Canaries are not very formidable birds, but they have their uses. For instance, coal miners learned over a century ago that when canaries gag and drop dead at the bottom of the cage, it’s a sign that maybe there’s something wrong with the air in the mine.
MSNBC is not a very formidable network, but its wheezing is similarly instructive. MSNBC’s slogan is “Lean Forward,” which has a robust sound to it. But it turns out the phrase is a more apt descriptor of how the Peacock Network’s mini-me is poised to teeter off its perch and plunge beak-first into the droppings-stained pages of the fading New Republic below.
It is suffering “cataclysmic ratings declines” (in Politico’s words) from ratings that were already mediocre to begin with. The hope had been that Ronan Farrow, the Prius-dashboard saint of Brooklyn hipsters and the son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen (or Frank Sinatra), would, like David Hasselhoff in Baywatch, leap into the waters and save the drowning network. It turned out that Farrow’s flotation device was a messenger bag full of bricks. His show has been canceled, as has Joy Reid’s daily show. Other MSNBC stars are being followed around by the Grim Reaper. Al Sharpton, a race-baiting tax cheat with blood on his hands, is slated to be moved out of his 6 p.m. slot, presumably so he can spend more time with his wayward teleprompter.
MSNBC had thought it could mimic Fox News’s success from the left. The problem is that it never understood what Fox News is. MSNBC’s execs saw it through the prism of their own ideological bias and so ended up offering a left-wing caricature of a caricature. Contrary to myth, Fox (where I am a contributor) is in fact an actual news network, albeit with prime-time opinion shows. Meanwhile, a study by Pew found that MSNBC was 85 percent opinion.
The more salient point is that there’s such a small appetite for that opinion. As Josh Kraushaar of National Journal recently observed, Barack Obama has successfully moved his party to the left but has failed utterly to bring the rest of the country with him. In 2012, James Stimson, arguably America’s leading expert on U.S. public opinion, found that the country was more conservative than at any time since 1952.
This might seem counterintuitive, given that Obama was reelected that year, but there’s an obvious explanation. Barack Obama has a singular skill: getting Barack Obama elected. In all the elections since 2008, he has shown a remarkable inability to get anyone else elected, or to move public opinion in his favor. (Obamacare, for instance, remains stubbornly unpopular.) Measured in terms of statehouses, state legislatures, and House and Senate seats, the GOP is stronger today than any point since the 1920s. If you still think Obama has generous coattails, ask Rahm Emanuel for a second opinion.
Yesterday Obama let Dems in the House and Congress put their feet in their mouths for HOURS as the 3-week extension for the DHS was voted down.
Then, after they had taken their ”principled stand” he called them late last night.
Forget that principled stand!
The TEA party conservatives continued to vote for the complete shutdown but the Dems suddenly did a 180 and voted for a bill 3 times worse than the one they had voted against just hours before!
They voted for a One Week Extension en masse.