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MSNBC vs Fox News – Richard Wolffe

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Veteran reporter Richard Wolffe gives his candid take on the MSNBC / Fox, left / right split among cable news channels, and what the runaway success of Fox News may mean for the state of American journalism.


Richard Wolffe, award-winning journalist, NBC and MSNBC political analyst, and author of the New York Times best-selling political epic, Renegade: The Making of a President, tells the dramatic inside story of the defining period of the Obama White House, based on exclusive interviews with President Obama and his White House staff.

As Newsweek’s former senior White House correspondent, Wolffe covered the entire length of Obama’s presidential campaign and has had unprecedented access to Obama — allowing us to see and hear President Obama with an immediacy and honesty never before witnessed. Listen to Wolffe as he answers the simple yet enduring question: Who is Barack Obama? – The Commonwealth Club of California

Richard Wolffe is a Daily Beast columnist and an award-winning journalist. He covered the entire length of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign for Newsweek magazine. His book about the election, Renegade: The Making of a President, was a New York Times bestseller in 2009. His new book, Revival: The Struggle for Survival Inside the Obama White House, was published in November.

Blogger, Performer, Truck Driver, Serial Careerist, Cigarette Butt Collector. Let me bitch at you every day until you sort your shit.


  1. @watcherjohnny Merlin's Beard, I've been trolled! Now I understand. Well, the joke's on you, 'cause I can only barely tell the difference between a conservative and an idiot.

  2. Fox Spews must be the real commies here, it's they who have this sovjet propaganda machine spewing nonsense and shit all over the world..

  3. @watcherjohnny Sorry if I came across harsh. Wasn't sure…. but you'd be surprised at the amount of people that don't get just basic accounting.

  4. @Terje1337
    Better at what? Fabricating their stories. Seeing conspiracy where there is none. Just out and out lying to further the conservative agenda.

  5. @chrisose Fox doesn't hide what they do. They dont support an ideoligy or a cause. They support whatever republicans are saying. If a Neo-con is there they are totally for the war. Then the next half hour Ron Paul shows up and they want to get out of the war at once. They don't hide this. Watch it for an hour, they are not ashamed of it or trying to hide it.

    Msnbc on the other hand, they try to be neutral, but it isn't. and their shows are not as entertaining, which also counts.

  6. @Terje1337 You honestly believe the likes of Olbermann, Maddow, O'Donnell, and Matthews "try to be neutral"? Who do you think you're kidding?

  7. "More access to information than ever before, and yet more misinformed people than ever before. And I can't quite figure that out."

    That's possibly the most ironic thing ever said.

  8. @stephenpaquet Not at all. If you read the thread, it's clear some people just don't get basic logic! Thanks for the input!

  9. @Terje1337
    "They support whatever republicans are saying."
    That IS supporting the ideology and cause of the conservative movement.

  10. @Terje1337
    MSNBC has never made a claim of neutrality. Some of their hosts and commentators are liberal some are conservative (though not on the steady march toward the extreme right as the party itself).
    As for the entertainment aspect, facts are not typically as interesting as fiction. Much like it easier to hold the interest of children with cartoons than with a show about physics, Fox is geared toward the simple minded among us, MSNBC is not.

  11. @WideWorldOfWisdom No I dont think so, but their progressive thoughts are "hidden". Not really hidden, but I think of it as this: when Murdoch says they are neutral people laugh. If head of msnbc would say they where neutral people would respect it more and more people would believe it.

  12. @chrisose No that is supporting republicans libertarians or conservative. If they supportet the conservative movement they would also support people conservatives inside the democratic party, which they do only in a incredibly small scale.

  13. @chrisose I enjoy learning about physics more than watching any news channel. I watch neither fox news or MSNBC no more, and I don't think fox news is anymore than marginally better than msnbc. Claims of neutrality or claims of bias are pretty much invaluable in a debate if a news channel is biased. Fox owners have made claims to be unbiased, very few actually believes them.

    There has been a libertarian turn within the Republican party, which is the completely opposite way of far right.

  14. @Terje1337
    The entire political spectrum has shifted to the right and continues to do so. It is to the point that policies once sponsored by Republicans are not decried as socialist by the same Republicans.
    The only part of the Libertarian platform being supported by the Republicans is the removal of the state from any control over business. They are more than happy to let the state force their arch-conservative social agenda down the thoughts of those of us without the money to buy our way out

  15. @chrisos Eventhough it wont happen, they do vocally support small government, a lot less spending and smaller taxes. Wont happen, but many republicans say that is what they support. Also Rand Paul was elected 🙂

    But I kinda agree with you, but I don't believe they are getting worse on socially conservative causes, but it was already fucked up so it doesn't matter though.

  16. @Terje1337 You mean SOME people would believe it. Like people who watch MSNBC. R u unaware of the Pew studies that show Fox as #1 most trusted in news? Obviously there's plenty of people who believe Fox IS fair and balanced.

    They only reason u think people would laugh at the idea of Fox & not MSNBC is because (a) Fox is the only major outlet that isn't in the tank for Obama. So they stick out. & (b), they have higher ratings than CNN and MSNBC combined. Everyone likes to big on the winner.

