Accuracy in Media

The bias of MSNBC, the low-rated cable news network that has emerged as an unofficial arm of the Democratic National Committee, got worse as the November 7 election approached. It is almost amusing to watch how the executives marketed and packaged their pro-Democratic Party bias.

On October 25, two weeks before the election, Chris Matthews came on to plug his show, saying he would examine the “racist” Playboy ad against Harold Ford in Tennessee. Then, Michael Feldman of something called hotsoup.com was on “The Most” show with Alison Stewart, claiming the ad had “racial overtones” and would hurt Republicans.

As we have noted repeatedly, the so-called racist ad used actors and actresses to make fun of the views and record of Tennessee Democratic Senate candidate Harold Ford. One, a sexy actress, said she had met Ford at a Playboy party and asked “Harold” to call her. Because the actress was white and Ford is black, liberals accused Republicans of being racists. They didn’t want to talk about the fact that Ford, who campaigned on a platform of traditional values, had tried to avoid talking about his attendance at the party. Another inconvenient fact for those charging racism is that almost all Playboy models are white.

Matthews is a well-known Democratic Party operative, who used to work for House Speaker Thomas P. O’Neill, but Feldman of hotsoup.com was presented as somebody without an ideological agenda. It turned out that he, like Matthews, is a longtime Democratic Party operative. He is a former Clinton/Gore official and founding partner of the Glover Park Group, a Democratic Party public relations firm.

The next day, Feldman was back on MSNBC, this time identified as a “Democratic strategist,” along with his partner, “Republican” Mark McKinnon, who curiously agreed that the anti-Ford Playboy ad was “indefensible and unconscionable.” McKinnon has some impressive Republican credentials but he sounded more like a Democrat. He also alleged that Rush Limbaugh’s criticism of the Michael J. Fox pro-Democratic Party ad on stem-cell research was a case of “attacking the victim.” Limbaugh had charged that Fox, who suffers from Parksinon’s disease, was exaggerating his symptoms to generate sympathy for his cause.

NBC News reporter Norah O’Donnell, who orchestrated the segment, claimed that the Republicans were “playing dirty” during the final few weeks of the campaign.

Referring to hotsoup.com, O’Donnell said that the name of the website did not refer to the principals being chefs and laughed hard at her own joke. The dirty politics in this case was using a “Republican” to articulate Democratic talking appoints.

Meanwhile, Joe Scarborough’s show has degenerated into reruns of clips from other programs, especially Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show,” and Hollywood trivia that he calls “Hollyweird.” The show itself is weird.

This is a channel that is in a downward spiral, and yet management doesn’t seem to care.




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