MSNBC may be the luckiest network on television. Republicans are threatening to boycott the cable net. That’s kind of like having lepers threaten to not French kiss you.
It all began when David Shuster asked Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) if she could name the last soldier from her district who was killed in Iraq. She could not, so he told her who it was. It was later reported that the soldier Shuster named was not from Blackburn’s district and Shuster apologized for the error on air. Now it turns out that Shuster was right in the first place. But being right was never a major article of concern for the right and they are still hammering Shuster. Even Brit Hume at Fox News participated in the pile on.
Now, according to Politico, Republicans are escalating the battle to new heights:
“We don’t mind skipping MSNBC. No one watches that channel anyway,” says a high-placed Republican consultant.
Word is, a growing number of GOP lawmakers have become mysteriously “unavailable” when asked to appear on MSNBC.
This would be a sublime development. I have long been advocating that Democrats and progressives swear off of Fox News (see Starve The Beast). Rupert Murdoch and his media megaphone is openly hostile to our agenda and our representatives. They will only use these appearances to distort our message and derail our mission. Studies have proven that their audience is unreceptive, and even antagonistic, to us and by appearing we will be rewarded more with ridicule than respect.
It has been difficult to advance this strategy because the siren’s call of the TV camera still lures people to Fox. Now, ironically, it is Republicans who are openly promoting the concept in reverse. If their effort has the residual effect of causing a reciprocal boycott of Fox, it will be well worth it. They won’t miss MSNBC and we won’t miss the further propagation of their propaganda.
Reminder: It has already been reported that Republicans have been more reluctant to appear on many programs regardless of network. Plus, they have refused to participate in televised debates sponsored by Gays, African-Americans, Unions, and even YouTube (on which they eventually agreed to appear).
Update on Shuster: It appears he was strong-armed into the premature apology by his boss.