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The RNC, Rachel Maddow, and the Awfulness of Cable News

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“I read the news today. Oh boy.” -John Lennon, Hippie One-Hit Wonder

MSNBC’s coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention can only properly described as, well, exactly how you’d expect MSNBC’s coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention to be:

Dismissive. Repugnant. Shameful.

Regarding their “coverage” of the actual convention:

When popular Tea Party candidate Ted Cruz, the GOP nominee for Senate, took the stage, MSNBC cut away from the Republican National Convention and the Hispanic Republican from Texas’ speech.

MSNBC stayed on commercial through former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis’ speech, as well. Davis, who recently became a Republican, is black. Then, when Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuno’s wife Luce’ Vela Fortuño took the stage minutes later, MSNBC hosts Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews opted to talk over the First Lady’s speech. And Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval? Noticeably missing from MSNBC, too. Mia Love, a black candidate for Congress in Utah, was also ignored by MSNBC.

Now, if MSNBC were to cut away from one of the aforementioned speakers’ airtimes, that’d probably have been excusable, if not waved away as a complete coincidence. It’s a national news network; they can’t be expected to only focus on the RNC 24/7. Hell, I sure as poop know that I can’t even watch three hours of coverage without my attention shifting away from what’s being said and instead having my concentration shift to thinking “wow, if you close your eyes, Artur Davis sounds exactly like Al Gore.”

But to skip FOUR? That’s totally deliberate. The situation absolutely reeks of “oh, shit, the evil racist Republicans aren’t sticking to our script! Someone break the emergency glass! Activate self-destruct sequences! Save the portrait of Andy Warhol! ABORT! ABORT!”

Unfortunately for everyone, there was more fun to be had during the post-convention wrap-up show, as Rachel Maddow offered her analysis of Chris Christie’s speech:

Christie gave the last political speech of the evening, and went on at length before making a major reference to Mitt Romney. Maddow began her analysis by saying that she was a big fan of Christie, and was looking forward to hearing him speak because he brought a certain “looseness to his political conversation.”

Then, she proceeded to let loose on his address, saying, “This speech not only was a bad speech. I think this was one of the most remarkable acts of political selfishness I have ever seen.”

Now, Rach was hardly the only one who came out and described Gov. Christie’s speech as self-serving. So did the crew over at Rupert Murdoch’s station; more on them in a hot minute. That’s not even the issue. It’s certainly a fair argument to make. Any time a charismatic speaker blows away an audience, especially on a huge stage like a party convention, well then OF COURSE there’s going to be conjecture that they were just doing it to add to their political status (*cough* HEY RACHEL, REMEMBER BARACK OBAMA’s KEYNOTE SPEECH AT THE 2004 DNC IN BOSTON, YOU JACKWAGON? *cough*).

The issue is that, during what’s supposed to be an in-depth, analytical breakdown of the RNC, Maddow was unable to find any real bones to pick with the evening’s events, so instead, she threw up a desperation Hail Mary and said something along the lines of “the main reason I thought Christie’s speech is the worst I’ve ever seen from him is because it just wasn’t funny.” I’m sorry, is MSNBC broadcasting live from Studio 11 in Burbank? Can we have The Tonight Show Band play us off into commercial? Even Chris Matthews (who surprisingly called Christie’s speech a “barnburner”, by the way…big ups, Chris) rolled his eyes. When Chris Matthews is the most reasonable man on your network, something is wrong. That’s like…Chris Matthews being the most reasonable man on your network.

Look, I’m not a fan of ANY of the cable news networks. FOX is just as bad as MSNBC. If you watch either for extended periods of time for anything BUT the unintentional comedy, I hate to break it to you, but you’re probably dumb (And if you watch CNN, you should be getting a tax refund for your charity work, because NO One watches CNN). They’re all self-perpetuating 24-hour cycles of gloom, doom, and sensationalism that masquerade as objective sources of news while catering to the vast majority of this sound bite addicted country. Really, the only time cable news serves a purpose is when a huge event happens that actually requires in-depth, continuous coverage.

Guess what? A political national convention is one of those times. One of those times when you have to put biases aside and just report what’s going on. One of those times where you have a duty to the American public to educate us objectively. One of those times TO BE A  JOURNALIST.

It’s not a game. It’s our lives.

MSNBC: “Leaning Forward…because our political coverage induces violent dry heaving and projectile regurgitation.”


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