Paul Levinson blogs about Shuster and MSNBC and gives Dan Abrams a thumbs up for being even handed. There’s a lot of ideology in what Levinson writes about (even though he doesn’t realize it) but at the same time there’s something to be said about some of it, particularly where Matthews is concerned. I still remember him going off night after night during the second Clinton administration and the height of all the investigations.
But any news operation could be subject to the loose tongue of a reporter or commentator, and the problem at MSNBC regarding Hillary Clinton goes much deeper.
You can hear and see it just about every night on Chris Matthews’ Hardball. For some reason, he refers to a lot of things that Hillary Clinton has been doing in this campaign as being done not by Hillary Clinton but by “the Clintons”.
What’s that? If Matthews wants to claim that Bill Clinton as well as Hillary had something to do with a specific action or strategy of Hillary’s, let him say so. But the constant reference to Hillary Clinton as “the Clintons” undermines Hillary Clinton as an individual and is demeaning.
Keith Olbermann is no angel in his attitude towards Hillary Clinton, either. When Olbermann attacks Rush Limbaugh by constantly calling him a “comedian,” we all laugh. Olbermann’s tick-like verbal attacks and facial expressions are usually welcome when they are directed at Fox News. But they have no place in supposedly even-handed coverage of a Presidential campaign. And although Olbermann is not as out there against Hillary Clinton as is Matthews, his comments about her are all too often studded with sarcasm and derision.
Indeed, of the MSNBC nighttime regulars, only Dan Abrams has been consistently even-handed and non-ad-hominem.