MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2016
And no, it wasn't Fox: As always, we were struck by pundit reaction to last night's debate.
This morning, we were struck by Mika's most overwrought meltdown to date. She scolded Republicans who withdrew their support for Trump over the weekend, angrily declaring, again and again, that they were "spineless."
Mika's work is routinely incoherent. This morning, the level of anger at those "spineless" folk combined with the incoherence to create a very strange brew on our strangest "cable news" program.
Last night, we were equally struck by MSNBC's programming post-debate. More specifically, we were struck by the massive amount of time the fiery liberal channel devoted to Trump spokespersons.
The debate ended shortly after 10:30 PM Eastern. At 10:45, Brian and Rachel brought on Trump campaign chairman Kellyanne Fitzpatrick, their first post-debate guest.
Conway was interviewed, without commercial interruption, for the next twenty minutes. Making matters worse, she was interviewed by Chris Matthews, who seemed incapable of challenging her representations in any serious way.
By 10:52, Conway was citing Megan Twohey's appalling "news report" in last Monday's New York Times. We warned you about that report all last week. Career players knew not to do so.
Conway's segment went on and on, and then it went on and on. When her twenty-minute infomercial was finally done, she was thanked by Rachel Maddow for being such a "good sport." Most amazingly, Chuck Todd then offered an unsolicited judgment:
Conway is "a very good person," Todd very weirdly said.
Conway ran nonstop from roughly 10:45 to roughly 11:05. At 11:08, James Carville came on to offer a view of the debate from the Clinton side.
Carville was interviewed for three or four minutes. At 11:15, on came the terminally deranged Rudy Giuliani for six more minutes of pro-Trump pivots and rants.
Matthews' fawning to Conway to the side, the allotment of time was remarkable. We'll assume this was a decision from "corporate," a decision with which all the overpaid children of course complied.
Matthews' obsequious interview of his fellow you-know-what seemed to come from a late-1990s time capsule. At that time, Matthews was the most demagogic of all "cable news" Clinton/Gore/Clinton-haters. In accordance with Hard Corporate Pundit Law, that part of Matthews' history is simply never mentioned at all. Last night, he made us recall his astonishing work from that era, work which cannot be discussed.
(At roughly 12:11, Maddow weirdly asserted that the wondrous Matthews "has always been the same person" down through the years. It was a very strange thing to say about Matthews. We know of no one on "cable news" who has been so thoroughly reinvented over the past twenty years.)
Back to the basic question! What explains the strange distribution of MSNBC's time post-debate? We'll assume the order came from corporate. Tomorrow, we'll try to bring you some transcript excerpts from Matthews' performance with Conway. We'll definitely show you what she said about that ridiculous "news report" in the Times.
Kellyanne is East Coast Irish Catholic from the Philly area too. At one point, she reminded Chris of this tribal fact as her filibuster infomercial ran on, and on and on.
Still coming today about pundit behavior: Yes, Hillary Clinton actually was talking about Spielberg's Lincoln film! Predictably, exactly none of your cable pundits seemed to know that last night.
Also, who is Eric Levitz? And why should this question matter?