Rachel and Keith and Barack

The NYT has a story about how MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann are keeping President Obama honest. Naturally, the story gets into the whole “how is MSNBC any different than FOX” argument. Rachel offers up this argument:

Ms. Maddow, however, contrasts her channel’s advocacy with the activism conducted, she says, by others on cable news. “We’re articulating liberal viewpoints,” she said at dinner, “but we’re not saying ‘Call your congressman, show up at this rally!’ ”

I disagree, it’s much more than that. The very fact that Rachel calls her show “liberal” is far more than FOX has ever admitted about its network being conservative. That’s the difference – Rachel and Keith are honest and up front about where they’re coming from. FOX is not.

But it’s far more than that.

1. Rachel and Keith don’t routinely lie.
2. They’re not bat-shit crazy.
3. Rachel’s and Keith’s liberal views are not echoed in MSNBC’s news coverage. On FOX, the “news” hosts push the same conservative talking points as the “opinion” hosts.
4. MSNBC doesn’t just have three hours of liberal programming in the evening. The NYT fails to tells its readers that MSNBC also has three hours of conservative programming in the morning, with former arch-Republican congressman Joe Scarborough. Kind of relevant, since it means that MSNBC splits its partisan programming 50-50. FOX has no liberal hosts, period, and when they did have one, for one hour (Alan Colmes), he had to share his show with an outspoken conservative who wouldn’t shut up.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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