NBC News, the legendary television and news organization that once starred such journalistic pros as Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, John Chancellor and Tom Brokaw was declared officially dead on Wednesday afternoon.
The death was preceded by a stunning divorce announcement between Microsoft and NBC that had resulted in a long, tempestuous televised and website union known as MSNBC.
The details of the divorce are reported by Daily Beast media columnist Howard Kurtz.
In the traditional style of liberal journalism, the real story was buried deep inside the Kurtz piece and revealed this way:
…as the MSNBC channel has forged a separate identity as the liberal home of Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz and others, the company has worried about the brand confusion caused by its straight-news site bearing the same name.
There were worries at corporate about “brand confusion” between “the liberal home of Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz and others” with the so-called “straight-news site bearing the same name.”
So the obvious question.
Why in the world would NBC be worried about “brand confusion” with a cable version of itself?
That’s right. Because there was nothing “straight-news” about what has evolved at MSNBC.
Let’s take a stroll through some of MSNBC’s greatest hits, hits that became immutably identified with the NBC brand that includes Tom Brokaw, Brian Williams and Matt Lauer. An MSNBC created by its current head Phil Griffin.
– The Daily Caller reported that Schultz “recently and regularly” used Media Matters content for the programming of MSNBC’s The Ed Show.
– The Daily Caller reported that MSNBC’s Schultz had been on labor union payrolls since 2005.
– Newsmax reported that MSNBC’s Schultz had his radio show “bankrolled” by liberal “Sens. Hillary Clinton, Tom Daschle and Debbie Stabenow” who “lined up $1.8 million in funding for Democracy Radio, which underwrote Mr. Schultz’s show.”
– Mediaite chimed in with a story showing that Schultz’s far-left rantings had become a ratings loser for MSNBC. Shortly thereafter the network fired conservative commentator Pat Buchanan.
– And who could forget the famous Schultz rant calling Laura Ingraham a “talk slut”?
– Or the time when Schultz called for ripping out then-Vice President Cheney’s heart?
– Not to mention the time CNN’s Anderson Cooper couldn’t resist running through Schultz’s fury at being named the third least influential man alive — by that liberal favorite GQ?
One could go on — and on and on and on — with all the MSNBC hits. Moments that have immutably branded the network as having problems with race (Al Sharpton’s use of the n-word”) and Chris Matthews saying of President Obama that “for a moment I forgot he was black.” Moments that have branded the network as the home of gay bashing (Al Sharpton again and his videotaped “punk faggot” routine.) Not to mention misogyny (the Shultz “slut” business and calling the wife of Senator Joe Lieberman a “whore”). And religious bigotry (a staple of MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, as seen here and here). O’Donnell’s distaste for Mormonism, by the way, mysteriously doesn’t extend to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Mormon — presumably hoping no one noticed the double-standard.
Only this week there was Andrea Mitchell, once a serious journalist, now establishing the Obama case — badly — at MSNBC in this foolish dust-up with former New Hampshire Governor John Sunnunu. Even Jon Stewart took Rachel Maddow and MSNBC to task for using the sexual term “teabagger” when discussing the Tea party.
This month Vanity Fair has a long piece on the woes of Microsoft. The company’s association with MSNBC is never mentioned by the left-wing magazine.
But it is abundantly clear that Microsoft has enough problems without having its brand associated with what has become a wacky, far-left media culture that specializes in hosts who have problems with racism, misogyny, gay bashing and religious bigotry.
Now comes the news that Microsoft and NBC News are getting divorced.
The “brand confusion” will be ended by renaming MSNBC as “NBCNews.com”.
Finally, formally and officially, the spewings of hate and hard partisanship that gush forth from MSNBC will belong to NBC News. And NBC News alone.
The NBC News that is today the network of Brian Williams, Matt Lauer and the retired Tom Brokaw, the NBC News network that once boasted of names like Huntley and Brinkley and Chancellor — is now the NBCNews.com of Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews, Lawrence O’Donnell, and Rachel Maddow.
To borrow from Charles Dickens?
NBC News is dead. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of its burial was signed by Schultz, Sharpton, O’Donnell, Matthews and Maddow. Phil Griffin signed it. And Brokaw, Williams and Lauer’s name put their seal of approval on it.
NBC News is now dead as a doornail.