Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cenk Uygur Criticizes MSNBC's Support Of Democratic Party

Caption: A German printing press from the early 19th Century.

Image credit: MatthiasKabel/Wikimedia

At Raw Story, Cenk Uygur explains why he left his position at MSNBC:

“I know what the institutional, sometimes unspoken rules at MSNBC are,” Uygur said in an exclusive interview. “So, relatively speaking, you know what you’re going to get with MSNBC shows. I would be surprised if they changed that recently. But MSNBC, I think, mistakes their mandate as being pro-Democratic, as opposed to pro-progressive. I think that’s a really important distinction.
“I didn’t want to work at a place that didn’t want me to do my kind of show, that wasn’t interested in my kind of show, didn’t want to challenge power,” he explained at the time. Uygur later told Olbermann that he felt like MSNBC sacrifices truth for access to elected officials, and he wanted no part in it.

Cenk Uygur: MSNBC ‘mistakes their mandate,’ does ‘great disservice’ to viewers
While Uygur's statement might be considered office gossip or self-serving nonsense, there are a couple of things that lead me to believe it's not. One is that both he and Keith Olbermann left at about the same time. The other is that it was obvious that MSNBC was doing exactly this, whether there was an edict or not. Since two of their principal reporters have left, I suspect there is something to that. While Dylan Ratigan is allowed an occasional rant, his show doesn't appear in prime time. I really see no one else left there who has the ability to criticize the Democrats in prime time when they abandon progressive principles.

Frankly, if I were a conservative, but somehow retained all my other instincts and knowledge, I'd be as appalled at Fox as I am at MSNBC. Their clear objective is to be a propaganda outlet for the Republican Party. As I've written plenty often, being tied to one party inevitably means that you are not going to be true to your principles. I suspect it wouldn't be too hard to find such complaints among conservatives.

This is why I don't bother watching the cable news shows. None try to offer anything like real reporting, which means letting the chips fall where they may. Fox shamelessly supports Republicans, MSNBC shamelessly plugs Democrats, and CNN shamelessly avoids having an opinion. None puts informing the viewer among its top priorities.

I'll stick with online news, thank you very much. In a few years, there will be a Raw Story-like site that will rival the cable news channels for viewers. That's how things are going, and given the utter lack of journalism at the three main news channels, I don't see why anyone wouldn't make that switch.

UPDATE (June 7, 2012): For reasons I don't understand, a lot of traffic has been headed to this page recently. Many seem to be from academic domains of one sort or another. I just noticed and corrected a sentence that used to say:

I really see no one else left there who has the ability to criticize the Democrats when they abandon progressive principles in prime time.
It is now less confusing. If that sentence was the reason people were visiting "cite an example of a misplaced modifier", then the original is still here to chuckle over.


Paul Sunstone said...

You've got that right. Informing the viewer is neither the top priority of cable news, nor of the networks.

Cujo359 said...

Yes, I hadn't even bothered to mention the networks. The last time they tried to do real reporting, Dan Rather was fired for it.