“MSNBC wasted no time booking her Tuesday evening to discuss a commentary that she wrote for the FoxNews.com Web site titled, “I was an ObamaCare Guinea Pig.” The opinion article praised the new health care insurance program for saving her family money in the coming year and drew a favorable post on Tuesday from President Obama’s Twitter account. … writing for FoxNews.com, her commentaries have been a major draw for the Web site. Her Sept. 30 article, “Five reasons Americans already love ObamaCare — plus one reason why they’re gonna love it even more, soon” has received more than 226,000 Facebook “likes,” and has drawn nearly 1,200 comments, according to measurements on the site.”
“Beating up on [cable news’] excesses is like riding down the hill after a bloody battle and shooting the wounded.”
David Carr, New York Times. Parodying Cable News With a Talk About Race.
On Tuesday night on MSNBC’s “All In,” Chris Hayes had a very direct conversation about race with the Gawker writer Cord Jefferson. Prompted by a news report of a group of young people in Huntington Beach, Calif., who looted and vandalized property, the pair lamented the lack of community leadership and suggested that acting out in that manner was a learned behavior.
It was a joke. Actually, there were two beats to the joke. The young people they were talking about were white. And the whole discussion was a put-on, a satire meant to show how lame the hoary race tropes of cable news have become.
As a comedy bit, it was very well done. Both men were straight-faced and earnest. Mr. Hayes, tapping his inner Bill O’Reilly, did a fine job of bloviating his way through an introduction heavy with outrage: “The story of the white criminal culture is not a story the mainstream media will tell you. But once you scratch the surface, these stories are everywhere you look.”
If you haven’t seen the segment, it’s well worth the five minutes to watch typical cable news tropes turned on their head.
Carr’s analysis of the segment hits the usual notes: cable’s inability (or unwillingness) to present nuance, and its manufactured outrage as it fills a 24 hour news hole. But he also discusses the very real effect of a (mostly younger) audience used to the news as presented by The Daily Show and Colbert Report, writing, “MSNBC was temporarily acting as a kind of self-cleaning oven, parodying the excesses of cable from a very near distance.”
For his part, Hayes tells Carr, “The biggest challenge is to find a way to surprise viewers and subvert expectations. The format is in need of evolution.”
"MSNBC challenged CNN for the Stupidity Crown. They transitioned to this topic after discussing TX abortion bill." - @KerithBurke
“Hayes’ problem is not just that his show rejects the drama and contention of heated debates between pundits with opposing viewpoints – a cable news staple. It is that his professorial effort to inform his audience lacks the requisite entertainment value to keep them watching. This is a symptom of buying into a fantasy, propagated by television dramas like HBO’s The Newsroom, which suggests that the trite entertainment value of cable news undermines its purpose.”
Check out the “same bus in both shots.”
More: The Atlantic Wire
“How hard is it to be the king, man? It must be hard to be surrounded by people not amazing as you. How do you handle the rest of humanity when you are so great?”
Rachel Maddow, a guest Wednesday night on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, was asked what question she’d pose to Bill O’Reilly.
“Is this that difficult of a concept for you Piers? I mean, you won Celebrity Apprentice. You’re a really smart guy!”
John Ziegler, maker of the controversial documentary The Framing of Joe Paterno just said that to Piers Morgan on CNN.
He was dead serious and that is hysterical.