Joe Scarborough is off and away on another screed about the evils of partisanship. Of course Scarborough routinely hosts hyperpartisan guests like Erick Erickson. The other week, he was pushing his far-right torture agenda and hosted Marc Thiessen in the process. And across the board, NBC is notorious for its false equivalency “smackdown” (their word) debates.
Now, if they want to amp up the partisanship, fine. Just be honest about it. Don’t disguise this sporting wrestling match style of political reporting under a blanket of bipartisanship. We’re not simply hearing from “both sides” to get a better result — we’re hearing from “both sides” often when one side is totally crazy (a pro-torture “side” ought to be debunked and marginalized rather than elevated) and only to crank up some sort of fight transparently organized for ratings rather than bipartisan cooperation.
Partisanship is why we have elections. Democrats aren’t in trouble because they’re too partisan. Being too partisan would make them appear tougher. They’re in trouble because they’re not selling their successes — they’re running away from their own win column — and because people don’t like anyone who is tasked with serious governing because it’s messy and awkward.
But don’t, Joe, make it seem as if Harry Reid or President Obama are flailing because they’re not embracing bipartisanship. Bipartisanship is precisely the problem, and the reason they’re pursuing bipartisanship is partly because cable news people are hyping the myth that it’s the proper way to govern.
Adding… Yglesias has another bit of insight into how MSNBC views politics.