It’s About Time!
Hotline is reporting a shake-up in Punditville:
Retired Gen. Wesley Clark will now be exclusively on MSNBC as a military analyst, sources have confirmed to the Hotline. Clark has still not ruled out a possible White House bid and MSNBC would be a much more Dem-friendly audience than his old gig — Fox News Channel!
This is a long overdue move for Clark. It is a bit simplistic to say that he did this because MSNBC is a “more Dem-friendly audience.” He did it because Fox is an arm of the Republican National Committee. As I reported earlier, a Mellman Group study shows that:
“Fox News viewers supported George Bush over John Kerry by 88 percent to 7 percent. No demographic segment, other than Republicans, was as united in supporting Bush. Conservatives, white evangelical Christians, gun owners, and supporters of the Iraq war all gave Bush fewer votes than did regular Fox News viewers.”
Dems do not need Fox News and should not help to legitimize it as a news source. The departure of Clark is an extension of the trend to deny Fox the credibility with which it seeks to deceive its audience. The trend was significantly boosted by the rejection of the Fox-sponsored Democratic debate, as well as scholarly studies that prove that Fox is not a serious journalistic enterprise. We’re talking about a network with characters like Bill O’Reilly who makes up news, Roger Ailes who disparages Democrats, Neil Cavuto with his notorious “Cavuto Mark” and Rupert Murdoch who admits having tried to push propaganda on Iraq.
I have no problem with Democrats appearing on Fox as long as they are sufficiently disdainful, but they should not be on the payroll as analysts. That only allows Fox to claim they are balanced even though they only employ people like Clark to abuse them by getting into shouting matches that are distractions from the underlying issues.
MSNBC can make much better use Clark and vice versa. If he appears on Countdown or Scarborough he will bring thoughtful analysis to the discussion. If he appears on Hardball he will be a voice that Matthews can’t shut down. If he appears on Tucker he will thoroughly outclass the little twerp and, hopefully, awaken MSNBC’s programmers to the fact that they are wasting valuable airtime on him.
This is just another reminder that Fox News is TOXIC and must not be tolerated. And we have to guard against further poisoning of our media (i.e. Murdoch’s bid to acquire Dow Jones – see my Alternative To Murdoch For Dow Jones.