MSNBC Ad Mocks FNC as Agenda-Driven, CNN as Old-Fogey Network

I've been trying to avoid paying too much attention to the Anna Nicole Smith story, but got hooked watching MSNBC this morning as my fellow Bronx native, Judge Larry Seidlin, made a shambles of a hearing with his loose-lipped style. My attention was rewarded by spotting this amazing MSNBC promotional ad for itself. More than any of the genre I can remember, it takes pointed potshots at its cable news competitors, Fox News Channel and CNN.

As the voice over says "let's face it: there's a lot of choices out there," an attractive woman turns on her TV to what is clearly meant to be Fox News. One man complains about a ploy to discredit the administration, while another rants about how anyone could question the authority of the Commander-in-Chief. Voice-over: "you could pick someone who has an agenda."

The viewer then turns to "ZNN," where a Larry King look-a-like is talking about '60s sitcoms as an elderly gent in his bathrobe on the couch at home exults, "this is going to be great!" Voiceover: "you could pick somebody who's out of touch." ZNN -- zzz's -- we get it.

Finally, the viewer flips to MSNBC. As images of Chris Matthews, Tucker Carlson and Keith Olbermann flash on the screen, the voice-over exclaims: "or you could pick someone who gives you the whole picture."

A Variety story provides this reponse from FNC: "When you've been an embarrassment to your parent company for 10 years, it certainly never hurts to take chances."

Note: Although the ad's apparently been on the air for a couple weeks it was the first time I'd seen it. Don't think anyone else at NB has written about it, but please let me know if I'm recycling an old story here.

Contact Mark at mark@gunhill.net

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.