Barack Obama wasn’t the only beneficiary of the calamitous Bush years. Something of an industry punchline since its formation in 1996, MSNBC suddenly gained a comprehensible voice during the era, while pinning its hopes upon the inspiring senator from Illinois. Obama’s victory spelled success for the network, which saw a sizable ratings increase and began positioning itself as a viable alternative to the right-wing propaganda of Fox News. However, a close inspection of the station’s programming and an analysis of their celebrity hosts generate troubling questions about the state of the American media. MSNBC has shilled for Obama’s wars, defended the administration’s illegal spying programs and failed to hold our broken political system accountable. Medium Blue serves as a primer to help navigate the ultimate futility of our distinguished liberal media.

Michael Arria is a journalist living on the East Coast who covers American politics and culture. His work has appeared in Vice, CounterPunch, and Truthout. (CounterPunch books)

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