How different is the National Enquirer than MSNBC?

On first blush, I expect most Americans would look at the headline and say, “Are you kidding?” Well … sort of, but not entirely.

I have always had total disdain for the National Enquirer and all those other fake news tabloids that you see at the check-out counter.

They wallow in the underbelly of journalism – if you are even inclined to place them even on the periphery of the profession. I cannot recall ever buying one and they were never seen in my home.

In hyping their upcoming “Headliner” show on the Enquirer with Ari Melber, MSNBC set the tone of the show by alleging that the Enquirer was “weaponized” by Trump to go on an unrelenting attack against his opponents in the Republican primaries and against Hillary Clinton in the General Election.

According to them, the Enquirer made no attempt to be fair and balanced – or even have a smidgeon of news sympathetic to Trump’s opponents.

MSNBC promised to expose what they see as unrelenting one-side reporting of dubious stories that played to Trump’s favor. In a very real sense, MSNBC contends that David Pecker ran his publication as a propaganda vehicle for the Trump campaign.

Did the Enquirer go all in for Trump in the 2016 campaign? Well duh! Just a perusal of the frontpages – and that is as far as I ever got – made the bias perfectly clear. It was an unabashed Trump publication for sure.

As I watched the MSNBC promos for their look at the Enquirer, that symbolic lightbulb in the head lit up. Imagine, I thought, a self-proclaimed journalistic outfit using their platform to support one side of the political partisan divide. Suddenly, the word “hypocrisy” jumped into my mind.

Doesn’t MSNBC use their platform to support only one side of the political partisan divide? It may be fair to say that the NBC News offspring is not as sensationalistic as the Enquirer.

But maybe – just maybe — they are more dangerous because their service as a propaganda vehicle for the progressive faction of the Democratic Party is less obvious to those in their audience.

Sadly, there are a lot of well-intentioned and good people who are taken in by MSNBC reporting. Some of my closest friends are MSNBC-ophiles. As is typical of so many on the left, they refuse to discuss politics – largely because they cannot defend their positions.

It is that old liberalism being faith-based as opposed to fact-based. Many use anger as a defensive exit from intelligent conversations – you know, that civil dialogue we are supposed to have in a free society.

If a person only reads the Enquirer, they would have a limited and distorted view of reality. I would argue that the same is true of people who only get their news and political information from MSNBC. They are as ill-informed as those who follow the Enquirer.

It is not just a matter of opinion. Anyone who cares to take the effort can empirically establish MSNBC’s bias – and to a lesser extent, CNN’s – can see the biases.

Like it or not, FOX News offers more variety in its news and on controversial topics is more like to have legitimate analysts on both sides of an issue.

That is just an evident fact. You can watch MSNBC all day and hardly find anyone who presents counterpoints to their preconceived partisan narratives – with emphasis on anti-Trumpism and constant attacks on the Republican Brand and conservatives.

If you look only at political bias – as opposed to sensationalism – you will find the MSNBC is as one-sided as Enquirer.

They are, as we say, two peas in a pod. The television networks distorted political narratives are only slightly more credible than the Enquirer’s obvious fake stories. The problem is that the Enquirer is widely recognized as a trash publication that prints outrageously fake news, whereas MSNBC purports to be a legitimate news service – which they are not – and a lot of people actually are taken in by their propaganda.

Think of all those reports claiming that there is evidence that Trump is guilty of Russian collusion. Or all those reports about Trump firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller. All the times they mischaracterize Trump’s statements – which you would not know if you did not surf the other news outlets.

Both the Enquirer and MSNBC are members-in-good-standing of the propaganda press – spinning their false narratives as factual reporting. No objective consumer of news would ever rely on them as a single source – are even a source at all.

So, there ‘tis.