Cross-Pollination and Lean Forward News
The Cable Gamer has griped repeatedly about how the “new” MSNBC uses its opinionizers in its “hard news” reporting. People like Joy Reid and Steve Kornacki became impartial reporters with a wave of the hand, despite the fact that their backgrounds are not in hard news but rather in “hard left” prostelityzing. But nobody has seemed much interested in our griping.
Today Tommy Christopher at Mediaite alerted us to a mirror image of this situation. His article focused on the content of the discussion but pretty much missed the cross-pollination going on in Lean Forwardville. Not only are opinionizers masquerading as hard news reporters, but impartial newsers are becoming opinionizers. Today Up!, which began with Chris Hayes and has always been an opinion show hosted by an opinionizer, had a fill-in host: Richard Lui. Mr. Lui has been a longtime news anchor at MSNBC, and before that CNN, but today there he was hosting a Lean Forward opinion program. And no eyebrows were raised—not even Mr Christopher’s, and he wrote the article!
Oh sure it’s happened before. Luke Russert is one example. But with the new “hard news” facade that Andy Lack is trying to construct at MSNBC, The Cable Gamer thinks they should be a little more careful about letting their anchors swim so freely in opinion waters. It’s going to make viewers suspect that the whole thing is a shell game. And wouldn’t that give the game away?
So did Lui give opinions, or just ask questions of his guests? If it’s the latter then Up was not an opinion show this weekend. It’s currently bereft of a permanent host, and due to be ditched for a new Alex Wagner show soon. Which is to say it’s a leftover title without a definition.