MSNBC’s Stance on What’s “Bonkers”

On December 1, MSNBC’s Steven Benen published Christie, Rubio stumble bad on basics, to discuss the current controversy over the climate crisis. MSNBC began by quoting President Obama and his thoughts on the importance of taking this issue seriously.

Right off the back, it appears that MSNBC started to create a game frame for their article by saying, “Obama added, in a not-so-subtle shot at the Republican radicals running to replace him, ‘I think the president of the United States is going to need to think this is really important. Your credibility and America’s ability to influence events depends on taking seriously what other countries care about.’” Taking it even further, the New York Times was quoted in saying that the Republican Party is starting to “resemble a Soviet dictatorship” in regards to climate change.

It is clear that Benen is starting to create his angle towards this topic, and it’s a biased one.

Benen goes on to pick apart New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s comment about “going off of his feelings” in regards to the unimportance of the climate crisis by making a mockery of his “feelings” and framing him to not be a suitable contender for the presidential elections if he doesn’t provide the facts, and only provides feelings.

However, Christie was not the heart of article, rather it was Florida Sen. Marco Rubio who received the most of Benen’s lashes. When Rubio became the target, there was no stopping until Rubio’s legitimacy for running for president came to the table.

It all began with Rubio’s “stale” comments on how the climate is always changing and the need to focus on the trillions of dollars the United States is in debt for.

Taking from this, Benen framed Rubio as being, “one of the wonkier members of the Republican presidential field” and adds, “To the extent that reality still matters, the notion that the national debt – poses a greater threat to the future than the climate crisis is simply bonkers.” Which concludes him to end on the questioning if Rubio were elected president next year, he would be the only head of state to reject climate change.

All-in-all, Benen started with a game frame and did not stop until he alienated the Republican Party’s presidential candidates thoughts on climate science.

Time will only tell if Steve Benen’s stance persuades the audience into thinking that the Republican presidential candidate, Marco Rubio, is truly bonkers.

MSNBC Article – Christie, Rubio stumble badly on basics

NY Times Article on Republicans resembling a Soviet dictatorship

MSNBC’s Stance on What’s “Bonkers”

One thought on “MSNBC’s Stance on What’s “Bonkers”

  1. Your analysis of both articles reified the framing I noticed in regards to the press’ current coverage of climate change. Strangely, the media always seems to address climate change as a political issue while also alluding to its obvious existence. This is interesting because by politicizing the issue, as Benen’s article does, climate change becomes a political problem rather than a global concern.

    It also makes sense that Gov. Christie was not the focus of the article as his lack of popularity contributes to an overall lack of interest in the press. Sen. Rubio’s comments are not unusual in terms of declarations usually made by the Republican base. Although Benen uses his quotations because they are both current and relevant to current climate negotiations, Sen. Rubio’s comments are are no way unique. In analyzing the article’s bias, not only can it be viewed as partisan because of its focus on climate change but its subject matter is not new to MSNBC. MSNBC is able to gather opposing Republican climate change comments on a regular basis.

    As you mention, the game frame is used to discredit the opposition. In the case of Benen’s article, it is clearly evident. After brainstorming ways in which MSNBC could point out Sen. Rubio’s discrediting of climate change’s existence, I too could not view it counter to a game frame argument. I believe this proves that the game frame not only permeates the partisan media, but influences us to describe current events in a similar fashion.


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