Cable news network MSNBC recently announced its addition of a new position, an executive whose sole duty it is to scour pending reports for glaring inaccuracies. Apparently, that firewall is an incapable match for the routine errors stated as fact by network personalities.
A perpetual ratings loser, MSNBC frequently airs blatant ideological partisanship, outright factual inaccuracies, or a combination thereof. Sometimes, such as in a recent report on MSNBC Live this week, it is unclear what, if anything, motivated a glaring error.
Whether based on wishful thinking or the network’s longstanding pattern of ineptitude, a photo of Tea Party-backed Senate candidate Joe Miller was shown during a piece signaling the retirement of California Democrat Rep. George Miller.
Despite their common surname – which happens to be America’s sixth most popular and is shared by more than 1.1 million people in this nation – there seems to be little common ground between the two politicians.
The elder Miller has served in elected office since the Alaska Republican was in elementary school.
George Miller is a Democrat in a deep blue state, while his younger counterpart is a proud conservative in a reliably red state.
Though a cursory review of either man would expose the error, MSNBC chose instead to air a photo of a much younger rising star in the Tea Party movement while announcing the retirement of a man Politico called “Nancy Pelosi’s strong right arm….”
The mistake could have easily been the result of human error; however, the network’s history of extreme partisanship and inattention to detail cast all of its missteps in a shadow of suspicion. When staffers selected an image of Joe Miller, it seems no one found it odd that such a young politico – with no evidence of a brewing scandal plaguing his career – would be announcing his retirement.
In retrospect, it is obvious that he has no intention to give up his current campaign, which pollsters believe he has a good shot of winning. Researchers, it would seem, went no further than ensuring the candidate shared a common last name with the actual subject of the report.
Of course, to many MSNBC hosts, Joe Miller’s status as a white Republican makes him immediately and irrevocably responsible for this and any other problem they wish to pin on him.
–B. Christopher Agee
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