The Cable Gamer wanted to see how Kate Snow was handling her afternoon shift on MSNBC the other day, but had to wait until they finally gave discredited Brian Williams the hook for Ms. Snow to get some air time. Things started well but just ten minutes into the hour there it was. She introduced Steve Kornacki to report on fund-raising by GOP candidates, and he read the story as if he were a straight news reporter. In fact he was billed as an “MSNBC Political correspondent.” (The report focused on Jeb’s money troubles, so it was happily free of anything that might threaten the typical MSNBC viewer’s sympathies.)
Just a few months ago “correspondent” Kornacki was a prominent MSNBC opinion host. Having served in that capacity on The Cycle he was given his own weekend program (its producer hired from the DNC) while sub-hosting for Rachel Maddow (see screen grab). Kornacki has earned a reputation as a more “balanced” left-winger than some others at MSNBC, but hasn’t hesitated to play the race card when the President needed defending. Like other MSNBC “correspondents” he is best known for partisan polemics, not just at his home network but also at the relentlessly leftist Salon, where scores of Kornacki columns form an indelible ideological trail:
- The tea party is “far right“
- Chris Christie is a “true right-winger“
- CPAC has become “a caricature of itself“
- Mitt Romney represents “spineless opportunism“
- Benghazi investigations are a “partisan pile-on“
- Republicans are indulging in “a freakout“
- Mitch McConnell is “obstructionist in chief“
- Republicans are in danger of losing their House Majority
That last is in reference to the 2014 elections, when the GOP not only didn’t lose their majority but actually increased it, to the largest since 1928. It’s the sort of thing that people who really understand politics would never write, unless they were pandering to a partisan crowd too blinded by ideology to know when they were being scammed.
So here’s another opinion host transformed overnight into an MSNBC “correspondent.” And while media reporters obsess over an obscure print columnist who dared to purchase some Trump hats, they are silent about the coterie of partisan polemicists now being paraded as impartial journalists on the new MSNBC. Indeed, CNN’s Dylan Byers bought into the charade hook, line, and sinker:
Kornacki will host “MTP Daily” on Mondays… Kornacki will continue to fill-in for Chris Matthews on “Hardball” and appear across MSNBC programs throughout the week. The changes are part of MSNBC’s effort to shed its reputation as a liberal platform and rebrand as a nonpartisan news channel—at least in daytime.
Only in the most rarified of media elite circles can increased air time for a Salon proselytizer, rebranded as a “correspondent,” be seen as a way for a network to “shed its reputation as a liberal platform.” Sometimes The Cable Game is a strange game indeed.