Liz is not a ‘great guest’

LIZ IS NOT A ‘GREAT GUEST’…. Liz Cheney made four television appearances yesterday, showing up on all three major cable networks. She’s made seven national appearances since Monday. Media Matters updated its comprehensive list, and found that Liz Cheney has been on national television 22 times in the last 24 days.

Mind you, Liz Cheney is not a journalist or a media professional. She’s not a celebrity or a candidate for public office. She doesn’t work for a news outlet, government agency, party, think tank, or activist organization. She isn’t known for saying anything especially provocative, amusing, counter-intuitive, or thought-provoking.

Liz Cheney is given a media platform, over and over again, to defend her father, attack the president, and repeat transparently ridiculous Republican talking points. None of the networks that has featured her on-air “analysis” seem to find it at all strange that they’re seeking political commentary on Dick Cheney’s national security efforts from his own daughter.

Greg Sargent chatted with MSNBC this afternoon about the odd trend.

MSNBC is shrugging off the growing criticism of the extensive airtime the network has granted Liz Cheney to mount a political defense of her father and a political offensive against the Obama administration, with a network spokesperson saying, “Liz is a great guest.”

As more critics are beginning to notice, Liz Cheney is not an ordinary GOP commentator. She is an active spokesperson on her father’s behalf at a time when questions about how to handle the Bush torture program are actively being debated by the White House and Congress. Her appearances are not comparable to those of conventional GOP guests.

Yet … Liz Cheney has been granted a near-constant platform on MSNBC to act as her father’s chief defender and go after Obama, often without meaningful challenge from either a co-guest or from anchors. They also note that it’s unclear what makes her newsworthy enough, in and of herself, to merit all that airtime.

The whole of the defense is, “Liz is a great guest.”

Except, that’s not at all true. Liz Cheney not only lies routinely on national television, she occasionally even repeats bogus arguments that even her father won’t say. My friend Rachel Maddow joked last night, “Liz Cheney is still on TV — making news by apparently making stuff up.”

This isn’t to pick on MSNBC, which has featured Liz Cheney’s on-air attacks four times in the last eight days, and six times in the last 24 days. The other cable nets are just as bad.

There’s no modern precedent for such a ridiculous arrangement. Dick Cheney launches a crusade against the White House, and to supplement his attacks, the networks turn to his daughter — 22 times in 24 days?

This isn’t journalism. It’s just crazy.