Archive for the ‘MSNBC’ category

Costly Free Media Attention

March 31, 2016

MSNBC broadcasted a “town hall” meeting yesterday with the Republican candidates, timed to occur just before the Wisconsin primary. The public service billed event was nothing more than a public cry by MSNBC “just watch this station and buy our sponsors’ products”. And what an event they suddenly had.

MSNBC’s Chris Mathews asked Donald Trump about his position of Pro-Life and then pulled the trigger after Trump confirmed abortion should be against the law. Mathews asked, should the woman be punished? After a few hems and haws, Trump said yes, there should be some form of punishment for the woman.

Compared to most things Trump has said, this situation was totally logical. If there is a law against abortion and abortion is likened to murder, shouldn’t someone who initiates an abortion face punishment?

The pro-life, pro-choice worlds seemed to stop and then both exploded in denouncing Trump.

Pro-lifers were the most indignant. Appearing to beat their chests, the pro-life supporters affirmed that they never intended that the woman would be punished (punishing the person performing the abortion was enough). Hmmm.

Where’s the logic. Abortion is either wrong or it is not. At the present time, the right to an abortion is the law of the land so this is an hypothetical discussion of what might happen if Roe v Wade was overturned. But women and men of good conscious ought to take notice.

Pro-lifers do not see a continuum (conception to viability to birth) and once conception has taken place, pro-lifers believe it becomes the woman’s responsibility to see the pregnancy through to birth.

There is no morning after pill, or medical procedures to end unwanted pregnancies. Once pregnant, its full term or bust. (Some anti-abortion supporters do allow exceptions for rape, incest, and risk to the woman’s health.)

Unwanted pregnancies are regrettably part of life. Further complicating pregnancies are changes to the mother’s health, her economic ability to raise a child, and medical changes to the condition of the fetus itself.

The pro-life group simply has the wrong objective. Rather than outlawing abortion (where punishing the woman is the logical outcome), a better goal is eliminating unwanted pregnancies. In such a world, the decision to abort or not could be based upon medical reasons.

Chris Mathews grilling of Donald Trump accomplished two outcomes.

  • First, it displayed how shallow Trumps understanding is when presented complex social issues.
  • Second, it gratuitously put into focus how hypocritical the pro-life movement is.

The unbelievable aspect of this kerfuffle is Trump supporters do not care about whether Trump is pro-life or pro-choice. They support Trump for economic reasons and a belief (maybe mistakenly) that Trump can make life better.

Trump did not see the curve ball coming from Mathews and missed it completely.  Thanks Donald.

Is Chris Clueless?

February 1, 2016

MSNBC host Chris Mathews is known for his breathless style of combative interviews. “Hardball” is the place where Chris performs.  Mathews talks through his guest’s answer, especially if the guest is not echoing what Chris has just said. While there isn’t a partisan issue that Chris doesn’t take up, Mathews just lives for election time and the chance to paint the colors red and blue on everyone who breaths.

In the past, Hardball was the marque MSNBC show. Today, however, Hardball must take a back seat to Rachael Maddow and Morning Joe (with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski). Never the less, Mathews is a student of politics and is uninhibited in sharing his views with any audience.

Like most other commentators, Chris has been taken aback by the antics of Donald Trump. How could he say that and get away with it?  And just as most commentators, Mathews is switching his story on Trump’s electability.

Today on Morning Joe, Chris shared that there was something special about Trump’s strategies. Mathews thought Trump’s main strength was his ability to make his supporters feel good!!!???

Likening Trump to Reagan, Mathews said that Trump supporters while dissatisfied with Washington, President Obama, and maybe the prospects of getting a larger slice of the American Dream, supporters were really hearing Trump’s message, “Making America Great Again”. Hmmm.

In an odd way, Mathews may actually be analyzing Trump’s overall campaign strategy correctly. Trump gets the audience’s attention by slamming this group or that one. Forget about America’s history of welcoming immigrants and tolerating multiple religions, Trump is ready to demean these minorities knowingly feeding many other American’s secret beliefs. To complete the sale, Trump offers his audiences the “hope” that life will get better with a President Trump.

“I’m smart, a very good business man, and wildly successful” (Trump says), all things his supporters are not. But it is these characteristics that make the slogan “Make America Great Again” believable.

Mathews may deserve some credit for articulating correctly Trump’s overall game plan. But Chris seemed clueless just gushing over the “Trump-ster’s” ability to make people feel good about the country. To be sure, had Donald Trump been able to garner his same level of support without calling Mexican “rapists” or calling for sealing our borders to all Muslims, there very well may have been reason to believe this stroke of genius might translate into a truly great President.

I wonder why Mathews does not see or hear the “Pied Piper”playing?