C.T. Asks: Is MSNBC Irrelevant?

Someone needs to tell the folks at MSNBC that the world now exists in a 24/7 news cycle.

Several times in recent weeks, the self-proclaimed “place for politics” has missed out on major stories which unfolded over the weekend as MSNBC aired seemingly endless episodes of the jailhouse-reality series LOCKDOWN. On Monday night’s HARDBALL, guest host Lawrence O’Donnell was left acting as if the three-day old Palin resignation story was somehow breaking news despite the fact there had been no new developments. An hour later, COUNTDOWN’s Keith Olbermann opened his show by referencing the fact that Palin’s resignation announcement occurred “on the Friday of the Fourth of July weekend, the ultimate bad-news dump day,” as if that excused his network’s shockingly poor coverage of the major political event.

Only a few weeks earlier, anyone looking for news on the uprisings in Iran were forced to turn elsewhere for details as MSNBC had put up their “Gone Fishin'” sign and taken off for the weekend.

All of which begs the question: Can MSNBC call itself a legitimate “news channel” and continue to broadcast movies such as “The Comic Book Murders” (airing this Saturday at 3 p.m., come hell or political scandal!)?

Then again, this is MSNBC we’re talking about, where Olbermann — perhaps the network’s most recognizable figure — does not even attempt to hide his bias, always bringing on talking heads who agree with his left-skewing viewpoints. (At least his Fox News Channel counterpart/punching bag, Bill O’Reilly, brings on opposing viewpoints, even it if is only so that he can ridicule their stances and shout them down from his self-serving bully pulpit!)

Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in the middle. Maybe MSNBC needn’t change its format so much as its slogan. Instead of touting itself as “the place for politics”, the channel should more accurately proclaim itself “the place for infotainment.”

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  • Josh Emerson

    Fox and CNN don’t air fully 24/7 on the weekends either, especially a holiday one. That all has to do with ratings. No one is watching. They covered the Palin thing pretty clearly on Friday night. I’m not sure how many more times you wanted them to keep repeating “Sarah Palin has quit” over the weekend. There was nothing to add to the story! It could wait to be discussed until, you know, people were actually watching the channel.

    I can’t believe you just insinuated that somehow O’Reilly was less biased. WTF. lol He may occasionally bring on a guest with an opposing view, as long as he can twist, edit, and talk over any points they attempt to make. And I don’t know if you’ve actually watched Keith Olbermann, but he has consistently called out the President and Congress when they do things he disagrees with.

  • I feel your frustration. Sometimes MSNBC can be WORSE than Fox News, which itself has proven unreliable at best. CNN? Meh. CSPAN is where it’s at.

  • ct

    I watch Olbermann almost nightly. And I stand by what I said: Olbermann almost NEVER has opposing viewpoints on. Yes, he occasionally takes the president LIGHTLY to task, but he never, ever has an actual opposition point on his program. O’Reilly may be a massive asshat, but he DOES have opposing viewpoints. Does he yell at them, edit them, etc? Yes, but he still at least offers the vague appearance of impartiality, which Olbermann doesn’t even attempt to do.

    And while you’re right that CNN doesn’t do live broadcasts all weekend, they DO break in with actual news. They did EXTENSIVE coverage of the protests in Iraq over a weekend when MSNBC aired a marathon of LOCKDOWN episodes with absolutely no coverage whatsoever of a huge, breaking story.