MediaWatch has concluded a study asking cable news media hosts to rate their performance in reporting on the debt ceiling talks in Washington.
A whopping 67% of MSNBC hosts believe they have pushed the envelope too far and are fearful that once the debt ceiling crisis has passed on Tuesday without so much as a whimper, they will all be seen as Chicken Littles.
In fact, Rachel Maddow is so mad at herself, she’s not been able to step in front of the camera this week at all except to make more dam commercials for MSNBC. While some say Maddow’s absence is due to the fact that she could not find a “gay” angle to the debt ceiling talks, in reality it is because Maddow just could not continue to say the same things over and over and over again without cracking up. “I mean, how many times can you invoke the name of Ronald Reagan? Both sides are making this guy out to be some kind of super hero or something. I’m surprised there aren’t t-shirts out there asking “What Would Reagan Do?” Then, “Oh, there are? See? It’s just so out of control,” said Maddow after finishing up her questionnaire and giving herself a failing grade.
Reporters for MSNBC aren’t the only ones that are being totally hard on themselves, and with good reason. Most CNN reporters, with the exception of Piers Morgan of course, also fear that their constant harping on the debt ceiling crisis to try and make everyone believe it really is a crisis will ultimately backfire on them. “What happens when Tuesday rolls around, the debt ceiling is raised without fanfare, and we all go back to reporting mundane news stories?” asked Anderson Cooper.
“It’s just not that easy. The damage is being done now,” Said Cooper. “Imagine if you will a huge earthquake strikes Japan, and there are tsunami warnings on an almost hourly basis. Then when the tsunamis don’t really live up to the expectations we’ve set for our viewers, what is left? I mean, how many newscasters do you see today reporting on the earthquake in Japan anymore? Sure, the news is still there, the threat of complete nuclear meltdown is a reality, but we used so much hyperbole in the first few days of that story that our viewers have become desensitized. And now we’re doing the same thing with these darned budget talks,” said Cooper.
“Manufacturing a crisis is one thing,” said MSNBC’s Ed Schultz. “But where are the freakin’ jobs? It used to be that in this country, when you invoked the word manufacturing, there were jobs to back it up.”
Meanwhile, Fox News Channel refused to participate in the study as they don’t really consider themselves anything more than a news channel; it being their job to get the story out there no matter how scary it might be or what long-lasting effects it may have on their viewers. “How else are we supposed to keep our ratings up?” asked Sean Hannity.