It is no secret that MSNBC has endeavored to be the more liberal version of Fox News, a questionable gambit that is more of a concession to race-to-the-bottom journalism than anything else. While I happen to be quite progressive, I never much cared for MSNBC but then I have a general dislike of the mainstream media in general. Sure, Maddow is smart and witty and I tend to agree with her on about 97% of the issues, but at the end of the day, MSNBC is liberal to a point, and as the recent exit of MSNBC host Cenk Uygur shows, that point is easily crossed.
Now, I happen to not be a fan of Uygur’s combative style of commentary/journalism but it’s interesting to note that according to Uygur, the big problem as far as the MSNBC executives were concerned, was that he made the Establishment uncomfortable. MSNBC President Phil Griffin allegedly went so far as to remind Uygur that MSNBC is the Establishment. Well, at least he was honest.
And whether we are talking about ABC, Fox, CNN, MSNBC, the NYT or the Washington Post, at the end of the day they are huge corporate entities that rely on readership/viewership, ad revenues and access to power. Additionally, some of them have a multitude of business interests that may conflict with their role as purveyors of news. For example, MSNBC is owned by the military-industrial-defense corporation, General Electric. And despite what these news conglomerates believe, their job is not to make the Establishment power brokers in government and on Wall Street “comfortable.” Their job is to provide facts, analysis, commentary and in doing so, hold the Establishment accountable. A little bit less commentary and a little bit more investigative journalism would also be nice. Unfortunately, the cozy relationship between the corporate media and government/Wall Street is such that the media has become little more than a propaganda platform for government and business with a “he-said-she-said” format. I’ll take the National Journal, Foreign Policy and PBS’ Frontline over that mind-numbing blather any day.