For a few weeks now, we've had to live without MSNBC. Well, and a couple of other channels too, like CNBC and HLN and whatever the hell Channel 68 is on my Charter Cable system.
Because we've not had a cable box on our two oldish TVs now for ages. Why? Because I'm cheap, because I didn't really need it, and because the cable coming out of my wall worked just fine, thank you very much, giving me the channels I wanted. But now Charter is slowly moving some channels off the non-cable-box system. In other words, we've been losing some channels as time goes by. Among those, MSNBC and CNBC.
I'm a journalism guy. In the mornings I skim from channels 41 to 46 to see how stuff is being covered. For those of you not Charter customers in Athens, Ga., that's, in order, The Weather Channel, CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, HLN, and Fox News. Of those, I still have weather and CNN and Fox, so I have access to news (including the always amusing and seldom sensical Fox & Friends in the morning).
But I miss Morning Joe.
I don't miss Morning Joe because it's particularly good. It's not. It is better than Fox & Friends, but that's damning with the faintest of praise, and it's a show I enjoyed watching while ironing my clothes and finishing my coffee because there was usually something said so dumb I can use it later in a blog or class. Plus I like jumping across channels when big news breaks to see how CNN is covering the news and how Fox hosts are staring off at an unseen monitor on CNN so they can talk about the news (rather than cover it).
Joe Scarborough is annoying, but okay. Co-host, Mika Brzezinski, is just annoying. While I'm not sure how I feel about Willie Geist, he'd be fun to have a beer with. There is a chemistry of sorts among them and others on the program that works, even as they drive you nuts, and I do miss them in the mornings. I also miss comparing the networks later in the day or in the evening when something breaks, and it's probably time for me to pony up and buy/rent cable boxes to go on my aging regular (not flatscreen) television sets, but that seems an awfully high cost just to see Joe Scarborough. And let me be clear, most of the rest of the MSNBC lineup I don't miss at all. Yes, Rachel Maddow is excellent at what she does, I just don't watch her that often.
I don't miss Headline News. At all. I do miss CNBC just a little, but luckily I have their app on my iPad to show me how I'll never retire. And whatever the heck Channel 68 is, I don't really care.
The point is, I'm not exactly sure why I no longer get these channels because getting an answer out of Charter Cable is damn near impossible. I assume those channels have gone to a digital signal that requires a box, or it's just that Charter wants to torture me until I rent their box, or maybe I'm not supposed to know exactly what is going on.
Sigh ... I probably will surrender. But not without a fight.