Skip to comments.Rise of The Unaccomplished
Posted on 01/09/2014 4:55:17 AM PST by Kaslin
Hosting a daily talk radio show means I have to follow the news regularly. Its my job. Luckily its also what I love doing and have been doing since high school. But lately it has seemed more like work because, to find news, you have to sift through a lot of garbage and uninformed opinions.
Ive been called a lot in my life. Most is accurate if not suitable for print. But nothing elicits a faster response from me than to be called journalist. I am not a journalist, I am a columnist. Its an important distinction that used to exist but that seems to blur more each day to the detriment of a well-informed population.
Thats why I take issue with what my friend Matt Lewis recently wrote at the Daily Caller. Lewis says conservatives should be actively promoting young policy wonks of their own to combat whats happening at MSNBC. But whats happening at MSNBC is an unmitigated disaster, not only for ratings, but for blurring the line between journalism and simply making stuff up.
Blame this on cable news. The 24-hour news cycle means all of the networks must do more in less time than ever before. As a result, journalistic integrity has suffered some at all the networks, but none more so than MSNBC.
Even MSNBC used to fill the time with politicians and newsmakers in Washington talking about the news of the day, coupled with participants in news stories from around the country.
More importantly, MSNBC was a place where journalists possessed first-hand information and institutional knowledge of the organizations they were covering. The congressional reporters, for instance, had experience actually covering Congress. They had cultivated sources, broken stories and earned credibility.
Over time, as their credibility accrued, they moved to the pundit side of the news, where they offered insights based on experience and an insiders perspective of the days happenings.
They may have had an agenda, but they also had inside information. And their motivation was to deliver the truth. And that enabled them to earn respect, sources and credibility on both sides.
That day is done.
Cable news today has gone from a source of reliable information to a pep rally for an agenda facts be damned. Sure, it may appeal to younger people to some degree, but that veil of lies is easily peeled back by anyone who dares to stray from the MSNBC uniformity-of-thought plantation.
Facts remain the antidote to progressive lies, and journalism and legitimate punditry the kryptonite of the progressive echo chamber regardless of the age of the person on the screen.
But MSNBC doesnt go that route. Its airtime is occupied not by journalists with solid credentials and impeccable integrity but by children offering their opinions of the work of real journalists. They have no more credibility, no more track record of integrity, no more reason to take their opinions seriously than the weird drunk guy at the end of your local bar.
MSNBCs star, as it is, is Rachel Maddow. But Maddows background isnt in journalism, its in public policy. Shes an activist, which is perfectly fine. But she, at least according to both her Wikipedia page and her NBC website bio, has no real world experience that would give her any insight or perspective into what she advocates for other than having read books and talked to people about it. She pontificates with the authority of the NBC News brand without anything beyond the theoretical as a first-hand basis for it. (Naturally, shes been showered with awards from her fellow liberal journalist types, in spite of having a record of difficulty with facts.)
Maddow has been doing this for a while, so she at least has a base of knowledge from which to draw. But the future of MSNBC is a kiddie pool that is a mile-wide and an inch deep.
MSNBC has a show called The Cycle which is hosted by a string of unaccomplished nobodies who, taken together or separately, display a massive lack of credibility.
Touré Neblett, who seems to a taken a tip from Madonna and ditched his last name, has a background in privileged private school, writing about music and working as a cultural critic, which seems to be limited to crying racism with every exhale. Compelling.
Krystal Balls only accomplishment is an embarrassing loss in a failed run for Congress. Honestly, that seems to be it. After that, Ball started appearing on cable news as a Democratic Consultant, which is code for we could book them easily. Fascinating.
Abby Huntsman is the attractive daughter of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. Ive just listed her entire professional career before entering the media. I wish I were joking, but Im not. Shes the child of an incredibly wealthy liberal Republican, she calls herself a Republican, but like Meghan McCain, doesnt seem to understand anything about it. Enthralling.
Ari Melber is an anomaly on the show (and the network). He has actually worked in government and written about it for some time. Thats why, even though I disagree with him, his insights are at least informed by experience.
