Look, I disagree strongly with the editorial stance at MSNBC, and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t entertaining to watch the buffoons who work for them go face-down in the mud, over and over again. Competence would ruin the unique charm of MSNBC, and would make it less representative of the deeply incompetent, power-hungry, tribal liberalism it represents. The modern Left demands absolute power over your life in the name of public health, but it can’t launch a website. MSNBC is the most perfect imaginable reflection of that arrogant ineptitude.
Still, there’s something profoundly wrong, in an operational sense, at a TV “news” network that has to keep apologizing for itself on a regular basis. The stuff that gets them in trouble is remarkably juvenile – the sort of thing any adult with a modest education and a dollop of common sense should have understood was wrong before it got anywhere near a camera. The whole enterprise is beginning to get a certain Ron Burgundy feeling about it.
MSNBC’s current apology, for example, regards people marching around on stage in sombreros, shaking maracas and guzzling tequila on Cinco de Mayo. The network concedes these “sarcastic references to the way some Americans celebrate the holiday” were “ill-advised.” Classic MSNBC: even when they’re apologizing, they don’t have the integrity to admit exactly what they did wrong, or who they offended. “Some Americans?”
The Washington Free Beacon has a list of previous MSNBC idiocy, which they kept down to less than five thousand pages by only citing Keith Olbermann once. This is also the network that employs someone who seriously thinks George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” is an anti-capitalist screed. Something is very seriously wrong over there, and it’s not going to get fixed until heads start rolling. It’s telling that of the incidents cited by the Free Beacon, only one of them actually got someone fired – that would be Martin Bashir, so apparently the only way to get sacked at the Network of the Left is to suggest defecating into a woman’s mouth.
Of course, the people who run MSNBC might not care about any of this, as long as it keeps hardcore liberals tuning in for their daily dose of haterade in sufficient numbers. So far, offering tepid apologies to tamp down the occasional firestorm has kept the network rolling along. But look at the sum total of what they’re doing – even the casual viewer who only watches MSNBC for the fiery train wrecks knows the Free Beacon’s list could easily be doubled or tripled in size – and ask how the rest of the media establishment would treat Fox News for conducting itself this way. This combination of lax editorial standards, unprofessional conduct, and lowest-common-denominator trolling would trigger media Armageddon if Fox tried it for a single day.
MSNBC endures not just because of partisan loyalty, but because of the limitless double standard granted to liberals because of their alleged sensitivity and good intentions. I don’t see how anyone at Fox would survive involvement with a tequila-chugging sombrero party on Cinco de Mayo, because it would have been presumed 100 percent racist immediately – a coded “dog whistle” to opponents of immigration reform. But when MSNBC does it – or when they mock Mitt Romney’s family for adopting a black child – they merely get wrist-slapped for “ill-advised sarcasm.” It’s a sign of how sick and debased our news-media culture has become that MSNBC doesn’t have to deal with its endless string of faceplants as anything more than a series of gaffes they can deal with by issuing brief statements.