The Corner

Culture

Why Does Morning Joe Defy MSNBC’s Disastrous Trend?

Per Charlie’s excellent take on MSNBC’s decline, there’s a sweet ha-ha about Phil Griffin’s lefty business model. Despite all the mandated ideology over at Rockefeller Center, the fact is is that Morning Joe – hosted by a conservative (go ahead, scream)  – is arguably the cable channel’s most-important show, on all fronts. For starters, it can set the day’s political and media agenda: Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski and their henchmen are what the conventional wisdomers watch while eating Corn Flakes or drinking kale-ginger-beet smoothies.

Those are wealthier, better-educated, D.C.- and Manhattan-centric influencer eyeballs, which is why, despite its relatively poor viewership numbers (compared with, say, Fox & Friends), Morning Joe is a cash cow for the network. And a big one – a source at NBC tells me it brings in more revenue than does Meet the Press and even Nightly News.

Well, that might be taken with a few grains of salt. And even if it is true, one could ask Joe (who religiously reads the Corner) how his self-proclaimed conservative scruples feel about underwriting Al Sharpton and Ed Schultz and their ilk (Mika might not find that a problem). Score it an unintended consequence. But I’d also tip my cap to him because, when the dust settles from the explosion inside liberalism’s grand media headquarters — where Olberman ranted and Matthews leg-thrilled and every too-cool host made it his daily ritual to accuse someone of being a homophobe racist and to blame Bush for, well, everything — it will be the former conservative Republican congressman who remains. Not conservative enough for your liking? To each his own, but still, way too conservative for MSNBC’s disintegrating strategic plan. And that makes Joe a daily three-hour indictment of the delusional proposition that a media giant can force-feed America leftist insanity and conspiracies and believe enough people will want seconds.

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