Monday, September 29, 2008

MSNBC-TV: We MUST Have a Debate Winner

by Brooks Jarosz

All of the chatter for this 24-hour news network centered around Friday night's debate. But even before the debate began, one presidential candidate wasn't even sure if he would even show up. Of course that candidate was John McCain and as you may have guessed, Keith Olbermann had no trouble talking him down. Olbermann wasn't at all afraid to say his man, Barack Obama had clearly won the debate. While I may agree in some respects, doesn't it come down to which candidate's policies you support? The answer to that question is 'no!' when it comes to political coverage on MSNBC-TV, said to be "the place for politics".

It's all in the chase!
The horse race is a big deal to the network as they analyze the punches thrown by the candidates and back them up with sound bites. Olbermann had no problem taking bits and pieces and using them in alternative context. It even got down to what the candidates were wearing. Olbermann sited Obama wearing an American flag pin and John McCain, the war hero, not wearing one. Why it may seem like something small, I know some people that were tuning in will instantly judge John McCain. By no means am I endorsing John McCain or advocating Barack Obama. I've just taken notice to the left-leaning attitudes expressed in overabundance on MSNBC-TV. Olbermann, who is many times on when I tune in, leads the pack of extreme liberals.

Rachel Maddow, an MSNBC host, was on Olbermann's show earlier one night last week. While she repeatedly gave her opinion on the debate saying "I think..." at least six times, she did say something I do agree with. Maddow explained that the winner of the debate is determined by the number of juicy sound bites produced by a candidate. She explained that it's those sound-bytes that get played over and over and can essentially determine who had the upper-hand on the situation. The issues are not discussed, rather the banter between candidates. This 'juiciness', is what the media goes after and replays constantly on the 24-hour networks. How does that serve the people? How are people becoming educated on issues? How are citizens able to understand where a candidate stands? Allegedly, they're not! can be fun to make fun!
Morning Joe had a segment called "News You Can't Use" that was just that, but funny! They talked about Tina Fey playing Vice Presidential Candidate, Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live. Speaking of her, where did she go? I think she fell off the radar. Showing clips of the SNL broadcast made this segment even more amusing. The anchors couldn't stop laughing and begged for more clips which included Obama, McCain and Bill Clinton. While politics can get very serious, I enjoyed this lighter moment. Keith Olbermann even referred to David Letterman's show where McCain was supposed to make an appearance and didn't show up. Letterman whipped out jokes that pointed at McCain, giving him a hard time for not being there.

And while we're on the topic of humor, I have to leave you with a comment Hardball's Chris Matthews made to John Heilmann of New York Magazine. Matthews said it is important that you pick a president you don't mind listening to because it is someone you'll have to put up with for the next four years. Then he proceeds to ask Heilmann if McCain seemed troll-like to him. I thought to myself, troll-like? Matthews referred to a press conference where McCain seemed rather grumpy. I just couldn't stop laughing when I imagined John McCain under a bridge as a troll. Then, he described Obama as the college prof. I'll leave you with that clip below...

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