Thursday, July 21, 2011

For Those That Doubt the Propaganda Model

Cenk Uygar managed to get a slot on MSNBC, which was a bit surprising to me when I first learned it. Would he follow the path of Donahue? That is, top ratings, but unacceptable in terms of propaganda? Well, that's precisely what he did. He explains what happened in his own words below.


HispanicPundit said...


The part that caught my attention was when he said that his ratings beat Fox News. That's huge man! Just to give you an idea, Fox News is like the United States as far as gdp/capita goes, the rest of the networks are like Europe as far as gdp/capita goes - which is to say, Fox News is the 600 lb elephant in the room. They are the ones to beat. He beat em!

Anyway, it sounds all convincing until you do some google searches. Then you find this:

No stranger to controversy, the Reverend Al Sharpton looks he'll be like the newest member of MSNBC's left-leaning talk show crew. Last week, TV Newser reported that Sharpton, filling in for usual 6 p.m. host Cenk Uygur, had higher ratings in a key demographic and now the NY Times says, "Mr. Sharpton’s imminent hiring, which was acknowledged by three people at the channel on condition of anonymity because the contract had not been signed, is significant in part because MSNBC and other news channels have been criticized for a paucity of minority hosts in prominent time slots."

So three things to note here: First, MSNBC hired someone roughly equally anti-establishment as Cenk Uygur. This is a big thorn in your propaganda model. Second, they hired him because he likely will garner HIGHER ratings. Again, very problematic for the propaganda model. Third, he has something that Cenk Uygur doesn't have - black skin. Remember, this is the age of affirmative action and being a minority carries with it a premium that itself comes with a high monetary value (oh and, the corporate war monger Glenn Greenwald seems to agree as well, see his second paragraph here).

Also, the whole "giving him a fat pay raise and keeping him on in a smaller role" could be interpreted as hush money, that's certainly one possibility. But why not take the obvious reason? That Cenk Uygur came in a close second, and they want to keep him around for ratings too.

Btw, on many many issues, I agree with Cenk Uygur. And especially enjoyed his corruption charges of politicians. I mean, his point is so obvious to me that I find it hard to believe people find it controversial. I personally, much prefer Cenk Uygur to Al Sharpton...yet another mark against affirmative action, I guess.

Jon said...

I don't see Glenn Greenwald in agreement with you. I think the purpose of his post is to say basically what I'm saying.

And as far as Sharpton, it's not like you have to fire your top guy to bring in Sharpton (top in that time slot that is). As Ugyur mentioned, when they called him into the office to suggest a change he thought it meant he's going to a better time slot.

I'd say more, but I think Greenwald would say it better. Thanks for the link to him.