Some of us have been highly critical of the trend in media toward “echo-journalism” where cable networks tailor their coverage to reinforce and repeat the expectations of their viewers. Few hosts are willing to admit to the formula coverage, though there have been telling moments. None have been open than Lawrence O’Donnell on The Al Franken Podcast when he declared that MCNBC was completely over the need to present two sides of coverage on Trump because defenders of Trump are “liars” and “I don’t bring on a liar.” It is that simple. The other side is just lies so only our side needs to be reported.
As someone who once worked for NBC and MSNBC (and has appeared on O’Donnell’s show), I was astonished by the statement. I always found him to be an intelligent and perceptive person in our past dealings. He should not want to work in a mere media echo chamber.
Suggestion - CNN - Trump - Declaration - MSNBC
I am not sure what is more chilling: the suggestion that CNN is too far to Trump or the declaration that MSNBC has now abandoned even the pretense of balance. O’Donnell’s statement drew no correction or rebuke from NBC or MSNBC. He was responding to a statement by Franken that CNN is a network which “[plays] it down the middle, except we hate Trump.” That was at least a recognition of the bias at CNN, but strangely O’Donnell did not view it biased enough. Indeed, he suggests that CNN is preferred by Trump because it gives a balanced view but MSNBC discards with any such pretense:
AL FRANKEN: So, I want to ask you about cable news because you’ve got CNN, which is sort of, “We’re playing it down the middle except we hate Trump.”
LAWRENCE - O'DONNELL - Third - People - Payroll
LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: No, they don’t. One third of the people on their payroll love Trump....
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