Current TV president: MSNBC only ‘trots out’ liberal viewpoints at night
Current TV president David Bohrman wants to transform his channel into a 24-hour liberal news network.
“[Current owners] Al Gore and Joel Hyatt got the brilliant idea to go and try to hire Keith [Olbermann],” Bohrman told CNN’s Howard Kurtz Sunday. “They did, and discovered lightning.”
“And all of a sudden, they realized that that was going to be the destiny of what the network is,” he added. “And so they hired me to completely transform the network from a bunch of taped documentaries that have been cycling through the day, to a live news analysis, discussion television network that’s going hopefully 24 hours a day, talking about the events of the day and finding other people with something to say like Keith.”
“But with Olbermann not only as the host of Countdown, but the chief news officer of Current, is this going to be an all-liberal network?” Kurtz asked.
“I think it will provide a fair amount of time for liberal viewpoints to be made. It’s not going to be exclusively liberal viewpoints, and we’re going to try not to hide behind the word ‘progressive,’ that I think so many liberals do, and then the people on the right, the conservative world, scoff at,” Bohrman explained.
“Isn’t there already a liberal commentary network, at least at night, MSNBC, where Olbermann worked? And do you see Current as taking viewers from MSNBC and perhaps from CNN, as well?” Kurtz pressed.
“Well, I see us taking viewers from them both. I think MSNBC trots it out a little bit at night. I think most of the day, 20 hours a day, it’s the NBC News network,” Bohrman said. “And the one trap even at night that I think we see at MSNBC, and I think we see here even at CNN, as well, there’s almost this false equivalency where everything is a minute on this opinion and then a minute a counter-opinion… There’s too much yelling and shouting for the appearance of balance.”
“Let me ask you about the elephant in the room. A lot of people have asked me, well, does your taking this job suggest that you were a closet liberal during your years here at CNN?” Kurtz wondered.
“I do feel like I crossed a line and have been somewhat — and outed myself,” Bohrman admitted.
Watch this video from CNN’s Reliable Sources, broadcast Aug. 14, 2011.