In a room full of television industry executives, no one seemed inclined to defend MSNBC on Monday for what some were calling its lopsidedly liberal coverage of the presidential election.
The cable news channel is "completely out of control," said writer-producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, a self-proclaimed liberal Democrat.
She added that she would prefer a lunch date with right-leaning Fox News star Sean Hannity over left-leaning MSNBC star Keith Olbermann.
Olbermann was criticized by many who attended Monday's luncheon sponsored by the Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The event was dubbed "Hollywood, America and Election '08."
Bloodworth-Thomason and others seemed especially critical of the way MSNBC -- and other media -- has attacked Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin while demeaning her supporters.
"We should stop the demonizing," she said, adding that Democrats have been worse than Republicans as far as personal attacks on candidates are concerned. "It diminishes us," she said of her fellow Democrats. She stressed, though, that its Palin's small-town American roots she wishes to defend and not her politics or policies.
Bloodworth-Thomason even suggested a defense of Palin and her supporters should be written into TV programming, just as she went out of her way to portray Southern women as smart in her hit TV show "Designing Women."
Attendee Michael Reagan, the radio talk-show host and son of President Ronald Reagan, said he no longer will appear as a guest on MSNBC because "I actually get death threats."
"I'll stop sending them," joked Larry Gelbart, the writer, producer and director best known for the "M*A*S*H" television series and such movie screenplays as "Tootsie" and "Oh, God!"
Pollster Frank Luntz, a regular guest on the Fox News, joked that MSNBC is "the only network with more letters in its name than viewers."
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Both sides of aisle rip MSNBC