This Is Why We Laugh

This Is Why I Sigh.
May 1, 2018

MSNBC's long-running "This Is Why You Watch" promos are perfect but not in a way the left-leaning cable channel might hope: No campaign could better sum up this channel's snobbery and self-congratulation.

They're not as full-throatedly progressive as its past "Lean Forward" ads, when MSNBC's leftward bent was a key facet in its promotion. Those commercials featured such memorable bits as Rachel Maddow endzone-dancing over Barack Obama's re-election in 2012, Melissa Harris-Perry declaring children belonged to the community, and Al Sharpton saying Republicans were like kids stealing blueberry pie. They were really good.

Now, in this newer and less-obviously-but-still-left-wing MSNBC, we have powerful and fun moments from its coverage that are apparently meant to make us weak-kneed at the network's coolness and know-how. But they just make me chuckle.

Here in no particular order are the seven best promos from this campaign.

1) "This Is The Voice Of A Generation"

A dazzled Nicolle Wallace tells fellow "Republican Who Hates Republicans" Steve Schmidt that she is extremely impressed by the survivors of the Parkland high school massacre and their increasingly draconian calls for gun control, saying it appears Donald Trump and the NRA "have met their match" in these "Twitter-savvy warriors."

2) "This Is Call Waiting"

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) got a phone call one time from Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.), and MSNBC was on it.

3) "This Is How You Get An Answer"

MSNBC helpfully reminds viewers that Hillary Clinton loves Andrea Mitchell. The feeling appears mutual.

4) "This Is Subtly Getting The Scoop"

Maddow lavished Chris Hayes with praise at the conclusion of his April 17 broadcast for getting former Attorney General Eric Holder to say he was "thinking" about running for president. "You're such a better interviewer than I am," she said, to which he literally replied, "Stop it."

The ad is entitled "This is subtly getting the scoop." As much as I hate to burst MSNBC's bubble, Holder had frequently spoken about possibly running for president before that interview with Hayes. He did so here and here and here and here.

5) "This Is a Bedtime Story"

Lawrence O'Donnell read out the end of former FBI Director James Comey's book and passed along his message that while everything in the country is terrible, everything is also "going to be fine."

What a relief.

6) "This Is A Grassroots Campaign"

Speaking of Maddow and O'Donnell, another insufferable ad features her telling O'Donnell during a live handoff that she met someone who wants him to run for president.

God Almighty, imagine that display between Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity.

7) "This Is Morning Joes"

"Morning Joe" decided to promote then-Vice President Joe Biden getting raucous applause and cheers from its live audience while broadcasting at the Democratic National Convention. It kind of goes against the "holding both sides accountable" vibe MSNBC is trying to cultivate, no?