Tag Archives: MSNBC

East Coast Media Fails To Give Adequate Coverage To California Wildfires

A friend in Oakland, CA, wrote yesterday, telling me the smoke is so thick in the bay area that he can’t go outside for more than twenty or thirty minutes before his eyes and throat start to burn.  Concerned, I got up this morning and turned to Morning Joe on MSNBC,  and then CNN, hoping to get the latest on the wildfires that continue to ravage the nation’s most populous state.   What I saw was disappointing.

CNN, gave the story all of two minutes, with no context at all.  No word on what, if anything, continues to burn or where.  Nothing about the air quality over vast portions of the state, even in areas like Oakland, which isn’t near a burn area.   At least I don’t think there’s any active fire close to Oakland at this time.  It’s difficult to tell, with such poor coverage.   Not a single frame of video from Southern California for example, where fires continue to burn, and even now, evacuees are just being allowed to return to their homes.

CNN did do a live interview with California Congressman, Ted Lieu, but not to discuss the wildfires.  They brought him out to talk about whether Nancy Pelosi will be able to regain the position of Speaker of the House.   Congressman Lieu, forced the issue.   The first words out of his mouth were to express concern for the people of California and to thank first responders who continue fighting the fires.  The anchors immediately changed the subject back to Nancy Pelosi and said not another word about the wildfires.   It almost felt as though they were afraid to talk about it.   Is California on another planet?

Two minutes for such a massive disaster impacting so many people?  Why?  East coast bias?  Is that why the major news outlets all but ignore California, even though more than 600 people are now missing or unaccounted for with the number of dead from the Camp Fire at 63?   The Camp Fire in northern Calif alone, has destroyed more than 11,000 structures including 9,700 homes and 290 businesses.   52,000 people had to evacuate as the fire has now grown to 140,000 acres.   Conditions, apparently meaning the wind, temperature and low humidity,  are expected to grow worse over the coming weekend.

According to one source, containment of the Camp Fire, is at something around 40%.  I really don’t know, from watching CNN and MSNBC, as they said nothing about containment or where the fire is still burning, or whether anyone or anything continues to be threatened.   If MSNBC is going to cover nothing but politics, okay, fine.  But I do seem to remember them providing hurricane coverage?  And CNN?  There is no excuse for what CNN is failing to cover if they wish to be considered a news outlet offering something more than political punditry.   Remember their hurricane coverage?  They were all over it, but then, that was an east coast story, wasn’t it?

In Southern California, down by Los Angeles, the Woolsey Fire, has now grown to something above 98,000 acres.  Some residents are being allowed to return to their homes in the Malibu, Lake Sherwood and Hidden Valley areas.   Containment here, is said to be around 57%.

To their credit, NBC, did send Lester Holt to California, but their reporting lacked context, presumably because they no longer have the kind of fully-staffed bureaus they once had in the west, and understanding the scope and scale of California is not something you can pick up in a few hours at the scene.    It’s not the reporter’s fault, it’s the companies they work for.

Imagine more than six hundred people unaccounted for with 52,000 evacuated and smoke so thick that you can’t go outdoors, and all of it happening from New York City down to South Carolina.   Think the networks would be giving that more coverage than they’re now giving California,  our most populous state with the fifth or sixth largest economy in the world?   They’d be all over it, 24 hours a day seven days a week.  Like they cover hurricanes or winter storms that hit the east coast.

Don’t tell me the east coast media has no anti-west coast bias.   I have friends in California and I think about it every day the state continues to burn.    Calif should get considerably more coverage tomorrow when Donald Trump arrives dragging the White House press corps with him.   I wonder if he’ll throw paper towels to the evacuees?

Chris Matthews Raves On – MSNBC’s Ratings Dive – Support For Bernie Sanders Grows


I admit to being an unabashed supporter of  Bernie Sanders.   I do not care that he’s a Democratic Socialist.  I believe the country needs a balance between Socialism and Capitalism, and the loss of that balance is why we currently face a historic gap in wealth between the fat cats at the top and everybody else in the middle and at the bottom.  I also admit to sometimes watching MSNBC and frankly, Chris Matthews is starting to bother me more than just a little.   I’m tired of his cheerleading for Hillary Clinton and his near absolute blindness to Bernie Sanders.

Sanders, is climbing in the polls in Iowa.   Recently, CBS reported that he was “neck and neck” with Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire.  He has repeatedly had to switch to larger venues to accommodate larger crowds as he travels around the country on speaking engagements.   He’s pulling in the biggest crowds of any candidate on either side.   His people just booked the 16-thousand seat Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena for a rally on August 10th.    And yet, while watching MSNBC, and Matthews in particular, one feels that Sanders is irrelevant.    That the Republican primary is a done deal for Hillary Clinton, and that Bernie is just wasting our time.   Much like Barack Obama, in 2008.

How disappointing that MSNBC, which is flailing around trying to decide what to do about its ratings problems is blind to the fact that not everyone wants to watch an outlet that sometimes acts like a cheerleader for Hillary Clinton.    There are other candidates, and Bernie Sanders is among them.   He is speaking to issues that Clinton refuses to touch.   His message is obviously resonating with an increasing number of people.    But not Chris Matthews, who apparently has personally anointed Hillary Clinton as the Democratic  nominee, a fact which was all too obvious during last night’s roundtable discussion on MSNBC,  following the Republican debate.  How sad.  How boring.

Okay, so Hillary looks good in the national polls, but does that mean there aren’t two sides to the story?   Could Bernie Sanders possibly have a chance and if nothing else,  doesn’t that make this race far more interesting?

Flash!  Headline in the Huffington Post! “Almost Every Major Poll  Shows Bernie Sanders Challenging or Defeating Clinton and Republicans.”

What is it about Sanders that Matthews finds so objectionable?   Is it Bernie’s Socialism, or could it be his position on the corporatocracy, that uber-wealthy individuals and corporations have purchased our democracy and shut it down?   That Democracy is all but dead in America, and that Matthews, doesn’t want to talk about it, because once you get that real the political ballgame Matthews and so many other beltway insiders like to play becomes all but  irrelevant.    It’s the elephant in the middle of the room and in refusing to discuss it, they are making themselves and their shows irrelevant while Bernie Sanders, who has gotten beyond the same old political “newspeak” continues picking up support.   As does Donald Trump, and his traveling “Bullworth”  roadshow.   Do you suppose this could be at least part of the reason MSNBC’s ratings are in the toilet?

This won’t be over until the fat lady sings, and at this point, she isn’t even reaching for her throat spray.