August 5, 2013

After years and years of monitoring the Sunday news shows, I can't even begin to tell you what a breath of fresh air MSNBC's "UP with Chris Hayes" was. It wasn't the same old guests recycled from other shows. The two hour, limited issue format allowed for meaningful discussions not seen anywhere else. There was nothing better than curling up on the sofa with a hot cup of coffee and "UP" on weekend mornings. I felt smarter by the discussions.

And clearly I wasn't the only one, because the success realized by Hayes led ultimately to his promotion to a primetime weekly show on MSNBC (not necessarily a success to date, lending credit to the notion that if it ain't broke, don't fix it) and the choice of Steve Kornacki as the new host of "UP".

At first, I was willing to give Kornacki the benefit of the doubt and let him settle into the host's chair. But I've found in the last couple of months, "UP" has become less and less of a must-see show for me. I couldn't really put my finger on why until Tommy Christopher named it on Mediaite this Sunday:

In what is becoming a disturbing trend, Up With Steve Kornacki host Steve Kornacki and a panel comprised of The Cycle co-host Krystal Ball, Buzzfeed reporter Evan McMorris-Santoro, and WaPo‘s Nia-Malika Henderson allowed Republican strategist Rick Wilson to repeat an egregious lie about President Obama and the stimulus, which Wilson took as an invitation to say it again. The show needs to either book sharper panelists, or more honest conservatives.

In backstopping for Republican obstructionism, Wilson argued that there’s skepticism about infrastructure spending, “and that is largely the fault of the Obama administration,” adding that “they promised by now, if we passed that stimulus bill, we would have 5% unemployment.”

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against having a variety of point of views on a show I watch. But at least when Hayes was helming the show, talking points would get slapped down, sometimes vociferously. If I wanted to watch conservatives pull facts from their posteriors without being challenged, I can go to "Meet the Press" or "This Week" or the king of them all, "Fox News Sunday" and get lied to. I used to seek out "UP" as a respite from those shows but lately, it seems like Kornacki is slipping.

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