accountabilitybloke (old blog)

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MSNBC as the new Fox News….

In our household we’ve developed a taste for MSNBC as the anti-Fox News cable station, but the folks there seem to be engage in a left-leaning emulation of Fox News rather than providing an alternative model. Put bluntly, they seem wiling to do anything to keep those growing numbers up, even if it involves manipulation of the storyline to stir the juices….

Case in point is the obvious push of the MSNBC crew to label Obama as just another politician who is heading to the right and away from some imagined position on the left. Rachel Maddow [who, despite this evening’s performance, deserves a regular spot of her own (hear her interview on On The Media)], sat in for Keith Olbermann tonight and was clearly engaged in spinning the current Arianna Huffington argument that Obama is abandoning his established positions. Much of this can be seen as an effort by the MSNBC folks to offset its growing image as the anti-Bush, pro-Obama station (which it certainly deserves), while at the same time maintaining its credibility among the blogging left headed by Huffington, Kos and company. Not that there is anything wrong with that…. But perhaps they are carrying this a bit too far.

Consider the issue of the day — Obama’s comments in Colorado Springs that focused on service and volunteerism. Certainly volunteerism and JFK-like calls to service are not a move to the right. But what was focused on by Maddow was Obama’s call for making military service a more desirable option by investing in the quality of life for enlistees — which was leaped upon for its implied endorsement of maintaining the current size of the US military. Given the relative small size (in historical terms) and deteriorating condition of the US military (as an obvious result of Bush Administration policies that Obama opposed), there is nothing new or “swing to the center” about all this. And yet following Huffington’s lead, the MSNBC folks are trying to spin it as if this is the greatest sell-out since certain folks named names before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

If there is any pandering going on here, it is that of the MSNBC folks who are fast becoming the Fox News of the left. We don’t need a Fox of the left — we need an alternative to garbage cable news. Thank goodness Bill Moyers, Frontline and the folks at PBS and NPR are still around….

That said, there is an interesting, un-mined storyline in Obama’s talk (or what I was able to hear of it through all the sound bites) that was VERY significant. In the midst of his comments on better treatment for military volunteers I definitely heard an implied commitment to return to the principles of the Powell/Weinberger Doctrine. These principles effectively set a very high bar for the use of US military force. This is all the more interesting since it comes soon after news broke that Powell had met with both candidates….

July 2nd, 2008 Posted by | accountabilitybloke | no comments