July 27, 2004


Let me step up on my soapbox for a sec. MSNBC is treading lightly on traditional standards of journalism. Ron Reagan will address the Democratic convention tonight, speaking on the topic of stem cell research. Two hours later, he will co-anchor an MSNBC talk show. Does anyone else feel queasy about this?

Reagan was on Hardball at 6 (then left at 6:30 for speech prep). He will grant Chris Matthews an “exclusive interview” immediately after the speech, this press release says. Reagan is an “MSNBC political analyst,” so isn’t MSNBC paying for this “exclusive interview?” And he is more than an “analyst” — he is a show host (After Hours), a “special correspondent” (reporting live across from the “free speech zone” on MSNBC Sunday), and an interviewer (Michael Moore, yesterday).

Democratic activist, member of the mainstream media — what’s the difference? “Let’s talk a little media bias here. The media, I think, wants Kerry to win.” Evan Thomas set the stage for this whole election, I think. But if Kerry’s already enjoying the 15-point media-induced edge that Thomas predicted, then he’s running a really weak campaign. . . .

On the other (non-journalistic) hand, Ron Reagan’s convention speech is praised here.

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