The good news for Pete Buttigieg, in case you haven’t heard, just gets better and better. And there’s a very good chance you haven’t heard it if you rely on the perspective-warpers at MSNBC. Despite every opportunity to present a straight story to you, the network has instead created its own sideshow stage, lobbed facts into the background, and then curtained them in longshot scenarios, suggestions of doom, and all-around chaos. Then they brand it with a peacock, and tell you its news.
Want proof? Consider this: Joe Biden has been their favorite to win the Democratic nomination for months.
How many of these talking heads– Ari Melber, Ali Velshi, Lawrence O’Donnell – how many of them told you Pete Buttigieg would win the state of Iowa? How many told you he’d come within two points of stealing away New Hampshire from Bernie Sanders, who in 2016, won the state by 22 points (and spent a lot more money to do it)?
They’ll claim to have good cover. They’ll tell you no one saw it coming (I saw it coming, and I bet you saw it coming), or that it wasn’t them, it was the polls (which they rely on tirelessly), or that Pete is “coming out of nowhere!” Maybe they were all in comas during Barack Obama or Bill Clinton’s first runs for president. I mean, shouldn’t they be wise to this kind of thing by now?
There are a couple of exceptions: I would count Rachel Maddow and the Brian Williams-hosted 11th Hour as two regular nightly political news shows trying their hardest to get it right. Both do a good job laying out ugly truths when necessary, interacting with prudent and experienced guests who weigh in only on areas of their specialty (let’s hear it for Chuck Rosenberg, Pete Baker, Joyce Vance, Jeremy Peters, David Meacham, Barbara McQuade, and A.B. Stoddard).
But the sad truth is that ninety percent of what’s delivered out of the mouths of the perspective-warpers at MSNBC, be it the regular daily line-up or the special election coverage… isn’t news, but instead a combination of cherry-picked facts, hyper-inflated nonsense, and the very personal bias of one Joy Reid, who’s at least smart enough to tee up the subject exactly the way she wants it, then toss the hatchet over to her panelists, thus being able to hold her own hands up to the audience and claim them to be awash in ethics.
Supporters of any candidate can find room to complain about unfair treatment by MSNBC and their counterparts. And they’d probably all have good reason. But Pete Buttigieg is the only candidate who has been repeatedly sidelined in a race he continues to dominate by surpassing expectations and over-performing across the spectrum. And yet, the thought they’ll leave you with at the end of any given night is this: “Black people won’t vote for him.”
Why do they continue to argue this unproven nugget of fantasy (or in Joy Reid’s case, hopefulness), when they’ve been wrong about everything else? Shouldn’t they have known Iowa and New Hampshire would go for Pete in such large numbers? Shouldn’t their journalistic insights, so much more finely honed than ours, have told them how well Pete would do with rural voters, suburban voters, older voters, younger voters, female voters, just about everyone?
MSNBC isn’t any more interested in a Pete Buttigieg presidency than they are a Donald Trump presidency or a Joe Biden presidency, or anyone else for that matter. They’ll call it professional integrity. But the truth as I see it is that the only thing MSNBC is interested in is controlling your narrative, feeding it out to you in sloppy little spoonfuls, just enough to keep you coming back long enough for that one very special night where they tell you exactly what you want to hear… because the voters have weighed in and they finally have any no other choice.
Don’t forget they teased you into believing the Mueller Report would bring down the President. And the Ukraine scandal, too. And Stormy Daniels before that. And don’t forget the pussy grabbing audio. The only person that brought down was Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush, and they even got that wrong.
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of white pundits on MSNBC telling me how African Americans are going to vote. I’m equally tired of African American pundits on MSNBC telling me how African Americans are going to vote. Hasn’t MSNBC learned by now that people vote as individuals, and not as brands? I’m related by blood to people who voted for Trump, keep Sarah Palin’s book out in plain view, and still call Pete “That guy, Bootychuck!” But as I’m aligned with this group, shouldn’t the MSNBC perspective-warpers assume we will all vote the exact same way, and be able to predict what that vote will be?
Joy Reid is making a tidy sum of money assuming that very thing about Pete Buttigieg, relentlessly, night after night. And I’m starting to feel by watching MSNBC, I’m footing the bill so she can continue doing it.