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Thursday, May 5, 2011

How To Watch MSNBC. 3.

Coming down the homestretch, some words about Ed Schultz, who hosts "The Ed Show" at 10pm on MSNBC.
You'd think there'd be room for his entire name.
Seems rather too informal, don't you think?
Actually not.
Ed is not a particularly formal guy.
Being from the Midwest. he is rather homespun and folksy.
It is reflected in his sense of humor.
But Will Rogers, he's not.
He is very outgoing.
The kind of guy you'd meet at a party and expect him to slap you on the back.
He is definitely the kind of guy who pats himself on the back.
But I like Ed, and I like his show.
Despite the excesses.
His heart is definitely in the right place, and he is perhaps more of an overt crusader than anyone else they have.
He'll mix it up with the folks on location much more than the others.
More backs to slap.
And more people to slap his.
He does a lot of ranting in the first few minutes of his show.
Get the point of the rant, then hit the fast forward on the Tivo until the first guest.
He is less effective with a guest who agrees with him.
It becomes a bit of a love fest.
When that happens, move on.
He's much better when there is one-on-one conflict.

One really annoying and stupid thing he does:
He rallies his audience nightly to get out their cell phones to respond to a poll question.
Whatever the issue is, the question is always along the lines of "Who's right? The Democrats, or the Republicans?
And he wants people to spend their good money to text their responses.
And the results are always the same.
They always overwhelmingly vote for the Democrats.
Since the demographic for his show and everything else on MSNBC Primetime is overwhelmingly Left Wing, what does this prove?
This is an utterly pointless exercise.
But we go through it every show.

Ed seems to find the real dregs of Conservative spokespeople to get into shouting matches with his Liberal opponents.
He has this one woman, Heidi Harris, who is just oh so slightly to the left of Ann Coulter in her politics and her ability to frighten children.

But he has the good taste to usually devote the last five or six minutes to a professional Left Wing comedienne, such as Lizz Winstead or
Stephanie Miller.
And they are usually pretty funny.
So Ed does defer to the pros here and there, and doesn't try to compete with them.
As I said, I like Ed and his show.
It would be nicer if he wasn't such a cornball.

Okay, some overall things to be aware of as you navigate through an evening of MSNBC:

Any time that they come back from a commercial and you hear rhythmic music, they are just about to head into another commercial.
So keep moving.
If there is no music, they are in fact beginning another extended segment.

Any time there is a young substitute wonky-looking, glasses wearing host, such as Chris Hayes, go right on to the next show.

Any time that there is a clip of President Obama, and you've already seen a clip of him that day, it will be the same clip.
So keep moving.

Any time there is a clip of John McCain, whether you've seen it or not, keep moving.

Any time there is an announcement that they will be interviewing victims, whether of 9/11, Katrina, flooding, racism, or just about anything designed to evoke your sympathy, keep moving.

Another approach is to always be multi-tasking when you have MSNBC on.

Keith Olbermann will be back in about a month or so, on the Current Network.
I can't wait.
It sounds like he'll have the opportunity to hire anyone else he wants for the other shows on it.

Comcast has purchased MSNBC.
I don't know how this will effect the political stance that MSNBC will continue to have.

If all these people are let go, we might have the opportunity to see how Keith really feels about them.


My new book, "Mark Rothman's Essays", ones that were culled from the blog and are no longer there, along with a surprise bonus, is available for purchase.
Please e-mail me at for more info.


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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."