Why David Zurawik's Argument Is Bogus

[media id=8413] David Neiwert posted about David Zurawik's frothy appearance with Howard Kurtz last weekend as he bashed MSNBC. On 'Reliable Sources,

David Neiwert posted about David Zurawik's frothy appearance with Howard Kurtz last weekend as he bashed MSNBC. On 'Reliable Sources,' David Zurawik decries heated cable talk by shrieking about MSNBC's 'fascism'

Zurawik felt compelled to explain himself in a little more detail online.

As you can see from the video, I am harder on MSNBC than Fox, because this NBC sister channel has outrageously decided it doesn't have to cover news on weekends and holidays -- and yet, still calls itself a news channel.I have to admit, it is a great business moldel: Don't cover the news. let someone fulfill that expensive task. We'll just put on ideologues like Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow and let them mock our opponents as we opine about the news that others like CNN went to trouble and expense of gathering and verifying.

He's upset because they choose to run some of those Locked Up episodes during the weekend, really? Here's a little info for Z: MSNBC does cover the news on the weekends, they just don't do it 24/7. He should probably check their schedule sometime before making the claim that they don't cover the news on Saturday and Sunday. And WTF does that have to do with how they cover the news in general or if they are biased in their reporting? Which is worse, showing some non-news shows on the weekend, or pushing a political agenda 24 hours a day, seven days a week for as many years as they've been on the air?

Fox News tries to shrug off their right-wing bias by saying they have opinion talking heads, so they don't consider those shows to be news. But if anyone -- and that means you, David -- were to watch Fox News, starting with Fox and Friends right up through Neil Cavuto, you would see a right-wing bias that would make your head spin -- all dressed up as news reporting. Heavy anti-union messages, insane free-market Wall Streeters and anti-Obama segments dominate their coverage, but somehow Z isn't outraged by that behavior as much.

Sure, MSNBC's opinion lineup, from Hardball to Maddow is largely center-left commentators, but they start their mornings with three hours of Joe Scarborough before going into seven straight hours of news blocks that for the most part interview politicians from both parties along with the usual battle of the consultants. Andrea Mitchell has her own hour and you can't call her a lefty.

So while I agree with some of Z's complaints, please get some basic facts straight. And his criticism of MSNBC gives us a look into the window of the mind of a Villager critic.

And yes, these cable shows have hurt America, because they are always looking for a "conflict" which will increase ratings rather than examine the news and issues at hand with an emphasis to inform us rather than persuade of. This approach aided Bush and Cheney in their quest to go and invade Iraq, and look where that has taken us: Thousands dead, innocents lost, billions of dollars spent, torture, military commissions and wiretapping soon followed. Good job, cable news.

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