What's Up With MSNBC?
by Larry Perrault on August 2, 2010 at 10:04 AM
A friend sent me an email wondering how Keith Olbermann can carry on with his hysterics at MSNBC. This was my best guess
I have given considerable thought to this question of why Keith Olbermann endures. I regularly poke a few channels up on commercials to get a look at what’s happening at the MSNBC circus. I always tell conservatives who insist that liberals are intentionally lying, not to underestimate the power of some basic assumptions to drive one to conclusions that are outrageous or near incomprehensible to many of us. Olbermann is the worst and most shrill example, and I have seen him edit video to highlight ideas amenable to his point and neglect parts that are not. But, I do think he’s a true-believer, which would just make his manipulations an “end justifies the means” issue. Rachel Maddow is marginally less objectionable. Ed Schultz is a sentimental volcano who fires and fumes at the right he sees as morally derelict and/or intellectually deficient, though in his case I’m certain that he’s genuine in his disdain. Chris Matthews is easily the most educated, articulate, and practical among them, though he too s ideologically in another universe.
What is interesting to me is that Matthews is on at 5 and 7 Eastern and the far-out Olbemann and Maddow play twice each in prime time. Speculating about that, I think that MSNBC’s audience is SO small, that they want the hyper-critical and scornful Olbermann and Maddow in primetime to provide red meat to lock in the left-wing ankle-biters that do watch. That’s why they aren’t even asked to temper it: anyone who would be offended, isn’t watching! In fact, even their primetime programs on Friday, got less than half of the Nielsen audience rating that Glenn Beck gets on FOX News at 5. It isn’t clear how it affects the ratings, but many DVR Beck at 5 to watch later. Straight up against each other, Bill O’Reilly drew over 2 1/2 times what Olbermann did. But, I think it gets worse than that! These MSNBC guys are corporate bashers: the corporations are out to exploit you but government wants to save you, which is a liberal fantasy. But, here’s what’s hilarious. Their ratings are so poor that a network that was primarily concerned about ratings would fire the lot of them. Here’s an explanation that makes sense to me while nothing else does.
NBC is owned by General Electric, which is all in with the Obama program; particularly the “green” (ironic since CO2 feeds plant life) alternative energy agenda. GE has positioned itself to make billions on wind turbines and such. The EPA plans to regulate carbon emissions, which it has declared a pollutant, even though legislation looks dead in Congress. GE already is selling the alternative fluorescent light bulb that everyone must buy as the old incandescent bulbs will soon be illegal. Like everything else the Obama administration has done, they are building an energy industry of crony capitalism. Insurance, pharmaceutical and financial giants are locked in with government, and actual or potential competitors are squeezed out. The $50 billion infused and mostly government and union-owned GM is peddling and expensive little electric car with a restricted travel/charge range. It shouldn’t be long before special tax and refund benefits are offered for purchase of this likely market loser. But, we should still expect GM to be a persistent siphon of tax money. Well, there’s actually only borrowed money. And, there is every incentive for our government to see elevated oil prices. And, they’ve done all of this to a country that was the most competitive engine of production in the world, in a mere 18 months: very impressive! Statist hearts should be all aflutter.
Anyway, GE isn’t broadcasting its MSNBC band of leftists for ratings gold. To paraphrase Ned Beatty’s corporate CEO in the 70’s movie, “Network,” they are on television because they have been “chosen to preach this evangel.” These fervent corporate bashers are actually corporate tools. By the way, I think they would have a simple answer for why FOX News is wiping them out in the ratings: most people are stupid.