Image Credits: via screengrab

I’m a conservative and I spend all day watching MSNBC. I have a reason though, I promise. It’s for work, and I’ve actually learned a lot. As someone who disagrees with a lot of the rhetoric used by MSNBC, I still learn so much from watching it. Demonizing the other side can be easy, but actually putting the time into learning what the other side is saying and understanding their arguments to better refute them is invaluable.

Take a chance and step outside your comfort zone…you never know what you’ll find.

However, watching MSNBC all day has really attuned me to the way they operate compared to other news outlets, such as CNN, Fox News, ABC, etc. Here’s what I learned.

Where Fox News goes blonde, MSNBC goes brunette

Fox News is often criticized for being very blonde and white. I don’t think that’s necessarily a Fox News only issue though. Look at Hollywood or any vain industry where you have to be on screen all day and you’ll see lots of blondes. It’s not a perfect world, but where Fox News goes blonde with their anchors, MSNBC seems to go brunette. There’s Rachel Maddow, Stephanie Ruhle, Hallie Jackson, Kasie Hunt, Katy Tur…I could go on. One standout exception? Mika Brzezinski, Morning Joe host.

Where are the opposing voices?

“I agree” is said a lot on MSNBC.  Honestly, I have tried to keep track of the number of times panel guests disagreed with each other or said something along the lines of  “That’s not correct” or “Well, actually…” or “To play Devil’s advocate.” It basically doesn’t happen on MSNBC. There are a lot of panel discussions on MSNBC, like with any channel, but they’re all extremely ideologically homogenous. Compare that to Fox News’ The Five or Outnumbered which every single day focuses on having at least one disagreeing voice and letting that person actively express their disagreement so that the more FNC-centric hosts can defend their positions.

Rachel Maddow is kind of funny

Coming into this new adventure as an MSNBC viewer, I had a lot of preconceptions about Rachel Maddow. She’s kind of a punching bag for the conservative pundits, someone to make fun of for her political slant, her soft ball interview questions to people like Hillary Clinton, et cetera. But one night, Rachel Maddow actually made me laugh out loud. Yes, I’m serious! I was watching Maddow on the same day that details about Paul Manafort’s plea deal came out, including the stipulation in the document that Manafort would go undercover if necessary, when Rachel Maddow adopted a funny voice and said something along the lines of:

“Imagine that…I’m Maul Panafort…you don’t know me. Now, speak into my lapel pin.”

Maybe it was because I’d had a long day at work, maybe I was sleepy, but I burst into laughter. It’s nice to have some common ground we can all laugh about, left or right. Now, I don’t mind tuning into Maddow nearly as much because I’m waiting for my next laugh.

Step out of your echo chambers, you never know what you might find.

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member