The Byers criticism of MSNBC was interesting and significant because it exists at all, but he’s still praising them with faint damn. He goes out of his way to drag Fox down to their level over and over again; he’s willing to concede that MSNBC might be as bad as Fox, when to any objective observer, there is simply no comparison. MSNBC is a gutter-dwelling performance-art interpretation of a shrieking-loon far left website, not a news channel with a high percentage of left-leaning opinion.
Actually, the balance of news vs. opinion on Fox isn’t out of line with the other big 24-hour news channel, CNN. The only difference is which way the opinion tends to lean. And in both cases, Fox and CNN make room for opinions from the other side, although Fox is – again, objectively and indisputably – better about it.
But MSNBC is a raving nuthouse with a few news reports scattered among the non-stop hatemongering. Fox has never done anything remotely comparable to MSNBC’s incessant “all criticism of Obama is racism” routine. A lot of their supposed right-wing bias is more properly understood as the absence of the traditional left-wing bias.
Host Megyn Kelly appeared on Leno to say that everyone who assumes she’s either a rock-ribbed conservative or a closeted liberal is “assuming too much,” and she sees her job as primarily “asking the questions my audience wants answers to.” By definition, that means she’s asking the questions left-leaning “mainstream media” reporters don’t ask, and that’s one of the most significant components of the MSM’s media bias. They do big favors for the Left by not asking inconvenient questions, not pursuing troublesome stories, and failing to connect stories into a “narrative” that would hurt liberal Democrats. Doing those things makes you a right-wing operative, by their definition. A good deal of Fox’s overall editorial slant is due to their business model, which involves picking up stories the MSM doesn’t want to cover. They are defined by the negative media space they occupy.
But that’s not what MSNBC is, not at all. They’re vicious activist liberals who do a lot more than flirt with outright totalitarianism in their insistence that no legitimate criticism of the President and Party they worship is possible. They personally go after individual conservatives, Republicans, and the body of their voters in ways the opinion pundits at Fox do not, and they were doing it before Obama came along, although it’s gotten more shrill and toxic as his political fortunes have waned. Google “Olbermann Michelle Malkin” if you’d like a little refresher course on what I’m talking about. Nobody on Fox does spittle-flecked Two Minutes Hate tirades like that, ever.
The criticism emerging of MSNBC by left-aligned pundits is absurdly tender and qualified, and always tempered with ritual damnation of Fox News. Is Melissa Harris-Perry’s dopey comment about the name “ObamaCare” really the straw that broke the camel’s back for these tentative critics? I don’t even think she’s the first MSNBC character to advance such racial theories about the term.