There was an interesting debate on Newsmax TV Tuesday between host Steve Malzberg and MSNBC’s Richard Wolffe.
In it, the latter claimed that on his network, Joe Scarborough, former John McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt, and former RNC chairman Michael Steele represent – wait for it! – conservative views (video follows with transcript and commentary):
RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC: This isn’t easy for someone to say from MSNBC, but the number one news channel on cable is what?
STEVE MALZBERG, NEWSMAX TV: Is Fox.
WOLFFE: It’s Fox News.
WOLFFE: It’s the number one, and yet you still say somehow conservative voices are not being heard.
Don’t you love it when liberal media members point to the one right of center television station in the country and claim that means conservative opinions are being equally presented?
But that was just the beginning of Wolffe demonstrating his lack of knowledge of the news industry as well as his own biases:
MALZBERG: Wait, wait, wait.
WOLFFE: It’s the number one news channel.
MALZBERG: What does that, what does that have to do with anything?
WOLFFE: What’s the number one best-selling newspaper in this country?
MALZBERG: I have no idea.
WOLFFE: The Wall Street Journal.
WOLFFE: Owned by Rupert Murdoch as well. Conservative voices are everywhere. You guys are fast-growing, you know, and an important voice, and yet you say, somehow, the media isn’t reflecting what you guys are doing?
So out of all the major newspapers around the country, there's one whose opinion section leans to the right, and that somehow compensates for all the others that lean to the left?
Sadly, this is how liberals think: If there's one conservative in the bunch, they're being fairly represented.
MALZBERG: So you don’t think there’s media bias out there?
WOLFFE: I think there is conservative media, I think there is progressive media, and I think the conservative media is having a great time of it. You guys are getting heard all over the place. You have, what is the biggest radio shows out there? It’s conservative talk radio. You have a tremendous megaphone.
MALZBERG: Hold on. Let’s stick to TV. You point to Fox. Now I have no allegiance to Fox News whatsoever, okay? They don’t pay me anything, I don’t go on their air much anymore. But here’s the deal: I could name you liberal hosts, or progressive hosts. Shepard Smith, Geraldo…
WOLFFE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, you’re saying Shepard Smith is a liberal host?
MALZBERG: I’m saying he’s way to the left.
You get the feeling Wolffe actually never watches Fox thereby explaining why he's surprised to hear that Smith is left of center? That is after all an immutable fact.
MALZBERG: O’Reilly is not, O’Reilly has come much center and much more left than he was at the beginning. My point is, if you look at Fox News…
WOLFFE: That’s a headline. You’re saying Bill O’Reilly’s center-left?
MALZBERG: I’m saying he’s more to the left than he used to be.
WOLFFE: Oh my goodness.
MALZBERG: Absolutely, absolutely, on issue after issue after issue. And look at the interview he did with the President of the United States during Super Bowl Sunday a couple of years ago. Softball, softball, softball.
Are you again getting the impression that Wolffe never watches Fox, and just pulls his opinions concerning its programming from his derriere?
Anyone that has watched O'Reilly over the years knows full-well that he is not as conservative as he used to be, and often espouses rather left of center views.
But given the network Wolffe works for, why should we be surprised that he seems to be allergic to facts?
MALZBERG: Oh, very disappointing. But he makes a fortune, so I don’t believe he cares anymore. Here’s the deal: you cite Fox News. Fox News, they always have someone on the left represented. In a debate when it’s one on one, a left point of view, a right point of view. Who does MSNBC have on the right besides Joe Scarborough who I’m very disappointed in?
WOLFFE: Joe Scarborough…
MALZBERG: Who else? Who else does the whole network have on the quote unquote right? The whole network? Name me one.
WOLFFE: So, apart from…
MALZBERG: How about CNN? Where are the conservatives on CNN?
WOLFFE: Are you going to let me answer?
MALZBERG: Yeah, I wish.
WOLFFE: So, apart from Joe Scarborough who happens to be one of our biggest talents, and is, runs the best morning show on TV…
MALZBERG: And gets very poor ratings, but go ahead.
WOLFFE: Okay, well you say that, we don’t believe that.
MALZBERG: You’re telling me his ratings are good? The whole network is tanking.
WOLFFE: Ah, okay.
MALZBERG: Is that not true?
WOLFFE: No, it’s not true.
MALZBERG: It’s not true? The whole network’s not tanking?
WOLFFE: So, Joe Scarborough is very solidly the number two show, and we’re very happy about that. CNN would be very lucky to get the kind of numbers that Joe Scarborough gets
Once again Wolffe seemed separated from reality.
Yes, Morning Joe does typically come in second ahead of CNN's New Day, but it's a distant second from Fox & Friends.
On Monday, F&F had 1.2 million total viewers and 285,000 in the all important demographic of people aged 25 to 54. This compared to only 423,000 and 147,000 for MJ respectively.
If that's what Wolffe thinks is solid ratings, no wonder the network is tanking - which it is as NewsBusters has been reporting for months.
WOLFFE: We’re very proud of him. We’re very proud of the debate that they have every single day on that show around that roundtable.
MALZBERG: Who? Debate with which right-wingers?
WOLFFE: I think Joe gets a lot of time to be the most forceful…
MALZBERG: So Joe is the one. You’re admitting. Joe is the token quote unquote…
WOLFFE: On Morning Joe.
MALZBERG: And where else on the network is other right?
WOLFFE: So, you probably don’t watch Rachel Maddow’s show? You don’t, do you?
MALZBERG: She’s a conservative?
WOLFFE: No. I’m just asking you.
MALZBERG: I watch her from time to time. I watch everything.
WOLFFE: So one of the biggest regulars she has on her show is a guy who ran the McCain campaign in 2008. He’s name is Steve Schmidt.
MALZBERG: It doesn’t make him a true conservative.
WOLFFE: Have you heard of him?
MALZBERG: Yeah, he’s a RINO and he’s a loser.
WOLFFE: Oh my goodness.
MALZBERG: He’s a RINO and he’s a loser, and if the Republicans don’t change the people…
WOLFFE: He wasn’t a loser when he ran the message for Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004.
MALZBERG: Okay, if the Republicans don’t change the people running their campaigns and don’t realize that they’re fighting a media more so even than the candidate that they’re running against, they’re doomed. I don’t care who they put up in 2016.
So Wolffe sees Schmidt, one of the biggest RINOs on television today, as being a conservative voice.
Frankly, Schmidt wouldn't know a conservative view if it hit him in the face. But this is the kind of "conservative" liberal news stations love to bring on to trash Republicans.
No wonder Wolffe and Maddow love him.
WOLFFE: So have you heard of a guy named Michael Steele? Michael Steele was the RNC chairman in the successful cycle in 2010.
MALZBERG: Alright. You make a, you got Michael Steele in there. But you’re picking one, two…
WOLFFE: Michael Steele, Steve Schmidt, Joe Scarborough. Come on.
Now, I like Michael Steele, but he's not a conservative. Right of center? Yes. Conservative? No.
As such, when you add it all up, the three so-called conservatives Wolffe cited by no means represent conservative views.
But how would he know that? He doesn't think Shepard Smith is left of center.