Phil Griffin: MSNBC’s Embeded Fox News Groupie

I was reminded of an article I wrote last May by a Twitterer who apparently knows my work better than I do. Below are a few choice excerpts that paint a clearer picture of the man that just put Keith Olbermann on suspension.

Phil Griffin Of MSNBC ♥’s Roger Ailes Of Fox News

Roger AilesPhil Griffin, president of MSNBC, was interviewed by the Chicago Tribune and provided an outstanding example of the sort of clueless, illogical, journalistic myopia that is rotting away the American press. When asked about his rival Roger Ailes at Fox News, he gave an almost fawning response that makes one wonder if they are really rivals at all.

“He’s changed media. Everybody does news differently because Roger’s changed the world. Roger early on figured it out and was brilliant.”

Indeed. Roger Ailes changed media – for the worse! His “brilliant” idea was to transform the news into a rancorous, talk-radio style, shoutfest that manufactured conflict and spun every story as far to the right as their ideological wheel could turn. The inspiration behind Fox’s brand loyalty is talk-radio, soap operas, and tabloid news vendors like the National Enquirer.


If Griffin really believes that his mission is to emulate Fox from the opposite end of the political spectrum, he will only succeed in further debasing the media. In addition, he will miss the opportunity to effectively compete in the cable news marketplace. He needs to realize that, not being a news network, Fox is no more his competition than is Nickelodeon (which I’ve said before is a better source than Fox for news and plays to a smarter audience).


If Griffin were to apply basic fundamentals of entertainment to a more journalistically ethical approach he could attract a much larger and more loyal audience. He needs to give news consumers a little more credit for being discriminating, skeptical, curious, and capable of understanding the issues that bear directly on their lives. The last thing we need is more of the cheapening of journalism that Ailes has proffered. And we certainly should not be honoring him for the damage he has already done.

Why does MSNBC have a president who idolizes Roger Ailes? He should not be a role model for anyone who reveres journalism and public service. If there is any justice in this world Olbermann will be back on the air next week and Griffin will be suspended for incompetence and a debilitating lack of vision.


3 thoughts on “Phil Griffin: MSNBC’s Embeded Fox News Groupie

  1. Sadly, Olbermann will be back on the air only because he’s MSNBC’s top money-maker.

    • That’s not such a bad reason. It refutes the rightist lie that liberal views have been rejected by the market. But it shouldn’t be the only reason. Quality analysis and integrity ought to come into play once in a while.

  2. I don’t see any problem with Fox operating the way they do in commenting on news from a conservative perspective. Are they whacky and often wrong? Of course. I have a problem with their bigotry, but beyond that, they have a right to exist. And they’re good at what they do.

    I choose to get my news from Huffington Post, The Nation, and MSNBC TV, and I know what I’m getting–commentary from people whose perspective I respect. I recognize the difference between MSNBC TV & Fox News–namely that Fox actively supports candidates for election–and I’m okay with it. Any news outlet & reporter is biased. It just depends on what bias you want to hear in the news.

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