Abrams: Partisan news is coddling its midterm candidates

Dan Abrams Live

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell and Fox News’ Sean Hannity (Getty Images)

(NewsNation) — With the midterms just four days away, one of the most disappointing, but not remotely surprising things, has been how partisan supposedly-news outlets have overtly coddled their political allies.

Those in the marginalized moderate majority want to see tough questions asked of both sides to help you make better decisions on who to vote for, but that is not the case with the other major cable news networks.

Take, for example, MSNBC. In the last 10 days, they have interviewed dozens of Democratic candidates but not one Republican running in a midterm election. On Fox News prime time only one Democrat has appeared, but by our count 28 Republicans candidates have been invited on to answer softball questions.

Fox News prime time has become dedicated to shamelessly promoting Republican candidates. Take for example one “Hannity” show this week when Sean Hannity welcomed Pennsylvania’s Mehmet Oz, Georgia’s Herschel Walker and Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson on his show.

Yes, that was all from one episode, but at least he is honest about his overtly-partisan views and efforts to help Republicans

“I’ll trade you Mark Kelly for Chuck Schumer. I hate them both equally,” Hannity said on his show.

Fox News’ partisan promotional effort caught the eye of MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, who seems unaware of what MSNBC is up to.

“Fox functions as the communications arm of GOP and its biggest stars are working to ensure the Republicans take over the Senate and have an opportunity to implement a hard-right agenda,” Hayes said. “The network’s powerful right-wing propagandists are bombarding their audiences with a steady stream of attacks on the Democratic nominees while lavishing positive airtime on the Republican ones.”

That’s largely true, but what he isn’t telling you is how his network has been working to prop up Democrats. In one single Lawrence O’Donnell show from last week he welcomed on Arizona’s Mark Kelly, Arizona’s Katie Hobbs, Texas’ Beto O’Rourke and New York’s Kathy Hochul.

Again, that was just one show. Four candidates running in tight midterm races, and every one a Democrat.

Credit where due, Fox News did host a town hall debate Tuesday night featuring Ohio candidates Republican J.D. Vance and Democrat Tim Ryan, who earned applause for calling out how some Republicans reacted to the recent political attack on Paul Pelosi.

“What Donald Trump Jr. did, he posted a pair of underwear that a, you know, a grandpa would wear with a hammer on it and said, ‘this is my Halloween uniform. I’m going as Paul Pelosi.’ That is an atrocious thing to do I don’t care. I’m sorry, but I don’t care what your politics are. It’s not about that. Is this the kind of country we’re going to leave to our kids and our grandkids? Where it’s okay if you disagree politically with the Speaker of the House that you can go in there and beat up her or her husband with a hammer? If that was a Republican. I would absolutely condemn it,” Ryan said.

How strange is it that a candidate of either party condemning political violence is actually newsworthy?

But these days, when a Democrat does so on Fox News in connection with violence against a Democrat and the Fox News audience supports him it is news. But of course, then Ryan has to defend himself on MSNBC for the grave sin of even appearing on Fox News.

“I went on Fox News because you have got to go in the lines than to even be able to access those other people. And we are and that’s why we are going to win this race. It’s because there are those other people who will vote for me. They feel like they are a person without a home and we want to give them a soft landing because we are all Americans,” Ryan said on MSNBC.

Candidates should be going on various networks even if it’s not a “friendly” environment because the marginalized moderate majority, the people who will likely decide most of the battleground elections, want it and ought to demand it.

Another rare example is Republican candidate for Arizona governor, Kari Lake, who went on liberal CNN and was, as expected, challenged repeatedly over her false claim Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election. Lake also would only commit to accepting election results if she was the winner.

Of course, it’s absurd that Lake will only commit to accepting results if she wins but it’s also absurd that this sort of tough interview is the outlier and not the norm these days?

Common questions on cable news lately have been, “why is the country so divided?” and ” why is political extremism is on the rise?”

Stop asking the questions, because the answers are, in part, that it’s their fault. The partisan cable news outlets divide us and the politicians follow their lead. So please, stop blaming everyone else and/or faking that you don’t know why it’s happening.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and not of NewsNation.

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