I probably should have made the correlation between Air America and MSNBC sooner, but it wasn’t until recently that MSNBC went so loudly and proudly hard to the Left that it became obvious they had dusted off the old Air
America Idiot playbook and taken it out for another whirl.
And Rachel Maddow, of course.
Let’s get this out of the way, up-front, for any (ie: the vast majority) new to my igloo: I had nothing but disdain and contempt for Air Idiot almost from Day One, but not because of their politics. Their ideological lunacy was merely an added impetus to me wanting to see them beaten into the dirt. I had specific reasons for my animus toward Air Idiot:
- They stole my steel drums.
- Their business plan sucked.
- Their product was a boring, choir-preachingly rote diatribe against “Bushitler!” The only times it would be interesting was when one of the hosts (usually Randi Rhodes) went completely nuts.
As Air Idiot’s lackluster Arbitron numbers completely cratered following the 2004 Presidential election, MSNBC has seen their ratings take a dive now that the Unicorn King’s 2012 re-election is in the rear view mirror. What should be worrying the suits at MSNBC is that all their “stars” are falling from the skies at the same time:
Compared to August 2012, MSNBC was down -28% in total viewers and -32% in the A25-54 demographic in total day and -36% and -32%, respectively, in primetime. MSNBC was the only cable channel to see viewership growth last August, thanks in part to live coverage from the Olympics.
“Morning Joe” was down -9% in total viewers and -17% in the A25-54 demographic compared to the same month last year, which actually was a better result than many of the programs that came later in the day.
In primetime, “The Rachel Maddow Show” posted all-time low ratings in total and demo viewers, down -43% and -47%, respectively. “The Last Word” posted a low in total viewers, losing -40% of its total viewer audience and -42% of its demo audience. at 8 PM, “All in” was down -48% and -42% in total and demo viewers, respectively, placing behind CNN for the hour.
MSNBC is suffering from the same disease that ultimately led Air Idiot to ruin; they don’t even pretend to want to hear any opposing point of view:
Virtually every other show [aside from "Morning Joe"] belongs to hosts who unstintingly support Obama and the Democrats, with only minor points of disagreement. ([Host Chris] Hayes criticizes Obama for his drone killings and surveillance programs, and often conducts friendly interviews with Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who collaborated with Edward Snowden. Melissa Harris-Perry, who appears on weekends at 10 a.m., nearly always defends Obama, and called Glenn Greenwald a “jerk.”)
Conservatives are far less visible on MSNBC than liberals are on Fox News, and the right-leaning guests who do appear are typically critics of the conservative movement: Steve Schmidt, the Republican strategist, who says the party is too tolerant of “nuts” and “kooks”; Josh Barro, an advocate for Republican reform who describes himself as “neoliberal”; Abby Huntsman, the daughter of failed presidential candidate Jon, who has described the G.O.P. as a party of “non-inclusion.” The over-all impression is that your average Republican or conservative is simply too fanatical to be part of polite discourse.
I’m not surprised because I have a hard time getting through a Maddow show and it is NOT because of her politics. #1: She repeats a concept three or four times. Three or four times she’ll repeat a concept. The concept will be repeated three or four times. #2 Journalists and many cable show hosts use a classic “inverted pyramid” of information — with the main fact first; Maddows uses a PYRAMID, slowly moving towards the lead of her opening story offering a faucet-like drip of facts before she gets to the main story and the point. #3: Some of her delivery and intonation has become as predictable now as the tiresome GOP rip-and-read partisan Sean Hannity, or as tiresome as Keith Olbermann’s “Special Comments” delivered with outrage became when it was clear it was hard to keep count of his “Special Comments” since he did them so often.
Put it this way: when you gotta bring Ed “Sargeant” Schultz back from the weekend wastelands to try to stop the bleeding, you are pretty much hosed.
- Rachel Maddow Posted Her Worst Ratings Ever This Month (businessinsider.com)
- August 2013 Ratings: MSNBC Down Double Digits (thisisliberalism.wordpress.com)
- MSNBC Gets Good News For A Change (huffingtonpost.com)