The Washington Post

MSNBC, missing its audience

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As it never tires of informing its viewers, MSNBC has an angular and activist slogan. “Lean Forward” expresses the channel’s commitment to progressivism, liberalism, left-of-center politics — whatever. The ambient issue on the convention floor on Wednesday offered the network an opportunity to bang that drum.

As the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) had reported on Tuesday, the Democrats had taken the word “God” out of the party platform, along with a reference to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. As the issue swirled around the convention, Democrats generally attempted to avoid it. MSNBC pretty much followed their cue. The video above shows NBC’s Chuck Todd pressing Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois on the matter on MSNBC’s Daily Rundown, and it got some air time in the evening. “We have covered it,” says an MSNBC source.

No, Fox News covered it: Media Matters tallied 22 “attacks” on Fox News’s air just between Tuesday and Wednesday at 9 a.m. Politico’s Dylan Byers discusses the lopsidedness of Fox News’s tally vis-a-vis MSNBC’s stingy treatment.

MSNBC should have out-scored Fox News on the God-platform segment count. The notion of removing the word “God” from the platform of a U.S. political party, after all, has a built-in “Lean Forward” component. It’s about inclusiveness, the separation of church and state and such. Or that’s how a progressive cable network could well cast it.

The Business Insider reported that the Utah delegation hollered this afternoon when the convention reinserted God representation in the platform, in a moment that’ll certainly find special consideration in future convention-history mashups.

Noor Ul-Hasan, a delegate from Salt Lake City, told Business Insider that the platform felt rushed and many delegates believed the inclusion of “God” into the platform to be extremely alienating.

“It divides us,” Ul-Hasan said. “There’s just no reason . . . it’s not necessary.”

Ul-Hasan and the many, many, many other folks who were chanting against platform-deity-reinsertion — they’re your people, MSNBC. Maybe next time think about reporting on their issues.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.


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