How to Ruin a TV Channel



I’m convinced it’s not just Congress that’s gone nuts, it’s the entire political and business world. No, this is not another Donald Trump blog. This time it’s TV I’m railing against. More specifically cable TV. And most specifically MSNBC-TV.

The geniuses who run MSNBC seem determined to drive me away. First, they sack Ed. Then they demote Al Sharpton to the weekend wasteland. And this morning I learn from Salon. com that they’re ditching Jose Diaz-Balart to expand Morning Joe to four hours.

Four hours!

I’ve had root canals that took less time- and were a lot less agonizing.

According to Salon, “Morning Joe” is a favorite with the Washington in-crowd. While the rest of America watches network television or tweets and texts back and forth, the political “elite” reportedly skip their morning workouts to feast on Mika Brzezinski’s legs and Joe Scarborough’s smarminess.

But I know I’m not alone in my horror at the prospect of enduring Joe  and Mika all morning. Anyone (except the Washington “elite”) who has the mornings off – retired folks and the bedridden for example – must be desperately looking around for something else on TV to while away the hours.

Don’t get me wrong, Mika. I like your legs OK (shown above in Vanity Fair photo with Joe). It’s that Joe Scarborough I can’t stand. A former Republican congressman from north Florida,. Joe is one of those self satisfied, good ole boys that abound in the Sunshine State. To borrow a comment from Salon, Joe “has never met a billionaire CEO he couldn’t venerate or a warmongering pundit he couldn’t toast.”

(It’s Mika that Sandra can’t stand. She thinks Mika’s platinum hair and coy demeanor are unbecoming in a 48-year-old mother of two daughters.)

You probably know MSNBC is revamping its lineup because hardly anyone watches the channel. But if they’d come to me for advice, I could have told them why.

For one thing, nobody who watches Al Sharpton is going to hang around for “Lockup Raw.”

Most annoying of all, one show after another rehashes exactly the same”news” all day long and through most of the night (until “Lockup Raw”). Last night, for example, Rachel Maddow rebroadcast Andrea Mitchell’s interview with Hillary Clinton and then brought Andrea on to tell her what a great interview it was. Luckily, I was able to find some Alka Seltzer in the kitchen.

Of couse, MSNBC did not come to me for advice. Instead, they’re abandoning the channel’s “liberal” flavor and justly acclaimed diversity to focus on “hard news” delivered by the same breed of white-bread talking heads that viewers see on mainstream TV. And since there’s only so much “news” in a day, I guess they will go on repeating the same stuff hour after hour – just as they do now.

Doesn’t that make you sigh for the long-lost days of Keith Olbermann?

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