The top news media hosts of the year are not who the mainstream media would have you believe. They awarded David Gregory (NBC) as the best anchor early in 2012, but in reality, he is near the bottom of the list. David Gregory epitomizes the weak-knee interview tactics of a suck-up. His demeanor is to let boldface lies go unchallenged, while smiling curiously. He doesn’t reach the Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity of FOX, so-called News level of misconstruing the truth, though. He just smiles more and asks stupid questions. David doesn’t usually give his own premise or deeply contemplated insight from his many years in Washington. David Gregory is there to act as if he still, after all these years on TV, doesn’t know what is really going in on in politics. Even Candy Crowley and Wolf Blitzer of CNN, have a more steeply-graded slant toward misinformation than Gregory, but not by much.
The real winners of this election cycle, in the media, are not fully mainstream yet, with one or two exceptions. For instance, Rachel Maddow soared, once again, to the top of the journalist pool of TV hosts, as the top news anchor on MSNBC, or anywhere else for that matter. Her on-point level of discussion was key. Rachel informed and didn’t conform, to the mainstream media narrative at all throughout 2012. And for the most part, her analysis of the election of 2012, was in line with the results. Rachel Maddow has no doubt carried MSNBC for the past four years, with or without Keith Olberman.
Another stand-out on MSNBC, was a pundit from theGrio.com, journalist/editor, Joy Reid. She separated herself from the pack of talking heads by honest, insightful commentary which did not always back the conventional “Washington Beltway” wisdom. Like Rachel, in the end, her analysis was correct while others remained willfully in the dark about where the American people’s proclivity toward politics truly rested.
Martin Bashir is probably the most eloquent of the top news media hosts. His wickedly-pointed, verbal skewering of Mitt Romney for almost a year has been riveting political television. They should make the whole election season of his show, available on DVD somewhere.
With a few other exceptions like, Lawrence O’Donnell, Al Sharpton, Tamron Hall and Ed Schultz, most others stayed on script. Surprisingly, a single Fox, so-called News anchor did set himself apart from the common drivel on the channel.
Chris Wallace actually distinguished himself as an almost serious interviewer. He was probably the only main streamer who asked any tough questions of the candidates. At the end of the day though, Wallace is still not trustworthy either, but maybe just a little more than everybody else at FOX. That in essence, is the “mainstream”. And for the most part, it’s garbage coverage like Mike Papantonio explains in the video, Papantonio: Mainstream Media Fails Again In 2012 .
In the independent TV news business, 2012 was a banner year, however. This is the year that solidified internet news as the source for a semblance of truth. Of course the internet is filled with copious amounts of falsehoods and flat-out filthy lies. Yet, it is only there, where you can weed through the bullshit and find the real story. There are many reliable sources out there. The aforementioned Mike Papantonio, from Ring of Fire Radio, has a killer instinct in a conversation, like any good lawyer should. He also isn’t stupid, which is another quality lacking in today’s mainstream punditry. Everyone seems to be lost in curiosity with no opinion or understanding of what has already transpired in life. People like Pap, and Thom Hartmann aren’t so desperate to be on TV that they lie and squirm and wiggle their way into a cushy cable gig somewhere. They speak the truth, as far as they honestly know it, as intelligent human beings living in reality. And that’s all the audience can ask for.
The mainstream is not trying to be honest. They mainstream media is not trying to expose the problems of politics and society. The mainstream media is part of the problem. Most of those who work for them are willing participants in the daily charades. Some people are not part of that crowd. Some people value more than the paycheck and so-called stability. Some people value the truth, or at least their most honest, intellectually researched view of the truth. That to many of us watching is enough.
The most standout channels for 2012 were RT America, on which Thom Hartmann’s show can be seen along side random, 20+ minute interviews with Immortal Technique and various Hiphoppas as an eclectic mix. The other, is the biggest winner, Current TV.
Current scored a huge victory in the world of internet news by drafting the #1 news channel on YouTube, TYT. The Young Turks have come to define what internet news should mean. At first, I questioned the security of jumping on board with such a young network as Current, to the detriment of their internet juggernaut. After all, Cenk was a part of the now defunct liberal talk radio channel, Air America, where Rachel Maddow got her big break.
It seemed like a subliminal corporate power-play against The Young Turks, when their creator and main host Cenk Uygur began a stint at MSNBC just as the election cycle started to bubble. As the internet show dropped off in viewership due to Cenk’s daily commitment to MSNBC dragged on, the stiffling power-play began. Cenk complained of being muzzled and soon had to part ways with MSNBC.
Former Vice-President Al Gore, one of the founders of Current, quickly negotiated a new contract for the whole TYT crew, just as he had acquired Keith Olberman some months earlier. It turned out to be a sweet deal, which only expanded to include the likes of the sexy liberal herself, Mama Stephanie Miller. The Stephanie Miller Show addition provides the meat and potatoes feel of a an extended 3 hour show like Cenk, Ana Kasparian, and Jayar Jackson produced each day on TYT. Stephanie’s show brings in the news media’s highly coveted commodity of comedy.
Ever since John Stewart, blew up, executives have been desperate to duplicate his success. The Stephanie Miller Show, with guests like John Fugelsang and Hal Sparks, both comedians, is Current TV’s answer to John Stewart. They might just be right. After all, 2012 did seem to be the Year of the Woman on cable news. And that’s including Jennifer Granholm’s DNC appearance, Joy Beyhar’s new Current Show, Oprah’s Channel, The Talk, The View and the numerous generic females who populate daytime cable news TV channels as filler. The 2012 election