Tom Tradup: Time to Pull the Plug on MSNBC

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Joe Biden—or more likely his behind-the-scenes handlers who tell him what to say and do—has nominated Jessica Rosenworcel to become the first female chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

Biden as always read off the Teleprompter to tout his latest “historic first” as a champion for Internet and Cable connectivity for all.

Chances are, however, Rosenworcel will be just another Washington insider mope passing through the revolving door of the FCC without making much actual “history.”

But she could break that cycle if she’d take a long overdue run at placing oversight of cable tv networks under the same FCC jurisdiction currently wielded over broadcast TV and Radio. (At present, the communications watchdog is prohibited by law from “engaging in censorship or infringing on First Amendment rights of the press”…D.C. weasel-wording which renders the FCC into little more than a neutered “watchdog” with an icky case of parvo.)

Instead of pursuing the hackneyed FCC priorities like (yawn) expanding broadband to Indian reservations and mounting more lame efforts to handcuff legitimate broadcasters by dredging up the discredited Fairness Doctrine, Rosenworcel could really break ground by yanking cable TV networks under the umbrella of FCC jurisdiction. Once accomplished, her mission should—and must—be to pull the plug on MSNBC.

Like a Bizarro World version of Marvel’s AVENGERS movies, MSNBC has cobbled together a ragtag collection of angry and ill-informed liberals who daily beam across America with programming that regularly subtracts from the sum total of human knowledge. Where each daypart unfolds as even more manic and nutty than the one that precedes it.

There are garden variety retreads from the real NBC News, led by the ham handedly-biased Chuck Todd…NBC’s “political director” (which is like referring to David Duke as the political director of the KKK) and “host” of the longest-running program on network TV, MEET THE PRESS. While I never met any of them, I strongly suspect that former MTP moderators like Lawrence Spivak, Garrick Utley,  and Tim Russert were rolling over in their graves after last Sunday’s edition: As former governor Terry McAuliffe uttered the absurd statement that a black teacher in Northern Virginia had supposedly told McAuliffe the previous evening that supporters of GOP candidate Glenn Youngkin “had threatened to rape her children,” Todd just sat there like Forrest Gump. Didn’t ask for proof, didn’t suggest that McAuliffe was sounding like a deranged nut. Nothing.  

Todd also recently ran deft interference for Pete “Maternity Leave” Buttigieg. As the supply chain crisis widened and store shelves and car factories began emptying, an justifiable chorus of complaints arose on Capitol Hill after it was revealed that Buttigieg had opted to stay home with his husband taking care of newborn twins rather than doing his job of Transportation Secretary. Todd tiptoed around the subject for about thirty seconds, before observing that Buttigieg was being attacked by “loudmouths.” Never actually asked him about being AWOL. Zero.

But that’s about par for the course on a network that also features former U.S. Senate helper Lawrence O’Donnell…documented liar Brian “I was there when the Berlin Wall fell” Williams…and political hack Nicolle Wallace, ex-staffer in the George W. Bush White House. Wallace is like a hepped-up myna bird who apparently cannot mention our 45th President without parroting that he’s “the defeated and twice-impeached Donald Trump.” (Oddly, that 3rd-grade name calling does not extend to the impeached-and-disbarred Bill Clinton…the twice-defeated Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton who was AWOL while Americans died in Benghazi, etc. You get the picture.)  Nicolle’s nutty assertions that Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin “flew an insurrection flag at his rallies” (there is no such thing) and her repeated lie that “CRT is not taught in Virginia” (it is…Attorney General Merrick Garland’s son-in-law sold the materials to school boards throughout the Commonwealth) is the kind of drivel she delivers daily. Let’s add that to the Bill of Attainder that our incoming FCC Chair should not ignore.

Nighttime programming is even more depressing, ushered-in by America’s wheel-of-hairstyles, Joy Reid. In addition to being a truly vapid “host”—spouting nonsense about the Republican Party being a “danger to National Security”—she’s a coward. When Virginia Lt. Governor-Elect Winsome Sears—an African American ex-Marine whose family emigrated from Jamaica—called Reid out for race-baiting (y’think??) and challenged Reid to invite her on her program, Joy responded by….taking the night off.  Her stand-in Tiffany Cross also ignored the fact that Virginia had just elected its first African American female Lt. Governor…blubbering incoherently that the GOP sweep in the Old Dominion State “is about the fact that a good chunk of voters out there are okay with White supremacy. Let’s call a thing a thing.” Reid and Cross remind me of a classic “buddy” film, although I’m not sure which one is Jim Carrey and which one is Jeff Daniels.

Space limitations dictate that I not list all the miscreants who pop up all day every day on MSNBC…but from pathetically biased AP White House “correspondent” Jonathan Lemire to notorious race hustler Al Sharpton…from defeated pols Howard Dean and Claire McCaskill to bitter nonentities like Mika Brzezinski and Jennifer Granholm (a Canadian import tapped by Joe Biden as “Secretary of Energy”…last seen laughing hysterically when a Bloomberg reporter asked her about a plan to lower gas prices at-the-pump)  MSNBC is literally the embodiment of legendary FCC Chairman Newton Minnow’s phrase “the vast wasteland.”

Only worse: at least in a wasteland, the scorpions, vipers and gila monsters aren’t influencing gullible viewers with non-stop lies and disgracefully slanted “news.” Sure, CNN tends to tilt Left and FOX News Channel may be more conservative…but both of them regularly feature guests and commentators who span the political spectrum.  On MSNBC, a “Republican” is always—always—a backstabbing RINO weasel like Adam Kinzinger or Liz Cheney or Mitt Romney. Or a “strategist” like Rick Wilson who helped engineer the defeat of John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign before becoming Numero Uno among the Never Trumpers.

Jessica Rosenworcel would thus be doing American journalism—as well as good programming—a gigantic favor by unplugging MSNBC’s iron lung and letting it fade into the dustbin of history along with its failed antecedents in the Third Reich…the current Voice of America…and other propaganda ministries who be reviled far into the future for their damage to rational dialogue among freedom-loving people.

Tom Tradup is vice president of News & Talk Programming at Dallas-based Salem Radio Network.

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