt the former McCain manager in the ’08 election talked about strategy and helped us understand what they’re doing. We’re totally open to—we don’t have to agree with it but we totally understood it and tried to dissect it and appreciate it for what it is. You never see that at Fox—there’s no equivalency! And by the way: Every. Republican. Candidate, politician who’s in trouble or needs help or tension, where do they go? They go to Fox and they get their one-on-one interview. President Barack Obama has never done an interview on MSNBC. He’s done one on CNN on Fox and the other networks. He’s never done MSNBC. The Dems don’t come to MSNBC because they know we don’t lay down, we’re not their voice, we’re independent. There are a lot of things we agree about, but we’re not—we live by facts we go deep and don’t let people get away with just making statements and we’re not going to shill for them. And that is why I can’t stand it when people are making the equivalency.
But TV Newser’s Chris Ariens points out that Griffin’s claims about Fox aren’t quite true, noting praise of Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton’s speeches.
Brit Hume on Mrs. Obama: “Extremely impressive and attractive woman.”
Charles Krauthammer on Mrs. Obama: “Brilliant speech and brilliantly delivered.”
Hume on Bill Clinton’s DNC speech: “If I were ever in trouble and if I were guilty — especially if I were guilty — I would want Bill Clinton there to defend me because nobody does it better.”
As for Griffin’s claim that Dems don’t come to MSNBC because the network won’t lay down for them, that is utterly false. Democrats appear all the time on MSNBC programs. And in many instances, as was the case Wednesday night on Hardball where Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) appeared, there was only praise for Brown and scorn for his opponent and the SuperPAC’s that are trying to defeat him.
Also, Griffin told GQ that he considers it a badge of honor that Obama hasn’t appeared on MSNBC yet, but that is also false. Griffin knows that having the President on the network would give it a tremendous ratings boost. But the reason he hasn’t come on the network may have more to do with Obama’s perception that the hero-worship he would receive would clearly expose the overt bias of the network.