The contributors at MSNBC are a clown cars worth of unaccomplished, fresh-faced buffoons given credibility by proxy.
Joy-Ann Reid is managing editor of The Grio, a regular on MSNBC and an occasional panelist on Meet the Press. The Grio bills itself as the first video-centric news community site devoted to providing African Americans with stories and perspectives that appeal to them but are underrepresented in existing national news outlets. I didnt realize news had a race, but then Im not a progressive. The Grio is also owned by NBC News, which explains why someone with no real first hand knowledge of which she speaks would be on Meet the Press. Cross promotion is big at NBC News now. It also explains why Meet the Press has become the basement dweller in Sunday show ratings.
Ronan Farrow is the son of Mia Farrow and either Woody Allen or Frank Sinatra or someone else (when the list of possible fathers grows past one, who can tell?). His work history involves landing a job with his moms friend it just so happens his mom is friends with Hillary Clinton. Being born to famous parents and having worked in the State Department under possibly the worst Secretary of State in history has qualified Farrow for his own show on MSNBC, starting soon. You really cant make this stuff up.
Then theres Washington Post wunderkind Ezra Klein. Kleins background includes working on Howard Deans 2004 campaign in Vermont (that worked out well) and blogging at various left-wing outfits. With that on his resume, how could he not be a star? Klein revels in lecturing people whove studied their fields for decades with the arrogance found only in people whove never done it, and falls on his face often.
But hes still presented as credible by both the Post and MSNBC because he works for them. To be clear: Ezra Klein does not work at the Washington Post and MSNBC because he has any level of credibility, he has what little credibility he does because he works at The Washington Post and MSNBC. Thats the antithesis of how media used to work and the real world works outside of media.
The same goes for all of these people and most of MSNBCs on-air talent.
The only thing they have going for them, and the only reason any of them are on TV, is they dont make you want to vomit when you look at them, on mute at least. Had any of them had to work their way up through the ranks of the news business they may well have become someone with a base of knowledge and experience worthy of being taken seriously.
Thats why I take issue with my friend Matt Lewis and his belief that conservatives should promote their own young wonk talent. Let them season, let them accomplish and earn their way. Its already happening some at Fox News, and to a lesser degree CNN, and I hope it stops. The key to appealing to younger Americans isnt having an uninformed person their own age regurgitating talking points with their own oh-so-wise-and-snarky spin. Its having people whove been there and know what theyre talking about tell them in a non-stuffed-shirt way.
Cream, as the old saying goes, rises to the top. But MSNBC and progressive punditry prove what Ive been saying for years; Yes, cream rises to the top, but sometimes crap floats too.
Who's the guy on the left?
Not enough intellectual energy there to light a candle.
People like Lewis seem to think Obama won because of an outlet like MSNBC. That is patently incorrect. Their ratings are average at best. If a tv news station had impact on a presidential election, Fox would be the one with significantly larger reach.
MSNBC happens to boost Obama, but that’s not why he wins. They do reach the core leftwing base, so maybe they help motivate the already motivated, but their work does not reach enough people to impact the margin of the 2010 election. Give credit where due. The Obama campaign developed a strategy for 2012 that got nearly ALL their voters out to the poll...or to do early voting...or to do mail in ballots. They carved out the votes they needed and they got targeted them and got them. Not because of some policy nerds on a second rate cable news channel, but because of superior campaign execution to get otherwise unmotivated people to come to the polls. It still astounds me that they got better turnout than a more motivated opposition, but they did it.
That happens a lot in politics, too. I keep wondering what talent and what new ideas we might see if the media and political positions/office stopped being like something inherited or deserved as a birthright.
The Rise of the Unaccomplished”
Straight out of Atlas Shrugged.
True, true, many have belittled the writing skills of Ayn Rand but her description of how politics works has never been equaled in my estimation. So much of what is going on now seems to be a real life enactment of Atlas Shrugged. Why did it take a woman to do it, has anything written by a man ever captured the situation so well?