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FOX Is Right, MSNBC Left, and You're Shocked

The horses bolted the stable a long time ago, and it is now just plain fact that political partisanship is the well-oiled cog that makes two of the largest cable news networks spin these days.

I find it impossible to come to any other conclusion than Fox News is playing to viewers that lean to the right side of the political spectrum, and that MSNBC is catering to viewers on the left.

And now, I suppose, you are waiting for me to break it to you that the world is round.

But, please, bear with me on my naive stroll -- if only for a minute.

As I watch the media and those that watch the media, I am taken aback by how many people will spend valuable time bashing and exposing these networks for acting like the political advocates they are only too happy to be.

What a massive waste of time, and unless things change with the way each of these networks operate, I will refuse to play that silly game here.

Fox News is no more "fair and balanced" than MSNBC is.

Fox loads it programming lineup with heavy-hitting right-leaners, and MSNBC loads its lineup with punch-hitting left-leaners.

For the record, Fox's sluggers are clobbering MSNBC in the almighty ratings, which seems to be the only thing that really matters on TV.

I trust neither network to deliver me anything that is straight down the middle, even on the occasion they just might.

Do you?

But that's not why I watch these networks. I watch them to be entertained, and appropriately mortified.
I watch them because I believe it is my duty as a media-watcher.

Most of you tune in, because they are selling what you like to buy.

Am I right?

When I want to make sure that each of them are clobbered properly and deservedly, I watch Jon Stewart on Comedy Central. Yeah, yeah, I know, Stewart seems to be a liberal sympathizer, so he should be taken with a grain of salt.

At least he makes no bones about that, and when it comes to smashing the media on all sides he packs a wonderful wallop, in my opinion.

That a comedy channel has the TV media best figured is both sad and hilarious, but more on that some other time.

Palin The Contributor
I watched Fox News yesterday to see Sarah Palin's appearance on Chris Wallace's Fox News Sunday show.

I tuned into because I wanted to see how Wallace would handle Palin, and how Palin would handle herself in her recent capacity as a Fox 'contributor.'

I admittedly watched this spot with no illusions that Palin would contribute anything but right-wing propaganda.

When it was over I wasn't disappointed. Better put: I wasn't surprised.

At many points of the segment I found myself feeling kind of sorry for Wallace, who at times didn't seem sure how he should be treating this new contributor.

At one point Wallace excitedly informed Palin that she was a "Fox News analyst" and wanted her to "put her analyst hat on" to critique the GOP front-runners in the looming 2012 presidential campaign.

At that, Palin sat up in her chair and said, "I am not a very good analyst," adding awkwardly, "Fire me then, Roger [Fox News President Roger Ailes]. Sorry, I already failed."

Hardly.

Palin wasn't hired by the savvy Ailes for any other reason than she plays beautifully to Fox's ardent right-wing audience. What she says resonates with them. She wasn't hired to analyze anything, and even she seems to know that -- even if for some reason, Wallace doesn't.

Better yet, as a proven lightning rod, Ailes also knows that many people ardently opposed to Palin will undoubtedly tune in out of pure curiosity.

And even better yet, if Palin, a person of interest if there ever was one, makes news on the broadcast, eureka! because other networks and news agencies would be forced to report this crediting Fox ... lest they be accused as being anything but fair and balanced.

Anything could happen with Palin on the air, and Ailes knows it. No matter your view of Palin, Ailes is one brilliant dude.

Can We All Just Be Honest?
I truly wonder what would happen if Fox just came out and trumpeted itself as "The Most Trusted Authority and Advocate of the Republican Party."

And what if MSNBC did so on the other side?

I doubt either network would lose a single viewer. They might even add some.

Best of all they would finally allow (I hope) so many in the media, and the media-watchers themselves, to stop wasting their time bashing Fox and MSNBC for being anything but what they strive to be (even if they won't come clean and admit it).

And have you seen how these two networks bash each other?

But then, what would they have to write about?! What would they endlessly talk about and debate?!

Who would they slam?! Who would they cheer?!

And what in the world would poor Jon Stewart do?!