Last week we took a look at the first hour of MSNBC’s freshly-minted 3:00 pm “news block.” Today we tackle 4:00 pm to see how fair and balanced yesterday’s hour was. In this case, everything you need to know about the coverage is what you know about the people providing it.
The hour was anchored by Ayman Mohyeldin, former Al-Jazeera correspondent, best known for claiming that “American sniper” Chris Kyle went on some sort of beserk “killing sprees” in Iraq. In that memorable rant Moyheldin also cited Kyle’s “racist tendencies” toward Muslims (who are not even a race, but now The Cable Gamer is just being picky).
The first story (Ferguson) was covered by another one of those MSNBC “correspondents,” Trymaine Lee, who wrote for The Huffington Post. His smooth professionalism was especially impressive when he suggested that the presence of police “provocated” violence.
Next up, Donald Trump’s remarks, or more specifically Hillary Clinton’s statement about them (which was played for viewers who hadn’t seen it a dozen times already). The fair and balanced panel: lefty Eugene Robinson (a fave on Olby’s MSNBC show) and Clinton crony James Carville. The latter earned bonus Lean Forward points by subtly inserting the familiar talking point that Fox News “created” Trump. That this is said with a straight face on an NBC channel (the broadcast network that aired 14 primetime seasons of The Apprentice) is testament to how gullible they think their audience is.
It wasn’t all agit-prop. One block had relatively straightforward reports from two actual NBC correspondents (Chris Jansing and Richard Engel). But then it was back to Ferguson with the only guest a local politician (Dem, naturally). Moyheldin helpfully played a clip from Hillary for her too. On MSNBC there’s a Hillary clip for every occasion.
What remained of the hour (ending with a taped package on Frank Gifford) was unremarkable, except of course for what it didn’t contain. Like everything that preceded it, there was no Republican, conservative, or libertarian guest, analyst, or commentator. It was another one-sided “hard news” hour that fully earned the “Lean Forward” designation plastered on MSNBC’s screen.