Name Change Possible at MSNBC

Media Decoder reports that NBC is thinking of separating the MSNBC web site from NBC News. In the long run this might be a good idea. The liberal bias of the evening shows on MSNBC have been a source of irritation to the news division at NBC, fearing that it taints their objectivity. MSNBC would also like to be able to use the web site to promote their own shows as opposed to being a straight news site.

It think it makes sense to have an web site to promote MSNBC personalities such as Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann and a separate to take over the news. The one downside to this from a business perspective is that the network might not want to give away the already established web site to their smaller division. Perhaps a better solution would be to continue MSNBC as the network news web site and come up with an entirely new name for the MSNBC cable network. This would allow them to establish a new web site to accompany the cable channel.

Fox does have it much easier, not caring if they have an objective news site at all as they don’t have a legitimate news division. Fox’s ability to distort the news comes from the manner in which their fake news shows reinforce the same ideas promoted by their openly labeled opinion shows. If Rachel Maddow devotes time to a story, such as C Street, only a portion of the MSNBC audience which is watching her show will see it. However Fox will coordinate their shows so that many of the “news” as well as opinion shows are talking about the same topics day after day. That way even trivial stories such as Obama’s birthplace or the new Black Panther Party are discussed endlessly until they move from Fox to the legitimate news media. Fox, unlike NBC, certainly has no need for separate web sites to differentiate their opinion shows from their news division.

Students Get Naked, Wanting To Be Covered By Health Care

The conventional wisdom is that Republicans will win big this year because Democrats are less enthusiastic about voting. Democrats are also at a disadvantage because younger voters are less likely to vote in off-year elections. Some students are acting to try to get people out to vote–and that includes taking off their clothes. In the above video, several naked college students point out how they were not covered (by health care) until Congress acted. They warn that Republicans want to take away their coverage.

Republicans Think They Can Come Back Without Changing

David Weigel has an article on how things have changed for those who talked about rebranding the Republicans after their 2006 and 2008 loss. Some Republicans were looking at ways the party should change direction and possibly take some less extreme position son some issues. At the moment, with Republicans appearing on the brink of doing well in the off-year elections, it looks like such rebranding might not have been needed. Republicans believe they are doing fine by sticking to their old views or moving even further to the right.

That is a rather short sighted view of the situation. In a two party system one party can have some victories even when on the wrong side of the issues. Many people are bound to vote for the party out of power when the economy is bad. Republicans also have an advantage this year because Democrats are trying to defend a large number of seats which have traditionally been held by Republicans.

Under these conditions it would come as no surprise that the Republicans could do well this year without changing, but it could be a dead-cat bounce. Numerous polls have shown that people who say they intend to vote Republican are doing so out of frustration but also have a very low opinion of the Republicans. Many even agree with the Democrats as opposed to the Republicans on the issues.

If the Republicans win under such a situation it could lead to another cycle of the voters being angry and voting them out in two years. Once elected to office, Republicans have to actually show they can govern responsibly, and that they are not pursuing positions opposed by most of the country. Those who vote for the Republicans out of a sense of frustration are not going to stick with the Republicans if they just provide a repeat of past mistakes. Regardless of how the Republicans do this year, their long term prospects are poor if they continue with the same policies.