MSNBC: The Hate Channel

Tragically, the post that was going to appear here was wiped out in an internet snafu.

While I weep, make breakfast, etc., live my life, here’s an excerpt I was reading on one of my many open pages, from this week’s Media Matters column by Jamison Foer: a very cogent look at MSNBC’s record of sponsoring the “conflict” that John Stewart has covered as driving news stories. The news channel has been providing an open forum for hate speech of all kinds, except the kind directed at white, straight men (as a group–certain white straight men catch it full on).

After Elizabeth Edwards responded to Coulter’s description of her husband, John, as a “faggot,” MSNBC Live host Chris Jansing asked Edwards, “There are people who support your opinion, I’m sure you know, who say, ‘Why even dignify it with a response? Why give Ann Coulter more publicity?'”

Why give Ann Coulter more publicity? That’s a question that should be directed to Steve Capus, not Elizabeth Edwards. As the president of NBC News, Capus may be more responsible than anyone else on earth for giving Ann Coulter publicity.

In August 2006, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann said of Coulter: “[W]hy she has not been banned from this network, I do not know.” That’s a good question, and one Capus should answer — but it is also too narrow a question.

MSNBC is the channel that hired Coulter in the 1990s, only to fire her after her controversial comments to a disabled Vietnam veteran; that hired Michael Savage in 2003, then had to fire him for telling a caller to “get AIDS and die”; that hired Don Imus, then had to fire him for making sexist and racist comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. This is a cable channel that has, for years, been a welcome home to highly questionable comments about race, gender, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation.

Chris Matthews has said Republicans “have a right to fear” seeing a “majority Latino population”; when his guest defended America’s “tradition” of welcoming immigrants, Matthews retorted, “Do you live in a Mexican neighborhood?” Tucker Carlson used his MSNBC show to call the NAACP a “sad joke that should be shut down” and has attacked Barack Obama’s religion, saying of Obama’s church, “[I]t’s hard to call that Christianity.” Joe Scarborough says that pollster John Zogby, an Arab-American, “may be biased” on the issue of the Iraq war and “the Middle East situation.”

Before Don Imus was fired, his executive producer told MSNBC viewers that Obama has a “Jew-hating name”; Imus himself referred to the “Jewish management” of CBS Radio as “money-grubbing bastards.” MSNBC apparently didn’t have any problem with those comments; it would be months before Imus was fired.

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