Where’s My Line?
Your Cable Gamer has been a voice in the wilderness regarding the purported “revamping” of MSNBC into an operation that does “hard news.” Their cadre of leftist opinionizers is still there, only now some of them have been rebranded as “reporters” or “correspondents.” Brian Williams was brought in to lend a facade of fairness to election coverage, but he’s not allowed to be the anchor. Instead he ends up sidekick to MSNBC’s biggest opinionizer, Rachel Maddow. (And guess whose name comes first in the press release.)
The lines have certainly been blurred, but now the mixing of news and opinion is going in another, even more disturbing, direction. This tweet was issued yesterday:
It’s a tweet from NBC News’ official twitter account. It includes an NBC News link, with their #Decision2016 hashtag. It goes to a page on the NBC News website. But it’s not written by an NBC newsman. The article credits Alex Seitz-Wald who, as Cable Gamer readers know, is an MSNBC opinionizer who was magically rechristened as a “political reporter” (part of the “revamping” of MSNBC). NBC just gives his name, without stating what his role at NBC is. So most readers would conclude he’s an impartial NBC News journalist. And that’s the furthest thing from the truth.
Besides writing for for the dishonest Salon website (not to mention articles at Truthout and Alternet), Alex Seitz-Wald wrote prolifically for Think Progress, where he also served as an editor. That site’s goal, by the way, is to “advance progressive values,” just in case you think the notion of parading Alex Seitz-Wald as any kind of neutral reporter hasn’t already been shown to be an utter absurdity. How much of this does NBC News tell you when you follow their link and read his report? None. You can’t even click on his name to get a bio or curriculum vitae. It’s almost like NBC News doesn’t want readers to know what Alex Seitz-Wald’s line really is.
And the “report” itself? It’s a real gem, with Seitz-Wald barely able to control his admiration for how efficiently the mob shut down a Trump event. Steve Krakauer of Autonomous calls Seitz-Wald’s piece “absolutely irresponsible” in how it was “celebrating the MoveOn-funded effort to shut down a Trump rally.” And when you read through the piece, it’s stunning how celebratory it is. The most basic issue imaginable—the coordinated effort to suppress someone else’s right to free speech—is never raised, let alone posed to any of the social justice warriors.
By the sheerest of coincidences, progressive media critic Bob Somerby noted someone else who exhibited a similar blind spot:
Do you think players on Our Team should attend campaign events with the intention of “disrupting” those events? Possibly with the hope or intent of shutting the events down?
Good news! If you were a Maddow watcher last night, you didn’t have to consider those questions! Playing a typical service role, Maddow blew right past this statement by Sfondeles, in which our heroic tribemates were portrayed in a way which may not seem moral or wise.
At the start of last night’s show, Maddow blew right past that statement. As usual, her moral concerns would all be directed The Other Way Only last night.
As a full-service tribal guide, Maddow routinely protects us against any concerns about our own team’s behavior.
A “Lean Forward” spin by Rachel Maddow is duplicated in an article by MSNBC “reporter” Alex Seitz-Wald. Nothing new there; on a good day the line between reporting and opinion is barely perceptible at MSNBC. But then that article is presented by NBC News as an impartial piece of reportorial journalism, with no disclosures whatsoever regarding the rampant ideological partisanship of its author. When the NBC News brand, once regarded as trustworthy, foists off MSNBC opinionizing as straight reporting, it’s a sad day. Another line has been erased.
Hat-tips: @SteveKrak @johnnydollar01