August 16, 2010

Cenk Uygur filling in for Ed Schultz this week hit back at Maureen Dowd's assertions about the left in her recent New York Times op-ed, No Love From the Lefties:

On the Republican side, the crazies often end up helping the Republican leadership. On the Democratic side, the radicals are constantly sniping at Obama, expressing their feelings of betrayal.

Fox built up a Republican president; MSNBC is trying to make its reputation by tearing down a Democratic one.

Here's Cenk's response.

No. The difference between MSNBC and Fox News is that we actually use our minds. We don't follow the President like robots. We are not authoritarian by nature and apparently unlike Maureen Dowd, we're capable of using independent judgment.

The establishment press loves to protect the government. They've forgotten entirely that they're supposed to do the opposite, challenge the government. Just because I think the right wing movement in this country has lost its mind doesn't mean i should lend mine out to President Obama.

Here's what the millionaire mainstream press doesn't get. We unlike you actually understand policy. And yes, guilty as charged, we care about it. I can give you a million examples but I'll give you one for tonight.

President Bush made a deal with the drug industry so that the government could not negotiate drug prices. He also blocked the importation of drugs. That effectively set up an unnatural monopoly for drug companies to charge us whatever they want.

You know what President Obama did? The same exact thing. He also made a deal with the drug industry allowing drug companies to keep their patents for 12 years so their monopoly lasts even longer.

So if I hated it under Bush, why should I love it under Obama? What's so radical or extreme or deranged about sticking with the same position had you before?

That used to be called unbiased. If anyone in the establishment media says they don't understand that, then I'm not sure I could help them.

If you like, I could talk slower. Maybe you'll understand it then. This isn't about taking down a Democratic President. It's about holding him accountable. That's what I thought the press was supposed to do.

A very nervous looking Mark Halperin came in to follow up and defend Maureen Dowd and the President. I concede Halperin's points about what people hoped President Obama could get done compared to what is realistic to expect him to get done given the Congress he's dealing with, but as Cenk said there are plenty of issues where we expected him to push harder for a progressive agenda and use the bully-pulpit rather than giving away the store before negotiations started. And Cenk's points about the press not doing their job no matter who is in charge are spot on.

You also cannot apply his comments about the reporters on MSNBC to the majority of their day time line up. They're almost as bad and many times worse than Fox and equally as bad as CNN right up through Matthews' show. Ed Schultz, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow do not equal the entire network being "liberal".

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