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MSNBC’s Great Lean Forward

MSNBC’s Great Lean Forward

MSNBC has given up any pretense of being a news organization, and is staking out an explicitly left-wing political persona as part of a new marketing campaign under the slogan, “Lean Forward.”

As reported by The New York Times:

MSNBC, once the also-ran but now the No. 2 cable news channel, has a new tagline that embraces its progressive political identity.

The tagline, “Lean Forward,” will be publicly announced Tuesday, opening a planned two-year advertising campaign intended to raise awareness of the channel among viewers, advertisers and distributors.

The tagline “defines us and defines our competition,” said Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC, his implication being that the Fox News Channel, which is No. 1 in cable news and a home for conservatives, is leaning backward. Fox’s best-known tagline is “Fair and Balanced.”

Some of the new MSNBC ads include shots of President Obama on his election night; others, directed by the filmmaker Spike Lee, showcase hosts like Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow preparing for their nightly programs; and still others feature quotes like “the future belongs to the fearless.”

One has to question the wisdom of a network throwing in completely and exclusively with the left, considering that self-identified liberals are only 20% of the population.  When the best one can do is 20%, that is not exactly a pathway to the top.

The new MSNBC branding campaign also reminds me of Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” slogan, but I’m sure that is pure coincidence.  The Great Leap Forward killed 45 million people;  MSNBC’s slogan will kill only its own credibility.

I think MSNBC would have been better served with a slogan along the lines of:

“Your time is a terrible thing to waste.”

Update:  Thanks to reader Unlikely Hospitalist for reminding us in the comments of the other situation in which someone tells us to “lean forward.”

And Tom Maguire gets more to the point:

Oh, geez – why don’t they just lean the rest of the way and announce that the new progressive slogan is “Bend Over”? 

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But isn't Mao one of their heros? So it seems the new tagline is quite apropos.

People are already aware of MSNBC. That's why they don't watch it.
We know which way they lean and it ain't forward.

A more honest slogan would be " We despise most of you but can you watch us anyway…?"

"Lean Forward"? What a joke. Didn't One Nation have signs "Forward Together"? What does "MoveOn" mean? Hope, Change, "We are the ones we have been waiting for", yada, yada, blah, blah. I assume "Forward" is code for "Progress".

All of this combines to make that sound of water circling the drain. Unfortunately, these progressives are like "floaters" – the turds that never get flushed away.

MSNBC has credibility?

Anyhow, we know how well being a progressive only station worked for Air America. Not even enough listeners to beat tiny niche radio stations, no advertising revenue to speak of, now defunct. As MSNBC's revenues tank, will GE pull the plug and "reboot?" It's kinda hard for companies to continue advertising on a station that has a dying viewership.

Lean Forward…That's funny. It's the same thing I say to patients before administering a rectal exam. Followed by, "this will hurt you more than me."

I think MSNBC should have leaned forward a bit more and truly captured the progressive agenda with this slogan – "Bend Over".

Tom Maguire

Just confirming what we already knew; at least they're not hiding their agenda any more.

I for one am really glad they're finally giving up on any pretenses. All the MSM should be honest about their beliefs and goals instead of making people figure out their biases over time. In the first half of last century news organizations were mostly all opinion and partisan. It's better for each company to take a stand and let the market decide instead of everyone falling over themselves to claim they are the most objective.

Step 1. Lean forward
Step 2. Face plant

I'm sure there's a joke to be made about "Lien Forward". I'm just not witty enough to make it.

Malclave, it's the old 'pay it forward' aphorism recast in today's debt-happy society. Perfect descriptor of the catastrophically Keynesian Democrat mindset.

MSNBC, Newsweek, Air America… you'd think they'd learn. But, sadly, it's all of a piece with the progressive mindset: when their ideas fail, instead of thinking, "Hm, maybe these ideas suck," they think, "MORE!! BIGGER!! THEN it will WORK!"

You guys are a sad joke. Neither this article nor its comments have any credibility whatsoever. All you're doing is trying to figure out the best insult for Fox's rival news channel which just beat CNN in the ratings. I'd rather Lean Forward than stay stuck in the past like you trolls.

Obama won. Get over it.


hello, i wanted to make certain that this Blog is known to all as defamatory, and full of lies. The President of MSNBC said that the new slogan has nothing to do with being a progressive, but rather it was meant for people to think ahead instead of living in the past, like Fox News viewers tend to do. MSNBC is currently number two as far as "News Stations", although neither are actual News Stations. I give you the E for effort, but the F for failing at your reasonings.