MSNBC Gets Ayn Rand Wrong

Microsoft’s media venture with NBC Universal’s NBC News, MSNBC, is at it again, propagandizing for the Obama administration and distorting the news, which it does nearly full-time with its roster of former Democratic Party operatives (Chris Matthews, Lawrence O’Donnell), most favored former government spouses (Mrs. Alan Greenspan, Andrea Mitchell, who never discloses that fact), and lying Christian preachers such as its new host, the Reverend Al Sharpton. Now, they’re lying about Ayn Rand.

In yesterday’s broadcast of the cable news channel’s Rachel Maddow program, the hostess, who had railed against Tea Party Republicans for refusing to compromise with the Obama administration, calling the nation’s imminent so-called default an “apocalyptic deadline”, interviewed an old Washington Post journalist named E.J. Dionne and promptly missed her cue by mispronouncing the name Ayn Rand. The pompous hostess makes a habit of snorting and sniffing her way through all sorts of other people’s mistakes, so one would think she would be more careful. It’s Ayn, pronounced like the word mine, not Ann as she stated. Then Ms. Maddow proceeded to let her guest completely misrepresent Rand and her famous novel, The Fountainhead. In the video segment, linked here [link no longer available] in its entirety with the errors contained at approximately 14:00, Dionne falsely stated that the 1943 novel by Ayn Rand is her first. The Fountainhead is not her first novel. That was We the Living.

Dionne, in a set-up segment which was clearly discussed if not rehearsed in advance, proceeded to falsely assert that, in The Fountainhead, when the main character doesn’t get his way, he “blows up a building”. Wrong, E.J. Dionne. Not only is the insinuation that the novel’s protagonist, architect Howard Roark, cavalierly acts on a whim when he doesn’t get what he wants, a total misrepresentation of the novel; to state that Roark “blows up a building” is to distort the plot and theme of Rand’s literary masterpiece, a bestseller still in print which has sold millions of copies and is taught in schools across the country. What E.J. Dionne (and Ms. Maddow and MSNBC by refusing to correct these errors) fail to grasp is that it’s his building, in every sense, and that’s the point of the novel. Roark created the building, contracted for its exact design and construction on simple, narrowly defined terms and one basic condition, and it is essentially his to destroy.

Expecting the lowest standards of journalism from this corrupt media outlet, which I have defended, even praised, in the past, is too much. Errors and distortions are routine in MSNBC programming (Dionne’s error originates in his commentary in the similarly slanted Washington Post), though welfare state and status quo advocate Dionne’s failure to grasp the concept of property ownership comes with the territory. It took eight months for Newsweek to correct MSNBC pundit Howard Fineman’s smear against Ayn Rand following my blog post about his mistake. With any luck and the help of an MSNBC or Post intern or executive with integrity and a mind of his or her own, Maddow’s and Dionne’s attempt to disparage Ayn Rand and the Tea Party movement won’t stand uncorrected that long. Don’t count on it and expect more lies and distortions. The rich and powerful intellectual fusion of the press and the state, best exemplified by MSNBC, more than state-sponsored NPR and PBS, knows that they’re fighting the philosophy of Ayn Rand. The contest is just getting started.

[7/24/2011 Update: No response to my request for a correction from E.J. Dionne at the Washington Post]

[12/08/2011 Update: Still no response to my request for a correction from E.J. Dionne at the Washington Post]

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