Hardball Needs to Play Hardball with its Staff

On the 5pm Monday edition of MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews”, a story about Barack Obama was accompanied by a graphic of Osama Bin Laden. After the commercial break, Matthews apologized for the error and moved on with his show.

Over a week ago, MSNBC correspondent David Shuster was suspended when he suggested that the Clintons were exploiting their daughter, Chelsea, for their own political gain. The point could be argued one way or another but Shuster’s choice of words (that the Clintons were “pimping” Chelsea) was most unfortunate. Despite an on air apology, Shuster is still suspended. If Hillary had her way, he would have been fired.

Well, I think the more appropriate target for firing is whichever staff member “mistakenly” called up a picture of Osama Bin Laden during an Obama story. On the eve of the Wisconsin primary, a major news show “confuses” the most inspirational candidate of our time with America’s number one fugitive, responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans in the World Trade Center attacks of 2001. This mistake cannot get simply passed over with a curt apology from Chris Matthews. The parties responsible should be fired and their dismissal should be announced by MSNBC in a prominent venue (perhaps tomorrow nights edition of Hardball). I don’t blame Matthews personally for this screw up but I do hold him responsible to make sure the error gets publicly rectified.

In a country where a sizable percentage of ignorant Americans think Obama is a Muslim, this mistake on Hardball only serves as a subliminal reenforcement of that inaccurate impression. When the show ended this evening, I called MSNBC and voiced my concern. I’m now calling on MSNBC and Matthews to do the right thing and make it clear that encouraging any association between Obama and Osama, however accidental, is unacceptable.



3 thoughts on “Hardball Needs to Play Hardball with its Staff

  1. Terrible! And barely any media coverage as well of the event. It just ain’t right.

    On a somewhat unrelated note, have you noticed that one of the entertainment stations had a new tagline – “Watch and Discuss”? I think it might be bravo.. and they sort of slither it in for 1 second, quietly, after the station promo..

    Clearly, “subliminal” media messages are powerful…

  2. ROTFLMAO …. Mike, I usually would label this comment as pure SPAM and purge it forever from my system but for some odd reason, tonight it really tickled my funny bone.

    Thanks for looking through the archives, even if you’re doing it only to SPAM me. Maybe you’ll accidentally learn something along the way. 😉

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