Friday, April 23, 2010

Liberal Tolerance At MSNBC

It seems that MSNBC applies a "purity" test for its commentators and hosts which we've warned conservatives about doing on this site. Apparently, it applies to towing the liberal line, but also to the MSNBC sacred cows. Thou shalt not speak evil of Keith Olbermann, lest thee be gagged.

First, I realize that Mr. Olbermann attended a fine Ivy League agricultural college and would point out that I mean "sacred bull." But he will just have to forgive my ignorance from having attended one of those West Coast state universities. Be that as it may, MSNBC host Donny Deutsch was suspended from his duties for a segment he did on Wednesday in which he questioned whether his fellow hosts Keith Olbermann and Ed Schultz weren't stirring up "America the Angry" just as much as favorite targets of theirs such as Fox's Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck.

Oh, the heresy! How dare he? There are no innocents here. When Florida senatorial candidate Marco Rubio first started making headway against RINO Gov. Charlie Crist, Deutsch himself referred to Rubio as a "coconut." That's a liberal insult for anyone who is "brown on the outside, white on the inside." It's both an ethnic insult, and an expression used to deride any Hispanic candidate (or citizen) who does not kowtow to the liberal Democratic powers-that-be. There was quite literally zero reaction from MSNBC management or their audience regarding that remark.

It's OK by MSNBC management to insult any conservative, any Republican, and any moderate Democrat in the crudest possible terms. But when Deutsch pointed out on his show that sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, he was quickly gagged. Hugh Hewitt, a conservative radio host, had made some pretty strong statements about the MSNBC hosts, and in February he went after Schultz particularly. When the issue was brought up several times on Deutsch's show, he was rather flaccid in his defense of Schultz and his criticism of Hewitt. That sent up the early-warning flags in the executive offices of MSNBC.

But this week, Deutsch went a bridge too far. In his continuing series America the Angry, he showed examples of conservative rabble-rousing with clips of Rish Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly, but he balanced it with similar rants from liberals Ed Schultz, and dangerously, Keith Olbermann. The first clip showed Olbermann venting about a criticism of The One: "You have embarrassed your district, embarrassed your state, embarrassed your party, embarrassed your nation. Shouted at the President like he was a referee at the ball game and you were a drunk in the stands. And you were wrong!"

In the interview, he continued to be very soft on Hewitt. He agreed with Hewitt that Beck is an entertainer, and not a politician to be attacked as if he held public office. Ditto for Hewitt's comments about Limabugh. But he went off the cliff when Hewitt put Deutsch, Schultz and Olbermann in the same bag as the conservative commentators. Said Hewitt: "At the end of the day, don't we kind of elevate you guys too much by saying that you're anything other than just another person on the street spouting off just like there's a guy at the end of the bar and spouting stuff, you just kind of turn the other way." And then the clincher: "When you guys [referring to MSNBC] get rid of Ed Schultz and Keith I'll start thinking that they're actually serious here. Because they are the biggest hate mongers in television." Bingo!

Deutsch made the fatal mistake of replying: "I'm not taking the side of either one." Oops. Then he rubbed salt in the liberal wound. "I could line up 1,000 guys in the room and you can always have guys that are outrageous and over the top. But, why are we even allowing America to believe that these people are really kind of informing our brains? And I'm clearly a guy who's a little farther to the left. My kind of, whole, thing is, like, we've got to calm down a little bit. Forget whether you're a Glenn Beck guy, whether you're an Ed Schultz guy, whether you're a Keith Olbermann guy, whether you're a Bill O'Reilly guy. Just say 'Let them all scream at the wind.' So what?" And then, to add insult to injury, he apologized for the "coconut" remark about Rubio.

Hewitt then came back on the microphone and said: "I didn't say Olbermann or Schultz should be off the air, Donny. I don't hate them. I think they're a joke. I spend my time talking to people like E. J. Dionne . . . and Jonathan Alter. I spend my time talking to smart lefties. I just know Ed's not."

To which Deutsch replied, tying the noose around his own neck: "I guess my point is who are you or anybody to judge where the intellectual high ground is. These are all entertainers in one form or another (emphasis added). Deutsch eventually offered a defense of both Schultz and Olbermann, but the damage was already done. The hammer came down from the MSNBC executive offices. Deutsch is now suspended, and it's not yet known if he will be returning. He is, in his own words, a lefty. He attacks most of the viewpoints of the right as expressed by personalities on Fox. He has not suddenly become a Reagan/Goldwater Republican. But he made the mistake of failing to be "liberal enough" in his defense of Schultz, and particularly Olbermann. Don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out, Mr. Deutsch.

