Three Reasons to Love MSNBC

We watch MSNBC for most of our news these days. We watch it each primary night for hours.

We were drawn to MSNBC because of Keith Olbermann and “Countdown.” But I’m not even going to mention him here.

Because what we’ve come to love about their shows is the smartness of all of their pundits….folks like Rachel Maddow on the left, and Pat Buchanan on the right. (Say what you will about him: he’s a smart pundit…)

What I love about this network is that they tend to ask tough questions, or seek actual substance over style..something very rare in television news.

For example, on MSNBC’s morning show –Morning Joe– Mika Brzezinski simply could not cover just another story on Paris Hilton. I posted this before, but here’s her protest against Paris Hilton:

You gotta love her for doing that…and for the network for allowing it.

I go back and forth on Chris Matthews. There are times when I hear him interview somebody, and think “Jeez, what a jerk.”

And there are times when he catches somebody with a question of substance, and I think “What a genius.”

One thing you have to say for him, he’s an equal opportunity B.S. Crusher. Take, for example, this short exchange between Austin Mayor, Kirk Watson and Matthews on the night of the Texas Primary:

I’m an Obama fan. I’ve always found Kirk Watson to be a great politician. But if you’re going to go on a national network, you do need to be a better prepared.

But my new favorite Chris Matthews moment came just the other day, with a conservative radio host from California. This guy comes on with a bloviating style, ala Rush Limbaugh. But Matthews tears him to shreds when it’s clear he doesn’t even understand the words he is saying.

Watch how he tries to wriggle off the fish hook by screaming more, all the while failing to get that the net is underneath him and Matthews already has him reeled into the boat:

Jeez, that’s fun to watch. What’s even more funny is that they never even get to the “liberal” pundit in this segment.
Except for one very sage bit of advice:

“When you’re in a hole, stop digging.”


Last night on Countdown –with Rachel Maddow sitting in as guest host– Chris Matthews came on for an excellent discussion of just how insidious this problem of unchallenged rhetoric has become in our nation. The first part of this clip is a re-play of the exchange on Hardball. But the last four-minutes is a discussion of how rhetoric is being used in our politics today. And it’s very, very, VERY good, and worth a seeing:

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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