The New Rules

One new this was coming, but since I’d been out of town all last week I hadn’t been following the cable “news” channels where they’re “covering” the Blagojevich scandal with all the “ethics” and “standards” of accuracy that I’ve come to expect from the genre. But this morning on MSNBC there was a lengthy discussion of Obama’s involvement in Blagojevich’s corruption. Of course, there was no evidence of any involvement on Obama’s part. Nor, despite this being a news channel, was there any original reporting of any kind whatsoever. There was, however, a ton of time spent criticizing the Obama campaign’s PR strategy with regard to this issue — the suggestion being that had Obama adopted a better PR strategy, then people wouldn’t be on television making evidence-free guilt-by-association accusations against him.

This strong me as odd. The people making the accusations kept acknowledging that they had no evidence. One might think that communicating to television personalities the fact that there was no evidence of wrongdoing on Obama’s part would constitute a good PR strategy. Given that they knew there was no evidence of wrongdoing, they should have ceased implying that there was wrongdoing. But they didn’t do that at all. Not, I would submit, because of any failings on Obama’s part, but because Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, John Heileman, Mark Halperin, and Pat Buchanan don’t care at all about the accuracy of the impression their coverage gives.

Eventually, they got around to the idea that Obama hadn’t criticized Blagojevich in sufficiently harsh terms and that the reason for this was that Blagojevich has unrelated dirt on Obama and/or Rahm Emmannuel. Several of them deemed that likely, though none of them had any evidence for this proposition.

Sweet, sweet liberal MSNBC.