Rachel Maddow Feels the Bern as Sanders Supporters Revolt

hugsTonight MSNBC will again install Rachel Maddow in the anchor chair along with Brian Williams to head up their impartial “hard news” coverage of the New Hampshire primaries. Why is a partisan opinionizer anchoring a live news event? For the same reason she hosted a debate: she is MSNBC’s most watched property. But aside from the obvious journalistic issues this raises, there’s another problem—the audience.

We’ve read a lot from people hyping Trump about how brilliantly he’s dividing the Fox audience, beating Ailes at his own game, and so forth. But our elite media journalists have been careful to say nothing about Bernie Sanders, who is proving more adept at dividing audiences than Trump. Case in point: Monday’s Rachel Maddow Show, the closest thing to a 60-minute infomercial for Hillary Clinton you’re likely to see all week. Much of the show was given over to a genteel, cozy interview with Ms. Clinton, one in which snarky Maddow transformed into a sort of political Dr. Phil, tip-toeing over the most contentious issues and avoiding anxiety at all costs.

If you think the Sanders supporters haven’t noticed what Maddow’s been up to, you are wrong. Check out some of these comments from the Democratic Underground:

  • Practically the ENTIRE Rachel Maddow Show was spent either discussing, showcasing or… interviewing Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the eve of the New Hampshire Democratic Presidential Primary Election? It was in a word… UNBELIEVABLE!
  • She let Hillary lash out at Bernie and did not even have a Bernie surrogate on to respond to those attacks. That’s not journalism. That’s pure crap. The nite before NH no less.
  • Why would anyone throw away half of their own audience like that? Bye bye to her and her show.
  • Rachel did a one-on -one with HRH right before Iowa too. Their shilling is really doing a lot of good, eh?
  • I thought at first that it was a paid political ad. Way to go, Rachel!

Rachel hasn’t been faring much better on twitter:twitts
The Cable Gamer is struck by how little attention this viewer revolt is getting compared to the oohing and ahhhing over Trump, allegedly on the verge of wreaking havoc on Fox News. Of course, the dirty little secret is how little this will matter to ratings. Rabidly partisan viewers get upset during elections, but rarely stay away forever, if at all. Fox News hasn’t been destroyed; it’s as strong as ever. Trump didn’t beat Ailes at his own game: Ailes beat Trump. And those irate MSNBC viewers will eventually forgive Rachel for her apostasy when they’ve calmed down.

What this does underline is MSNBC’s twisted notion that its “hard news” coverage must include opinionizers in the anchor chairs. That is indicative of how spurious this “rebranding” of MSNBC into a channel that does “hard news” really is. No serious news viewer is going to accept someone who has all but joined the Hillary campaign as an impartial news anchor covering her election. And neither will those Bernie supporters.

 

Appendix: The tweets pictured above:

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7 comments

  1. notfoxy

    Rachel mentioned in the next hour that Sanders wasn’t doing press the last couple days, and turned down her interview request. She can’t force people to be on her show so it’s “fair”.

    Like

  2. Michael T. (@sdmike1974)

    I would argue that Fox & Friends, Outnumbered, Bill O’Reilly and Morning Joe have done the same (or similar) with their fawning coverage of Donald Trump.

    However, there is a difference. It is difficult to find examples of equally glowing coverage of Trump’s opponents.

    This appears not to be the case with Rachel Maddow. During her last interview with Bernie Sanders she pulled no punches in pointing out to her audience (and later discussing with Bernie Sanders) his opposition to DOMA — while Bill Clinton with agreement from Hillary went the other way and now falsely claiming that it was to prevent a greater harm.

    MSNBC digital does not make it easy. But if you can scroll to the 8:00 mark in this video, you will find the criticism of Hillary and Bill on multiple issues
    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/sanders-draws-distinction-on-gay-rights-552439363798

    Finally, as far as the tweets embedded in the column, I can find an equal number of very harsh tweets directed at Megyn Kelly because of her coverage of Donald Trump. I tend to dismiss it as hyper-partisans blinded by their strong support.

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  3. Michael Bennett

    I would argue that Fox & Friends, Outnumbered, Bill O’Reilly and Morning Joe have done the same (or similar) with their fawning coverage of Donald Trump.

    However, there is a difference. It is difficult to find examples of equally glowing coverage of Trump’s opponents.

    This appears not to be the case with Rachel Maddow. During her last interview with Bernie Sanders she pulled no punches in pointing out to her audience (and later discussing with Bernie Sanders) his opposition to DOMA — while Bill Clinton with agreement from Hillary went the other way and now falsely claiming that it was to prevent a greater harm.

    MSNBC digital does not make it easy. But if you can scroll to the 8:00 mark in this video, you will find the criticism of Hillary and Bill on multiple issues
    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/sanders-draws-distinction-on-gay-rights-552439363798

    Finally, as far as the tweets embedded in the column, I can find an equal number of very harsh tweets directed at Megyn Kelly because of her coverage of Donald Trump. I tend to dismiss it as hyper-partisans blinded by their strong support.

    Like

    • Sydney Bloom

      Well I think I acknowledged your last point when I said this would blow over and have little lasting effect after the partisan season was behind us. As for the Fox programs and Morning Joe, you are citing shows that deal with opinion. Those shows (and others) also have opinions that go the other way. But the key distinction is that Fox & Friends are not anchoring tonight’s election coverage. Rachel Maddow IS.

      Like

  4. Michael Bennett

    “Those shows (and others) also have opinions that go the other way. But the key distinction is that Fox & Friends are not anchoring tonight’s election coverage. Rachel Maddow IS.”

    Many would argue that Megyn Kelly (who is also hosting election coverage) and the Kelly File is also very partisan at times — just like Rachel — even though MK can lay claim to having more guests, including more panelists than Rachel does from the opposing party.

    But I’ve been down this path with others as they argue ‘degree of partisanship’ and insist that the Kelly File is a news program despite much evidence to the contrary. Does degree really matter. They’re both partisan.

    So I’ll surrender up front conceding that we are too far apart to ever reach a consensus.

    Cheers.

    Like

  5. notfoxy

    It looks like Bernie was right that he didn’t need an interview last night. In fact, Hillary’s may have hurt her. She was expected to lose, but as of this writing it’s by 18 points. That’s atrocious.

    Like

  6. ceceliamc

    Maddow, in her role of debate moderator, made the point last night that the Demorcatic phenomenon of Sanders and his anti-Wall-Street socialists sensibilities was just far and away different from those icky Republican sensibilities ala Trump, because NHers poll heavily against Muslim immigrants.

    I wonder how they poll when it comes to open borders in general, not just Muslims…but any demographic they feel will take jobs and expend tax payer money via social services. What does that pic look like when we don’t separate Muslims out.

    Wall Street loves the importation of these low wage earners. Is it okay to be against the capitalists piggies in THAT regard?

    Goodness knows it’s forbidden to be concerned about anything having to with crime and cultural outlooks that have made being female and alone in the street difficult in some European onclaves.

    Like

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