Accuracy in Media

Reviewing Jeff Cohen’s new book on cable news, Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media (PoliPointPress), Dan Kennedy in the Phoenix News said that Cohen, the founder of the left-liberal media-watchdog group FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), found that “it was easier to work with out-and-out conservatives” at Fox News Channel “than with executives at CNN and MSNBC, who lived in constant fear that they would be accused of liberal bias.” That’s a reference to Cohen having been a panelist on the Fox News Watch program.

But how times have changed, certainly in regard to MSNBC.

MSNBC is now so far left that Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman, did a show on whether President Bush is an idiot. His liberal bosses must have liked it. 

Under NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker, one of those bosses, MSNBC has been steadily moving left, with a highly reliable source telling AIM that Scarborough is desperate to appease Zucker and hold on to his job. Conservative views are being discouraged on the air.

Scarborough even wrote a piece on the left-wing Huffingtonpost website, named after the ex-wife of the Congressman who turned gay, saying, “The biggest knock on Bush’s brain is his lack of intellectual curiosity. Former administration officials still close to the White House will tell you Mr. Bush detests dissent, embraces a narrow world view and is intellectually incurious.”

On September 14, I went to Scarborough’s MSNBC-TV blog, where he is supposed to talk about the issues that matter to the regular Joe. The day’s topic: Tom Cruise. This didn’t strike me as intellectually stimulating.

On August 21, Scarborough declared that “asking whether our President is mentally engaged in the job is an important question to ask.” He explained, “With al Qaeda back in the headlines, Iraq deteriorating, Hezbollah in rapid ascent, Iran defying the world, Israel in turmoil, Afghanistan in crisis mode and North Korea behaving more recklessly every day, President Bush needs to assure America and the world that he is intellectually engaged.”

But is Scarborough mentally engaged?

His September 13 big story was about the new season of “Survivor” splitting tribes by race.

We got a call about that development from Channel 9 in Washington, D.C. wanting to know if we would go on a local program to comment on the controversy. I’ve never watched the show and have no plans to do so. We said they should find somebody else. Maybe they found Scarborough.

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