Any time a broadcast outlet adds new programming, it's an opportunity for new perspectives and opinions to be aired. So it's disappointing when "new" offerings turn out to be the same old thing. A case in point is MSNBC, which has recently added two new shows to its political lineup, and reformatted another. And what will viewers get to see? In one move MSNBC will add Oliver North as a co-anchor of Equal Time. North will join Cynthia Alksne, a former federal prosecutor who shows up on the cable channel as a Clinton defender during the station's nearly round-the-clock scandal coverage. (For a glimpse into North's past, check out the classic Extra! article "Censored News: Oliver North & Co. Banned From Costa Rica.")
This is a familiar format to viewers grown accustomed to the pairing of rabid right wingers with tepid centrists supposedly representing the left.
Those looking for a even a single, lefty counterweight on the right-listing MSNBC will take no comfort from the new show following Equal Time: McLaughlin Special Report, which features overexposed reactionary John McLaughlin. And if that's not enough, Watch It!, starring the conservative Laura Ingraham, has also been added to the MSNBC's daytime lineup. So much for "new" perspectives at MSNBC.
If you have an opinion on MSNBC's idea of "new" programming, why not share it with them? You can e-mail them at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also call NBC News President Andrew Lack at (212) 664-4611. Let them know if you think a little diversity in their lineup would be a welcome change.