The news that former assholes from the asshole president’s asshole administration have signed on as ‘contributors’ at NBC and MSNBC has predictably aroused consternation. Oh my Gods! Robert Gibbs??? David Axelrod??? What about journalistic objectivitishness???
This is, of course, an absolutely meaningless question for anyone with any comprehension of broadcast journalism at all but, strangely, that is a vanishingly small number of people. We now inhabit a country where ‘radical’ members of the chatterati like Freddie DeBoer call Chris Hayes’ cynical hackery ‘something of a miracle’ in the pages of The New Inquiry. Where ‘post-capitalist’ Jacobin scribes and Occupy
careerists activists blithely submit to MSNBC’s ruthless message discipline, presumably with the dim hope that their own deeply held radical convictions will seep into the ether. Where ‘left-wing’ ‘comics’ yuk it up with Melissa Harris-Perry over the awesomeness of Joe Biden.
In other words, some reality-checking is very much in order. Look, I don’t honestly think the prior careers and back room hijinx of the professional bloviators are nearly as important as their class membership and the instinctive deference to power that got them where they are. But for those who do, I offer the following fun factoids:
- Chris Hayes’s wife, Kate Shaw, was, until recently, a member of Obama’s legal team. His brother Luke is an Obama field organizer.
- Rachel Maddow met with President Obama at least seven times in 2012.
- Obama periodically hosts what are obviously message strategy meetings with MSNBC personalities and other establishment liberals.
- Cable giant Comcast, which owns NBC, was among the top 20 contributors to Obama’s 2012 election campaign.
- Pew research found that MSNBC’s election coverage was even more biased toward Obama than Fox News was toward Romney.
Put another way, can Gibbs and Axelrod possibly make this shit worse? Maybe we should ask Touré.