The success of MSNBC is a good thing ... I think ...
The New York Times is running a piece today about how MSNBC is the "Anti-Fox" channel and how they're starting to succeed financially as a result. (See: The Anti-Fox Gains Ground)
First, although RWNJ's may choose to disagree, NewsVine and MSNBC are not the same thing. NewsVine is "a property of NBCNews.com" and, as the Times puts it, "MSNBC and NBC News ... sit on opposite sides of that divide ... They have stayed in their own lanes." Besides, what you see on the Vine is what we choose to put there ... not what the parent corporations wants. There are plenty of RWNJ articles here too.
But the Times points out that MSNBC is following a formula pioneered by Fox of developing a following among like-minded true believers and then profiting from their loyalty. MSNBC actually drew more viewers than Fox in the critical 25- to 54-year-old demographic three nights in a row after the election.
Good? Maybe ...
It's nice to have a major media outlet that says things I agree with. In spite of the RWNJ myth of "liberal control of the media", that just hasn't been true before now; especially with the commercial success of Fox and the RWNJ domination of AM radio. The Fox slogan, "Fair and Balanced" is like a screech on a blackboard to me. MSNBC, at least, is a little more honest about having a point of view. But I worry that MSNBC might drift over into a constant torrent of outright lies as Fox did long ago.
MSNBC still makes a real effort to make sure that what they tell you is at least true ... even though it may be one-sided. And I worry that as the money gets better, a commitment to truth will fall away. Money is at least as corrupting as power.
Britain is currently experiencing a major malfunction in their own effort to make public information actually "fair and balanced". In Britain, the BBC is a government funded news organization. In the past, people around the world have trusted the BBC to present real news that could be trusted. A scandal just broke where they're charged with broadcasting untrue reports just to gain viewers. (See: 'Ghastly mess' at BBC)
The comments to that article often lean toward, "Those corrupt rats!!" Few have realized that if the BBC was a purely "for profit" organization (like Fox and MSNBC), there would be absolutely nothing that could ... or would ... be done about it. Lies and misinformation would just rake in more money. (As it does with other Murdoch owned media in Britain.) Here in the US, "public radio" is as close as we get to real integrity on the airwaves, and for the same reason. They have to be double sure that what they say is right because the public does have a recourse ... although as conservatives in Congress chip away at it, that recourse is becoming smaller every year.
I'm just hoping that success doesn't spoil MSNBC. But I'm glad for the success anyway.