As MSNBC struggles to redefine itself in the midst of disappointing, stagnant audience ratings, the cable net has just announced another shakeup in its lineup. Al Sharpton’s four-year-old show, Politics Nation, will soon be shifted in the schedule to a day and time that means it is all but disappearing from view. However, to hear Sharpton describe the move from weeknights to early Sunday morning, you’d think the lineup change means Rev. Al’s long-held wish is finally coming true.
As an article in the New York Daily News puts it, “The Rev. Al Sharpton’s MSNBC show is moving from prime time to church time.” Just as presidential politics is shifting into a higher gear, Sharpton’s regularly scheduled appearances on the far-left network will be shifting into a lower-value time slot.
Despite the fact that — as of the second week in September Politics Nation will no longer be seen at 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, rather at 8 a.m. Sundays starting in early October — Sharpton tries to make it seem as though he’s ecstatic about the move. In a couple of tweets he issued on Wednesday, he suggests that the schedule change was his idea, his call.
But as anybody remotely familiar with the business knows, the host of a ho-hum-rated show like Politics Nation doesn’t call the shots — network brass decide the lineup. Still, the self-righteous Rev. Al tried to sell a happy tale to the Daily News, spinning the MSNBC move so crazily it might make the paper’s readers dizzy.
“I’m very happy,” he said Wednesday. “First, I can reach a wider audience of people who don’t get home by 6 at night. Second, I can now get the A-list guests and newsmakers I want. And third, a Sunday morning host is what I always wanted to be.
Let’s deal with just the last claim in Sharpton’s spin, that he “always wanted to be” a Sunday morning host. If that were truly the case, do you think he would have kept plugging away at the weekday slot for some four years?
But Sharpton’s most dramatic reach concerning his show’s coming relegation to a spot in the Sunday morning shadows may have been the following statement quoted in the Daily News article:
“’I never wanted to be a weeknight pundit. I wanted to be a Sunday morning newsmaker. I wanted to be Dr. Martin Luther King, not Larry King.’”
If Al Sharpton really thinks that his future broadcasts on Sunday mornings in a time slot that virtually guarantees fewer viewers, reduced visibility and less commercial revenue makes him Martin Luther King, then some people might come to the conclusion that Rev. Al is more out of it than previously suspected.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth