In an interview with Slate.com, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow unloaded the bizarre claim that Fox News is "operating with a political objective to elect Republican candidates," but MSNBC doesn't resemble that in any way.
"I think the thing that is underappreciated about MSNBC is that we don't really do anything as a company, that we all sorta get to do our own thing," she claimed. "There may be liberals on TV at MSNBC, but the network is not operating with a political objective."
I think that the new model in cable in news broadcasting is that when you hear a host talk, you are expecting that they are saying exactly what they believe...We are actually saying what we think. We are not playing a role. We are not being fake-objective. We are not being directed in political talking points in any way. That it’s us. That means management has to be hands off with all of us, because in order for you to believe that The Rachel Maddow Show is saying what this person named Rachel Maddow believes, there can’t be anybody else telling me what to say. So that’s the rule with everybody. Everybody gets to say their own piece.
Slate's Jacob Weisberg unspooled the usual liberal attack line: "There’s no Roger Ailes moving the chess pieces around with the goal of advancing the conservative cause, you know ‘Glenn Beck, you’re good for the cause,’ ‘Nope, you’re not good for the cause any more. You’re out.’ He somehow ignored that MSNBC dumped Keith Olbermann (like Beck left Fox), or that all around Maddow, they've moved the chess pieces of Ed Schultz and Larry O'Donnell.
Maddow played along. "Yeah. That’s exactly right. We are not, we, there may be liberals on TV at MSNBC, but the network is not operating with a political objective. Whereas Fox is operating with a political objective to elect Republican candidates, and particularly, to elect Republican candidates Roger Ailes likes. I think Roger Ailes is a really good TV executive, but their operation is essentially a political operation to elect Republicans."
Weisberg asked if the network was a propaganda channel and if liberal journalists should refuse to appear on Fox News and help it out, since it's apparently not real journalism (like Newsweek when Weisberg was there?) Maddow seemed to agree with that boycotting idea.
MADDOW: I don’t think that the Republican Party calls Fox in the morning and tells Fox what to do. I think that Fox essentially starts broadcasting every day and the Republican Party takes their cues from them. I think that Roger Ailes is a Republican political operative, but that the arrows go from him out, not toward him. I can’t imagine him taking direction from anybody. He doesn’t need to. I mean, who’s going to call him? Reince Priebus? [Laughter] Really? Tell Roger Ailes what to do? I don’t think it works that way.
WEISBERG: It’s the other way around.
MADDOW: Yeah. So you have to consider if you’re going to make a decision to help Fox out, to get more people to watch them, and to validate what they do by being there, you have to decide if you want to be part of their project, and their project is to elect Republicans, and to move the Republican Party right on specific issues that Roger Ailes cares about, and Rupert Murdoch cares about.