MSNBC BlueThe mainstream press attempted to dismiss yesterday's Tax Day Tea Party protests across the country by engaging in name calling and crude humor:
So when the anti-tax "tea party" protests were held Wednesday across the country, cable anchors and guests -- who for weeks had all but ignored the story -- covered the protests by cracking a litany of barely concealed sexual references.
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper interspersed "teabagging" references with analyst David Gergen's more staid commentary on how Republicans are still "searching for their voice."
"It's hard to talk when you're teabagging," Cooper explained. Gergen laughed, but Cooper kept a straight face.
If anyone thinks the orally charged remarks on mainstream cable were just a coincidence, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow's segments over the past week with guest, Air America's Ana Marie Cox, would dissolve all doubt. Their on-air gymnastics, dancing around the double entendre of the week, looked like live-action Beavis and Butthead.By one count, the two of them used the word "teabag" more than 50 times on one show. And on Monday, Cox even let the viewers in on their joke -- referencing Urbandictionary.com, a site which offers a number of colorful definitions for the term "teabagging."
The World will not further dignify these on-air shenanigans by explaining this kind of toilet news coverage any further, as we trust that our readers either get it or can discover the meaning of this kind of humor independent of any further direction. The reason why FOX News remains the number one cable news network-a reality that goads the other networks at their very core-is not because FOX is more conservative, but because FOX actually has respect for the people who may watch their programming.
It is not lightly that I levy criticism on MSNBC, because for a very long time I believed that the cable arm of NBC News was by far the most fair of the other news channels, owing in part to the work of Brian Williams, Lester Holt, and especially the late Tim Russert (I am also a huge fan of Joe Scarborough). It became clear as I watched yesterday's coverage both on MSNBC and CNN that these networks have an agenda far deeper than anything they may accuse FOX News of possessing. The attempt by personalities on these networks to demean the protestors and, when possible, ignore the protests shows that the message of the Tea Parties was hitting home with a press that is entirely too closely aligned with the White House. The protests were having an impact, and the mainstream press is scared to death by what could happen to their Golden Boy's administration as a result.
After yesterday, FOX News will likely continue in its number one position for a very long time to come.