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MSNBC, the cable network of hate.
MSNBC was the outlier. Fully 85 percent of its airtime was devoted to commentary — virtually all of it left-leaning — while only 15 percent went to news reporting. Even allowing that this approach is driven by business considerations (newsgathering being more expensive than bloviating), there are a couple of intrinsic problems with this approach.
The first is that relentless partisan criticism invariably leads to name-calling. It’s like a drug addiction — you need more and more. Once you’ve called George W. Bush stupid a hundred times, audiences want something a little different, so you graduate to “worst president in history,” and finally, as Olbermann often did, a demented war criminal. Sometimes on that network, conservatives are labeled “Hitlerian.”
Sarah Palin starts out in 2008 as someone who can’t tell Katie Couric what newspapers and magazines she reads and is then spoofed as a provincial by Tina Fey for saying something she never said (“I can see Russia from my house!”). She ends up last Friday, at least in Martin Bashir’s telling, as “America’s resident dunce” with a reputation as a “world-class idiot” — all as a buildup to that weird riff on defecation.
The stream of angry, vicious, and hateful stuff that pours out from MSNBC anchors on a daily basis is quite shameful. That the left tolerates it and actually seems to relish it also tells us a great deal about the left itself.