Back to the Future, Again

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TV Newser’s Chris Ariens scoops that MSNBC is dumping their Joy Reid and Ronan Farrow hours, and installing Thomas Roberts to anchor a two-hour afternoon news block:

At the same time, “Way Too Early” anchor Thomas Roberts heads back to dayside, as the network returns to a more traditional news day.

Thomas anchored a “more traditional” newscast on MSNBC before being shunted off to the pre-dawn hour. But don’t be fooled by his return. What you may think of as  straight news isn’t what MSNBC has in mind. Because Thomas Roberts has always had free reign to push any point of view he likes, whether by story/guest selection or flat-out campaigning.

Can you picture Walter Cronkite, or Bret Baier for that matter, telling his viewers “you’re a chicken-eating Judas” if you patronize Chick-Fil-A? That’s Thomas Roberts. Does an impartial news anchor look into the camera and tell viewers how “dirty” and “ugly” a political committee is? That’s Thomas Roberts. How about tweeting insults at political figures he doesn’t agree with? That’s Thomas Roberts. And then, as election-day approaches, warning his audience that Republicans are trying to keep you from voting? That’s Thomas Roberts.

MSNBC may want you to think they are planning to emphasize news over opinion with this move, but the choice of Roberts means just the opposite. It will be merely the appearance of journalism. That’s how The Cable Game is played by Thomas Roberts.

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