I'll start by saying that I really do like David Shuster, I don't like the way the network chases after celebrity stories like Michael Jackson's death
July 24, 2009

I'll start by saying that I really do like David Shuster, I don't like the way the network chases after celebrity stories like Michael Jackson's death when there are more serious topics being ignored, but I've got no quibbles with the bulk of his reporting on MSNBC.

I can't say that about his interview with Charles Pierce while filling in on Countdown for Keith Olbermann. I think David pulled the equivalent of why we never see the likes of Pat Buchanan or Joe Scarborough on Keith's Worst Person list for the night, as they would be regularly if they worked for Fox News and were saying the exact same things they did on MSNBC. He circled the wagons around his network and took offense to someone who was rightfully criticizing them, and didn't do his job.

Shuster attempts to focus the segment on Liz Cheney promoting the birthers craziness, and ends up finding his network being criticized by Pierce for how they treated Bill Clinton instead. Pierce went after our "main stream media" hard for their journalistic malpractice.

Pierce: Well, it's funny because I was listening to Chuck Todd on Hardball earlier tonight and when Chris asked him about how, you know this thing gets airborned he immediately jumped in and said the Internet. Well, it wasn't the Internet in 1992 that invented White Water that brought us all the way down the rabbit hole. It was the New York Times. It wasn't the Internet in 1999 that put Kathleen Willey on TV to slander somebody and put Jennifer Flowers on TV to talk about the Clinton body count. It was Chris Matthews and CNBC. It wasn't the Internet that were involved with the prolonged act of journalistic malpractice that was the coverage of the Al Gore in 2000. It was the main stream media.

Why wouldn't these people think this would work again?

Pierce is exactly right that there has been little or no political price to pay for the GOP to float the nudge, nudge, wink, wink lines of attack on anyone they think they can get away with it on. He's also right that Shuster should not be allowed to defend bringing on the likes of Liz Cheney on Morning Joe to spew her bile for a better part of that three hour show, and just because Countdown or Shuster's couple of hours on MSNBC criticizes her, that gives the network a pass for his cohorts' behavior and giving her a big, unrebutted megaphone during the morning. It doesn't.

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