I will admit I don't watch cable news regularly. I find most of it vapid and, more importantly, uninformative. A lot of the shows on cable news aren't actual news and reporting shows. They're merely news personalities sitting around talking about the news instead of reporting the news. Fox News is what is it and CNN is--I'm not sure yet and neither are they. But MSNBC does have a few diamonds in the rough namely Maddow, Harris-Perry and Hayes. Their shows provide insightful and deep analysis on issues often ignored by the other news media creatures.
Lately, however, there seems to be a concerted effort to snuff out MSNBC. This is campaign is being led by Dylan Byers the media reporter for Politico. But first there was the ire directed at Melissa Harris-Perry after one of her guests made a silly harmless joke about the Romney family. Then there was a story in the conservative National Review that sought to cast Rachel Maddow as the evil shot caller at MSNBC. And then Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote a piece defending Harris-Perry as the country's foremost public intellectual.
Byers, for some odd reason, vehemently disagreed with that claim and called Coates' own intellectual bona fides into question on that great bastion of intellectualism called Twitter. Harris-Perry was not the foremost intellectual he said. When asked who was, Byers listed four white men and a dead white woman. "I’m not sure America has a foremost public intellectual under any definition, but it certainly isn’t a weekend MSNBC host", Byers declared. Coates, in a well written rebuttal, massacred Byers.
Wednesday Byers penned a piece saying that MSNBC is in serious trouble. He cited a Pew study that said MSNBC has lost more revenue and viewers than Fox and CNN. But MSNBC still has more viewers than CNN. And CNN has long made more revenue because of its high prices for television ads. Byers also attacked the young hosts that MSNBC has brought on saying "giving shows to kids in their 20s and 30s, in an apparent bid to reach the youths -- is comically bad, and rendered absurd at every commercial break when the catheter ads come on." His solution? Burn it down and save only Maddow, Matthews and, of course, Politico's favorite starfucking show, Morning Joe. This is interesting since a lot of the afternoon and primetime shows that Byers disparages have more viewers than the pathetic and lame Morning Joe. Byer also piled on MSNBC last fall. He also accused MSNBC of being worse than Fox last December. Fox, however, hardly ever gets the Byers treatment.
Politico, as we all know, is a poorly disguised public relations firm that routinely kisses the ass of powerful interests. But I can't figure out why Byers is on this jihad to destroy MSNBC, just as I can't understand why he hates Nate Silver, who like Coates, proved Byers is out of his league. Though I have a sneaking suspicion that Byers, who clearly doesn't like Harris-Perry, is gunning for MSNBC because they are the channel that most black cable news viewers watch, hence his attack on new hosts like Joy Reid.
It's important to save MSNBC not because it's a great channel, but because I remember what the cable news landscape was like before liberal voices (see Olbermann) were heard. Fox was dominant and everyone else tried to mimic their conservative bullshit. There were no liberal voices--NONE. We can't go back to that. It's vital for our electoral objectives that we have a voice on cable news. And so, I ask, turn on your television and watch MSNBC here and there. And use Politico, if you get it in hardcopy, as lining for your cat's litter box.