MSNBC Hiring Professional PoliticosPosted: February 20, 2013
MSNBC’s recent hiring of David Axelrod, a major insider in the Obama administration, highlights the increasing trend of news networks as mouthpieces for partisan politics.
In the past month MSNBC has hired two former senior members of the Obama Administration. The network has been called blatantly soft on the White House, and this is only another piece of evidence for those who call it that.
Some organizations, like Pew, have recorded MSNBC’s ideological bent. The Pew study noted that MSNBC’s coverage was even more extreme than that of Fox News. In the week before the election MSNBC did not air a single positive story about the Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney.
MSNBC anchors and pundits refrained from criticizing the president time after time. In an interview on 60 Minutes almost 2 years ago, MSNBC host Al Sharpton vowed to never publicly criticize President Obama. To some MSNBC’s lack of balanced coverage and the generally partisan tone of the network demonstrated a lack of accountability and even journalistic integrity.
MSNBC is not unique in hiring former political operatives and insiders. News networks, papers, and really every form of political news media have their own political operatives reporting from within. While this trend is pervasive and popular, it may not be positive. The credibility of the news media continues to shrink in the eyes of many consumers.
Is the trend of professional political operatives in a journalistic position a positive one? Are we simply skipping the tedious step between press conference and reporting? Who is better to report and comment on the news than political insiders? Or does this make news media merely another form of partisan propaganda demobilizing voters and lessening the legitimacy of the democratic process as a whole?