J. D. Heyes
July 15, 2013
Newsies and political junkies already know this, but in case you didn’t, certain news agencies have a distinct liberal bias. One of them, according to one of its former producers, is – not surprisingly – MSNBC.
Jeff Cohen, known through his regular appearance on the cable networks as a left-wing media critic, worked for a time as a senior producer for MSNBC. But in the wake of revelations that the NSA had expanded its interception of Americans’ electronic communications under President Obama, Cohen blasted his former network as “the official network of the Obama White House.”
What if the political shoe had been on the other foot?
Again, while most reasonable Americans already knew of MSNBC‘s affinity for all things progressive, the spy scandal apparently pushed Cohen over the edge. In a piece for Alternet, Cohen essentially calls Obama a serial liar, and hits him especially hard over the NSA scandal:
When it comes to issues of U.S. militarism and spying, the allegedly “progressive” MSNBC often seems closer to the “official network of the Obama White House” than anything resembling an independent channel. With a few exceptions (especially Chris Hayes), MSNBC has usually reacted to expanded militarism and surveillance by downplaying the abuses or defending them.
Had McCain or Romney defeated Obama and implemented the exact same policies, treating whistleblowers like Manning and Snowden as foreign espionage agents, one would expect MSNBC hosts to be loudly denouncing the Republican abuses of authority.
But with Obama in power, a number of MSNBC talking heads have reacted to the Snowden disclosures like Fox News hosts did when they were in hysterical damage control mode for Bush – complete with ridiculously fact-free claims and national chauvinism that we’ve long come to expect from the “fair & balanced” channel.
From that point, Cohen begins to name names:
As (NSA whistleblower Edward) Snowden arrived in Russia from Hong Kong, MSNBC host Ed Schultz blustered on about Snowden as a “punk” and “coward.” …
MSNBC‘s Melissa Harris-Perry has been condemning Snowden by contrasting him with civil disobedients who “love their country” and submit to arrest – while Snowden just wants to “save his own skin.” …
MSNBC‘s Rachel Maddow has (sp) also disappointed. After doing a typically thorough presentation on the force-down of President’s Morales’ plane, she ended her report by expressing displeasure only that Washington had apparently gotten allies to go out on the limb “for nothing.”
Granted, many on the political right have also criticized Snowden for his actions, up to and including the Republican leadership. But what Cohen is saying is that his former network is little more than a shill for Obama and his party.
Cohen – it takes one to know one
But he saves some of his most vociferous criticism for the president himself:
I was a young person when I first heard the quip: “How do you know when the President is lying? His lips are moving.” At the time, President Nixon was expanding the war in Vietnam to other countries and deploying the White House “plumbers” to commit crimes against antiwar leakers.
Forty years have passed. Sadly, these days, often when I see President Obama moving his lips, I assume he’s lying.
He has also blasted the president for his regular persecution of whistleblowers – something Obama has done more aggressively than his predecessors:
The Obama administration has prosecuted not a single CIA torturer, but has imprisoned a CIA officer who talked about torture with a journalist. National Security Agency official Thomas Drake, who was unable to get abuses fixed internally, now has a criminal record for communicating with a reporter years ago about sweeping domestic surveillance..
MSNBC, of course, is not the only news network, organization or newspaper with a particular political bias. But it is one of the few that makes absolutely no effort to report objectively. Cohen knows that.
This article was posted: Monday, July 15, 2013 at 4:42 am