16 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

What a fun post, Hawk. I simply do not, cannot watch NBC or MSNBC news shows and my understanding is that nobody much does. Still, if there was ever a better example of hypocritical intolerance, I can't think of it.

AndrewPrice said...

The hypocrisy on this was stunning. Entertaining and telling, but stunning. I guess Keith can dish it out, but not take it.

LawHawkSF said...

Tennessee: If only for keeping myself current on the lefties, I force myself to watch CNN and MSNBC occasionally, but not enough to make my head explode (which also explains why I read The New York Times and The New Republic. LOL

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: The left wing cable stations are better at eating their own than is Fox and a few others. They toss their apostates to the wolves. On the other hand, for all the complaints (including mine), we can't even get O'Reilly and Gutfeld to stop having the loathsome Marc Lamont Hill as their guest. And that's after Roger Ailes terminated his services as a paid Fox News consultant when Hill's lack of real credentials and consorting with cop-killing murderers and radical Islamics came to light.

BevfromNYC said...

I watched the clip that caused Deutsch's demise. I don't get it. What did he say that was so wrong other than more actually truth than I've heard on MSNBC ever.

LawHawkSF said...

Bev: I think you answered your own question. LOL

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

Someone was fired at MSNBC? ;-)

Deutsch should not have "attacked" one of his own. Especially Olbermann. If he had said it on CNN....

LawHawkSF said...

Joel: He hasn't exactly been fired yet. They might yet sneak him back in through the basement door. He was already making a nuisance of himself by failing to froth at the mouth at all the appropriate times, but taking on Olbermann was his big mistake. I don't want to think what he'll have to do for Olbermann to get his slot back. Brush his eyebrows for a year, maybe?

BevfromNYC said...

I don't mean to change the subject but, LawHawk, you have to go over to HuffPo and read Feinstein's call to arms...it should amuse (or sicken) you. Here for your "enjoyment".

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sen-dianne-feinstein/congress-must-plug-the-ra_b_549829.html

The libs have finally come out of their Obama stupor and discovered that the healthcare bill does nothing except help the insurance companies.

LawHawkSF said...

Bev: It's typical grandstanding demogoguery. I don't really have a dog in this fight, though I obviously have considerable contempt for government-run health care. I've worked as a contract writer for a large insurance company, and I've represented plaintiffs in denial-of-coverage suits. Though I admire the concept of well-run insurance companies, I have a few horror stories that I could tell. I also have some very favorable ones to tell. As usual, the bad apples spoil the whole barrel.

She told two truly compelling denial-of-coverage stories, then spent the rest of her time justifying complete government control of the private insurance companies based on premiums rather than on denial-of-coverage. She's also in denial about the 90% legitimate reason that insurance companies raised rates in anticipation of Obamacare.

The other thing I noticed was that instead of handling her plan to end all health insurance abuses as separate legislation, she plans to roll it into the financial regulatory reform measure that is already disastrous.

patti said...

andrew: all bullies are alikje in the fact that they can dish it but can't take it. bully tell, if you will.

law: you had me as soon as you used "olbermann" and "gagged" in the same sentence.

LawHawkSF said...

Patti: I sort of had the same reaction when I re-read the post for editing. It wouldn't have been as effective if I had said that Deutsch "barfed Olbermann." LOL

StanH said...

I do believe that MSNBC has been sold to Comcast. I look for Olberdork. Mancow, and Shitz too be fired. When you have business people looking at the bottom line as opposed to ideology with demanding shareholders, it’s gonna hit the fan. Maybe they’ll rip each other apart live on TV?

That was great news about the first two SEALS. I know your not a swami, but this looks good for our heroes?

LawHawkSF said...

Bev and Everybody: Here's what Dianne Feinstein had to say on California TV stations:

"Speaking on health care Monday, Senator Diane Feinstein said: 'I've gotten 90,000 emails and faxes on the health care bill and over 85,000 of them are against it.

After all the debate we've had, I can't believe so many people still don't get it!'

This proves you can’t fix Stupid!"

Hat Tip to JTB

Writer X said...

Frankly, I'm surprised MSNBC is still on the air. No one takes them seriously except the 65 people who tune in regularly to watch Olbermann foam at the mouth.

What's next? The MSNBC hosts will start wearing purity rings?

LawHawkSF said...

WriterX: I like that idea. Purity rings for MSNBC people. They're cheaper by the dozen. So if they buy a couple dozen, they'll be home free, including commentators, staff and their entire audience.

The only other cable TV commentator I can think of who was as pompous, pretentious, and ignorant as Olbermann is Charles Grodin. When he was in full bloviating mode, he had them station the cameras stage right and at about desk level. That way he could look down on the peasants he was "enlightening." He should have introduced himself by saying "I'm not an intellectual, but I play one on TV."

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