  17. They both saved capitalism? Oh then I guess bank bailouts, stimulus from debt and counterfitting, a 1 trillion dollar military death machine and violation of citiizens Constitutional rights is the way to save capitalism.

  18. @dsanthony
    So I am a "leftist"? I did not know that. Awesome how you could figure that from my statement you are stupid.
    You are fat and old…And clearly do not get paid for your intelligence.
    Thankfully you can afford the internet to make you feel impotent, sorry important.
    Keep up the very meaningful work winner.

  19. @WideWorldOfWisdom "R u unaware of the Pew studies that show Fox as #1 most trusted in news?"

    Yeah, but didn't Pew Research Center also find that Fox News viewers were consistently the least informed audience about current world and national events? I mean, didn't they even come in less informed than Local TV News viewers?

    It doesn't matter if people "believe" Fox is Fair & Balanced. That just means their beliefs are wrong. Ratings? Who cares… Rosanne had good ratings, but it was still crap

  20. @Sinuev1 You obviously missed every point I was making. Terje said that people would laugh if someone said fox news was neutral, but would respect it if the same was said about MSNBC. All I did was point out that it depends on who you ask. There are plenty of people who would have exactly the opposite set of reactions.

    (And the reason I brought up the ratings was to show that it might actually be MORE people who would laugh at the notion that MSNBC is neutral and believe it about Fox.)

  21. @WideWorldOfWisdom

    Apologies for the misconception. Hadn't read the full gamut of posts several pages prior, and out of context it appeared as though you were making a different point. That sort of ratings based dick waving as apologetics for Fox's unchecked bias and baseless opinion dependent programming is far too common… and that's what your post appeared to be.

    Apparently. As I pointed out 4 months ago when this discussion took place, it has higher ratings than CNN and MSNBC…combined.

  23. Who's cultic here? Fox rarely refers to MSNBC but MSNBC refers to Fox every day. And the repetitive way of assigning blame to a singular outlet, and never acknowledging the imbalance of it all, is bad religion. Where do these guys get their credentials, Goebbels School of Agitprop?

  24. @sc4t1g3rs2 Thank you for clarifying the truth for me. I'm so ignorant I can't even tell when someone is either lying or stupid. But your comment is so contradictory even a automaton like myself can see it. Yes, always nice to get corrected by an unbiased, clearthinking imbecile. I listen to guys like you for about 5 minutes and then turn the channel with indignant disgust.

  25. @sc4t1g3rs2 Fox anchors are right of center; MSNBC is leftcenter. Rumours of Fox lies, verify this. Opinion shows on Fox are FAR right. Opinion shows on MSNBC are FAR left. Everything they do is left wing. Scarborough is solitary; every other con is watered down or shouted down. Their anchors are biased and opshows left. MSNBC is run by cons? Immelt and Co.? Sure. How do I explain vision to a blind man? Just take my word for it? Hyperbolic response to hyperbolic comments. See how it works?

  26. @sc4t1g3rs2 LiberalViewer, selfexplanatory. All outlets other than Fox, leftbias. Marketable reaction. This is why you confuse truth with rightwing bias. GE,MSNBC,ObamaAdministration.Immelt; pretty cozy? You've wasted the last half of last comments bemoaning an injury; may I suggest a bandaid and grouphug? Selfappointed judge/jury affecting my credibility, arrogant,petulant,snobbish…liberal. Bush=Hitler, remember that? Now it's teaparty=terrorists. No left bias out there? Just in media/politic

  27. @sc4t1g3rs2 I'm brainwashed you're brainwashed we're brainwashed. So what's the referencepoint? I'm not the only one here "guilty" of adhominem i.e.pathetic,drivel. Rational attempts to connect cause and effect in these matters only assigns blame no one wants to own. Fair to say OUR leaders have failed US, both sides of the aisle. Pleas for sense are only catagorized,packaged,marketed,sold for a vote. In all honesty, I really do see an overwhelming leftbias; just how I perceive. Not always right

  28. @sc4t1g3rs2 Agreed. Let me tell you how I feel As a conservative, my agenda is rarely if ever, advanced. Many things are said, voted upon, won, and then tossed by judges. GOP leadership saysthen doen another. If I were a stateist, Bush would have been admirable, both of em. I view Fox as a reaction to tokenprogressive media. Radio the same. A market is created where there's a want or need. Raw unfiltered events should not be subject to a marketable audience,but is and inferred.Thanks for listeng

  29. @thesparitan

    "Everywhere true free markets have been tried it has failed"

    Hong Kong and Singapore are two that come to mind. Both of which are some of the fastest growing economies in the world and have a high standard of living.

    Hong Kong is a wonderful example because it is a country that has almost no natural resources, so they were forced to have a completely free economy. And because of that, they are thriving. They literally went from rags to riches in only a few decades.

  30. FOX=completely biased stupid pro Israel Evangelical Neo-Cons & hot blonde female dolt blind GOP supporters
    MSNBC=completely biased whining black homos, lesbians, women, mexicans, blind Dem supporters

    F'ing Questions anyone? If you watch one of these channels, spend one week watching the other. Won't be long until you hate both parties and all politicians. I've hated them for years.

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