Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Speaking of News Coverage, MSNBC Remains The Last Network Standing

CNN which has always teetered with its lineup of jackasses and faux balance has finally gone over to the dark side, full bore, with this wingnut alert: Sightings of  E.D. Hill, formerly of FOX 'News', the wingnut notorious for making the "terrorist fist pump" remark of President and Mrs. Obama and spreading the rumor President Obama was a Muslim. After FOX canceled her show and did not renew her contract, Hill popped back up at CNN to continue spreading misinformation anchoring CNN's political coverage. She was described as a "conservative analyst" perhaps to distinguish her from the conservative "political analysts" at rival MSNBC. Slippery slope.

Meanwhile, the place to be for politics was MSNBC, with Rachel doing a sterling job anchoring the Iowa caucuses "coverages" (come to think of it, not a slip of the tongue) making Steve Schmidt (a good guy, for a Republican and sharp political strategist) field uncomfortable verities about his party, and firing tough questions along with the panel at Republican guests like Romney's lawyer (weaseling on the SuperPac issue) and Iowa's Sec. of State (on the hypocrisy of eschewing his voting and registration restrictions for the GOP caucuses). Chris Matthews did the same with Michael Steele, keeping the partisan bullshit and talking points to a minimum. The tension came from a sense that Big Eddie might take a swing at Lawrence were Rachel not sitting between them. She smoothed things over by giving the big guy the well-deserved "game ball" for picking Santorum, who ended up finishing second by eight votes — was the fix in not to embarass Romney too much? — but in the primary political game of expectations it was a HUGE WIN for Santorum nonetheless.

Chris Matthews added to the mirth and merriment with his priceless commentary comparing Romney's SuperPac ad war campaign against Newt Gingrich to the bombing of Dresden in WWII, then saved by a fortuitous 'producer-screaming-in-Rachel's-ear' break from developing his meme that Gingrich was an "assassin" (metaphorically, of course) on Romney's trail — can't wait for the upcoming Saturday and Sunday debates, with Chris's commentary unleashed. Howard Fineman did a good job as Chris's wingman who seemed ready to conduct an intervention when Chris was saved by the break.

All in all, really good coverage, including late-night, with Sweet Melissa (who's a lot of fun in her non-analyst's mode), Rachel who had to be pried away from the desk (bad move, suits, you should've let her stay), and the effervescently bright Chris Hayes, anchoring a team of sharpies with unusually prescient political analysis; far and away superior to the ho-hum canned garbage of the other channels. Next time, suits, keep Rachel put; her interaction with Chris and Melissa was much too short-lived intellectual powerhouse fireworks.

No comments: