October 28, 2008


This last weekend I told my friends about an idea that I had had: That if Obama is elected, MSNBC will be transformed into a respectable news station just as Fox was under the Bush Administration. Before 2001, Fox was a joke. Everyone knew they were just a collection of right wing nutjobs with an insane drive to take down Clinton. With Bush in the Whitehouse, however, suddenly they were getting all kinds of increased access. Fresh talking points came to Fox first. Politically powerful people did interviews on Fox shows. Everyone knew they were still hardcore to the Right, but they were legitimized by the patronage of the powerful.

This, I theorized, is about to happen to MSNBC, which floundered for several years as the poor man's CNN until after 2004, when their primetime programming started drifting leftwards. But in an era of conservative dominance they weren't taken seriously. Keith Olberman was just the angry guy with no ratings. Chris Matthews was (and to some extent remains) a hack with a penchant for man crushes on tough-seeming pols. But it's all about to change, I said. Scoffed at, I was. Difficult to see. Always in motion, the future is. Where was I?

Oh, well now MSNBC is beating FOX in primetime four out of ten days. That's not dominence, but it's not nothing. Oh, and with a week left in the most important election in his lifetime, where is Obama going for an interview? Rachel Maddow.

1 comment:

Noumena said...

Obama's on The Daily Show tonight.