Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen. -George Orwell

Friday, February 20, 2015


National Review's Jim Geraghty and Radio America's Greg Corombos discuss current events. Today's topics: MSNBC dumps some horrible hosts and will shift to straight news, U.S. Central Command announces a spring offensive against ISIS, and the Iranian foreign minister is ordered to stop yelling at John Kerry.

The Fall of MSNBC
Rarely has a prince so keenly disappointed his trumpeters. It was announced yesterday that MSNBC's Ronan Farrow, once the sparkle-eyed wunderkind who would lead the network into broad, sunlit uplands, will be stripped of his show. His time there, it turns out, was a waste of everyone's time.
In 2013, MSNBC chief Phil Griffin had enthused breathlessly that "Ronan has established himself as a provocative, independent journalist, capable of challenging people's assumptions and empowering audiences. His show will be a game changer for MSNBC." By February of 2015, he was forced to acknowledge that Farrow had "empowered," to judge from the ratings, almost nobody at all. It was time, Griffin conceded, for some more "experimenting."
Also removed from the airwaves was insipid afternoon host Joy Ann Reid, whose particular brand of racially charged progressive orthodoxy apparently appealed to few more viewers than did Farrow. If the Daily Beast is to be believed, this will not be the end of the shake. In addition, the Beast's Lloyd Grove suggests, Al Sharpton "could eventually be moved from his weeknight 6 p.m. gig" and placed in a weekend graveyard slot, and Chris Hayes may be replaced by Rachel Maddow - who, in turn, would be dislodged by new talent. Thus, Politico's Dylan Byers proposes, does MSNBC hope to "stem its cataclysmic ratings declines and waning relevance."
Its handful of rather ordinary news anchors to one side, MSNBC's hosts do not so much exist to represent a popular viewpoint as they are put on air to play a set of dramatic roles in what has become a vast and monomaniacal piece of conspiratorial performance art, of the sort that one might see composed by the theater department at Oberlin. When Deadline Hollywood's Lisa de Moraes records that "today's buzz word at MSNBC is 'news-focused,'" she is not suggesting that the channel hopes slightly to tweak its balance between the straight-up reporting of facts and the offering of unabashed opinion; she is conceding that the station's long experiment with esoteric faculty-lounge silliness is coming, at long last, to a crashing and ignominious end.
"The goal," an anonymous source told the Daily Beast yesterday, "is to move away from left-wing TV" and to give up on the hope of a return to the "glory days during George W. Bush's administration." Thus did Air America's visual counterpart meet its own inevitable end.
Also read:

We Need To Destroy ISIS, And We Need To Destroy It Now

The Pentagon Doubts Its Own ISIS War Plan

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