Pardon me while I retrieve my eyeballs from where they just bugged out, “Roger Rabbit” style. While I was busy snickering at an MSNBC “10th Anniversary” promo featuring Tucker Carlson saying “10 years ago, MSNBC set out to be the future of news….and it still is” (that’s actually true: by definition, the future never really arrives–it’s a theoretical condition that’s just out of reach, much like success is for MSNBC), Keith Olbermann declaring that his and his staff’s Attention Deficit Disorder determines “Countdown’s” content, Joe Scarborough calling the channel “activists for mainstream America” (whatever that means–but it sure doesn’t mean “objective”) and Rita Cosby declaring, in probably the most unoriginal boilerplate promo-speak ever scripted, “we take the news to the next level,” all capped off with a soundbite of Chris Matthews’ laugh, which, I’m sorry, sounds a lot like the first breath taken by someone who’s just had the Heimlich maneuver performed on them in a restaurant….this comes along. A promo for MSNBC’s new 3pm set of ratings waterwings, “The Most” with Alison Stewart, in which a chirpy announcer chirps: “Introducing ‘The Most’…the only show where you decide, we report!”
So many words and phrases leap to mind to describe this latest act of desperation by a drowning cable news channel…pathetic, desperate, borderline copyright infringement, just for starters. Intellectual property theft, perhaps. Insulting to the intelligence of viewers who MSNBC execs clearly hope might think…”ooooh…so this is the ‘we report, you decide’ network I’ve been hearing so many great things about…I better watch!”
So, just to clear up any confusion, allow me to correct any confusion MSNBC’s little shell game may have caused. The most-watched cable news program at 3pm is “Studio B” with Shepard Smith on the Fox News Channel…which, interestingly enough, has had as its guiding philosophy “We Report, You Decide” since day 1. Accept no substitutes, as they say.
Reposted from The Cable Game, 1 June 2006