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Recently, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell presented what he said was proof of President Donald Trump having loans cosigned by, as he put it, “Russian billionaires close to Vladimir Putin.” And how did O’Donnell prove this? A single anonymous source he claimed was close to Deutsche Bank, the bank that approved President Trump’s loans. Since his show aired, NBC came out and said they could not confirm the identity or the veracity of the claims O’Donnell made. And after a legal threat by the President, O’Donnell tweeted he made “an error in judgement.” Whoopsie!

Great journalism there, Larry. You can expect your Pulitzer for Investigative Reporting on Stories Pulled Out of the Reporter’s Ass any day now.

I know CNN is often slapped with the “Fake News” label (and deservedly so given how many stories they get wrong), but another network may take the crown before too much longer, that being MSNBC. What started out as an alternative to the aforementioned CNN has become the place for Leftists to gather, spread information, and watch like-minded talking heads bring up a laundry list of news stories designed to confirm the biases of its viewers.

As a media observer/critic/mocker, I’ve watched MSNBC’s evolution from news channel to a left-wing InfoWars without Alex Jones’ appeal. And, as you might guess, I have a few opinions on it and the various personalities who inhabit its bubble.

MSNBC

What the Left thinks it means –  one of the only true sources of hard facts and investigative reporting out there

What it really is – what would happen if CNN were run by Millennials

I’ll be the first one to admit I trust MSNBC less than I trust Nancy Pelosi’s plastic surgeon referral, but that’s not without reason. Whatever journalistic practices they had at their inception was removed and replaced with self-important Leftist figure-airheads who can best be called willing mouthpieces for the Left. Whether it’s Rachel Maddow (who I think is Chris Hayes in drag), Chris Hayes (who I think is Rachel Maddow in drag), Lawrence O’Donnell (who I think is a drag, period), or any of the other interchangeable anchors, there are two things that unite them. One, they will advance any and all Leftist viewpoints, regardless of how farfetched they may be. And, two, they suck at real news.

This is going to come as a shock to you Leftists, but some of MSNBC’s critics have an idea or two about what journalistic standards are, or were as the case may be. Take the O’Donnell bombshell mentioned above, for example. Going to press with a single source, let alone a single anonymous source, would get you busted down to reporting on zoning meetings under an editor whose goal is to report news, not rumor. Why? Because newspapers and TV stations can get sued if they get a story wrong and damage a person’s reputation. Yes, even if it’s Donald Trump’s reputation, which is damaged worse than a Ford Pinto gently tapping a wall at Chernobyl.

But that’s not what MSNBC’s editors do. Instead, they allow unfounded and poorly-sourced speculation to go to air without checking the facts first, often with hilarious unintended consequences. Remember when Rachel Maddow hyped a story she had a copy of Donald Trump’s taxes? Turns out she had a portion of the tax forms and it showed…Trump paid taxes. That bastard!

What is also showed was MSNBC wasn’t interested in finding the truth, but was interested in finding a way to get people to talk about their reporting. And after Maddow’s bombshell bombed, it was quickly “memory holed” and her credibility was untouched in Leftist circles. The same will happen with O’Donnell, and the same has happened with other MSNBC hosts like Joy Reid, Al Sharpton, and the late Ed Schultz. No matter what insanely stupid things they said or did, Leftists pretended like those were minor mistakes that didn’t reflect badly on their credibility. Of course, they don’t extend the same courtesy to anyone on the Right…

The problem Leftists face without knowing it is by relying on poorly-sourced information without doing a bit of fact checking on their own because it fits what they believe, they are becoming less informed and more vulnerable to “fake news.” And when it pertains to the President, they will jump on any accusation if it sounds plausible. Granted, the Right does this, too, so it’s not just a problem with the Left. Even so, the Right has relatively few outlets for potential misinformation when compared to the Left. It doesn’t make it right, but it does make it harder to find the truth.

Broadcasting 24/7 isn’t a right; it’s a privilege, one that comes with an awesome responsibility to not cause harm to its viewers or listeners. For the second-highest rated cable news network to be so cavalier with the truth as frequently as it does is frightening because it violates the implied contract between the maker and the consumer. We still put our trust (as misguided as that may be) in media outlets from talk radio to cable news to newspapers to give us the facts. Yet, as recent polling data shows, the public’s trust in the media is lower than an earthworm’s belt buckle. That hasn’t come because the media have done their jobs. It’s because they haven’t, and MSNBC is a prime example of what happens when a member of the media get something wrong.

I don’t want MSNBC taken off the air, and the same goes with CNN, Fox News, and other news media. (Although, I do think Hallmark Movie Channel needs to seriously cut back on the Christmas movies. At this rate they could run them every day of the year and never repeat one.) What I want is for the media to get back into the news business. And, yes, that requires a bit more effort than asking a Republican when he stopped beating his wife while asking a known Democrat wife-beater what his favorite color is. It means asking tough questions on both sides, not dismissing one side of an issue because it doesn’t line up with yours, and above all else have a poker face better than the ones on Mount Rushmore. We shouldn’t put up with alleged news anchors rolling their eyes, literally or figuratively, when a guest says something that doesn’t square up with the narrative. As we’ve seen, the narrative can be wrong, and when coupled with ideological fervor that makes the Spanish Inquisition look indecisive create an uninformed populous ready to pick up torches and pitchforks at a moment’s notice because Orange Man Bad.

But you do you, MSNBC.

Author: Thomas

I'm a small town boy living in the heart of Iowa watching the world go by with my wife and dog.