Sean Hannity launched into a long, strange rant against NBC News. His actual complaint was with MSNBC, but he kept calling it NBC, presumably because that name carries more weight. He also kept invoking the names of Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw, presumably because those names carry more weight than those of Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell.
Incredibly enough, Hannity’s basic complaint was that MSNBC wears its political ideology on its sleeve, that it slants the news to fit that ideology, and that it accepts without question biased reports from sources with which it agrees. In other words, he was attacking MSNBC for doing exactly what he does every day, four hours a day.
It makes a fellow wonder: What does Sean Hannity see when he looks in the mirror?
I should mention, by the way, that one commenter here used to frequently respond to my talk radio updates by saying that to be fair I should take on the TV cranks on MSNBC, too. My response always was that my talk radio commentary was a byproduct of delivering papers all day long on Thursday and that I didn’t watch enough MSNBC to have any particular opinion.
That was true enough at the time, but it really isn’t true anymore. For various reasons, I have watched quite a bit of MSNBC over the last couple of years, and I owe that commenter a full response, which I will get to by and by.
For now, just a couple of points:
1. Yes, I agree, Ed Schultz is just as obnoxious from the left as Hannity is from the right. It’s tough to take much of either.
2. I find Maddow and Chris Matthews likeable, Maddow because she is bright and spunky and Matthews because he is a jovial soul who really seems to care about, and know something about, political history. But I rarely have the energy, or interest, to watch either show all the way through. I find O’Donnell very strange.
3. During the daytime, MSNBC does a better job of reporting real news than Fox does, but the gap seems to be narrowing and may have closed altogether after 1 p.m. CNN is far and away the best choice for actual news.
4. None of the above applies to “Up,” MSNBC’s new weekend show with Chris Hayes. It comes on here at 6 a.m., so I miss a lot of it, but it really is worth setting the alarm for. Hayes is the one pundit who treats actual issues as if they mattered, delving deeply into things and discussing them at length with smart people from a variety of angles (this morning it was drone warfare and the Dream Act). You can try to compare what Hayes does to the talking point punditry you get everywhere else, but you really can’t. There is no comparison.