We know what Fox News' function is in the universe...the Republican Party line.
We know that CNN is still hopelessly stuck in the Crossfire concept of two opposing points of view, given equal weight even if one of them held that the world is governed by dancing cantaloupes wearing fake monkey heads and lime green leisure suits...and the other held that they didn't exist. Plus, except for Cafferty, it is the residence of boring pundits and conventional "wisdom."
That leaves us with MSNBC which is an uneven collection of solid reporters, airhead anchors, scenery-chewers and the stars of the channel Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow.
But although many of us rely on Countdown for our only national television leftie news, it is devolving into a McCain bash-fest rather than the only place on cable where we might find out what Obama is doing and saying. Yesterday Obama did not appear at all! It was all McCain bashing. The closest they came was a quote from an Obama surrogate put up on the screen as text, read by Olbermann.
When Obama was in Germany, Countdown focused not on what he had to say, but on what McCain was doing. There was much more of McCain in the supermarket than a thoughtful presentation of Obama's day in Germany. The Brian Williams grab at the end was a great touch, but that was not generated by Countdown This is a pattern. Yes, there is an obligation to point out McCain's daily errors and horrors, but where else is anyone going to find out what Obama is saying?
The networks are in the same Crossfire mode as CNN, they promote controversy rather than dealing in fact-finding, truth-finding journalism. With studies finding that there is more negative coverage of Obama than positive, Countdown's daily beatdown of McCain and Fox/O'Reilly is missing the point.
Tom D'Antoni and fellow Huffingtonposter Art Levine do a Blogtalkradio show live on Thursdays 5:30pm ET and archived thereafter. Listen here.