A former senior producer for MSNBC came out with harsh words for his former network Sunday.
Writing at the far-left AlterNet, Jeff Cohen - the former senior producer of MSNBC's Donahue show - said, "When it comes to issues of U.S. militarism and spying, the allegedly 'progressive' MSNBC often seems closer to the 'official network of the Obama White House' than anything resembling an independent channel":
Had McCain or Romney defeated Obama and implemented the exact same policies, treating whistleblowers like Manning and Snowden as foreign espionage agents, one would expect MSNBC hosts to be loudly denouncing the Republican abuses of authority.
But with Obama in power, a number of MSNBC talking heads have reacted to the Snowden disclosures like Fox News hosts did when they were in hysterical damage control mode for Bush – complete with ridiculously fact-free claims and national chauvinism that we’ve long come to expect from the “fair & balanced” channel.
Cohen then gave some examples:
As Snowden arrived in Russia from Hong Kong, MSNBC host Ed Schultz blustered on about Snowden as a “punk” and “coward.” Railing about the “security of the country” in tones Hannity would approve of, Schultz questioned Snowden’s patriotism and credibility, asking: “If the United States of America is doing something so egregiously wrong in its surveillance program, how come he’s the only one speaking up?
In O’Reilly-like blissful ignorance, Schultz seemed unaware of the three NSA whistleblowers who’d loudly spoken up way earlier than Snowden – and gathered for an illuminating USA Today interview a week before his tirade.
I watched one MSNBC host function as an auxiliary prosecutor in Obama’s Justice Department, going after Snowden – while trying to link WikiLeaks and journalist Glenn Greenwald to criminal flight.
MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry has been condemning Snowden by contrasting him with civil disobedients who “love their country” and submit to arrest – while Snowden just wants to “ save his own skin.” She proclaimed: “This is different. This is dangerous to our nation.” Should we similarly dismiss Dan Ellsberg, who leaked the top secret Pentagon Papers to a dozen newspapers in 1971 by going on the lam from the FBI. Or Watergate’s “Deep Throat,” who saved his own skin by hiding his identity for 30 years after leaking secrets that helped crash the Nixon presidency?
Cohen also wasn't pleased with MSNBC's star Rachel Maddow:
After doing a typically thorough presentation on the force-down of President’s Morales’ plane, she ended her report by expressing displeasure only that Washington had apparently gotten allies to go out on the limb “for nothing.” Her objection to the harassment seemed to be: it hadn’t succeeded. I didn’t hear opposition to the action had Snowden actually been on board and apprehended.
Most deliciously, the title of Cohen's piece is "How Do You Know When President Obama is Lying? MSNBC's 'Progressive' Hosts Won’t Tell You."
Of course, I wouldn't limit MSNBC's shill-like nature to matters of U.S. militarism and spying.
With every issue you can name, this farce has acted as the "official network of the Obama White House."
When will cable and satellite providers finally realize it?