Shake Up At MSNBC

Poor MSNBC has always been on the bottom with respect to cable news. For several years it attempted to be a conservative Fox News imitator, believing that’s where the money was. It never did a very good job of it and conservatives never had any reason to leave Fox. After Keith Olbermann became a hit they finally realized that with conservatives dominating the broadcast media, and with CNN having turned into the Conservative News Network(although far less biased than Fox) after Ted Turner left, there was money to be made with offering a home to liberal viewers.

This never worked out too well either. More Democrats wound up watching the convention on CNN than on MSNBC (with Republicans still sticking with Fox). Having Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews anchor political coverage was often more interesting than the other networks, but it was, to be mild, journalistically flawed. This especially proved to be a problem as the reputation of MSNBC also affected the reputation of NBC. The New York Times reports that Olbermann and Matthews are to be removed as anchors for the remainder of the coverage of the election.

From an entertainment point of view I am a little disappointed. MSNBC was often the network to turn to when the actual news was slow. It certainly could not be called objective journalism but it was the next best thing to having Jon Stewart as anchor. Perhaps the best thing to do would be to have a serious anchor and mix in personalities such as Olbermann and Rachel Maddow for commentary from the left, Pat Buchanan and Joe Scarborough for coverage from the right, and I’m not exactly sure what Chris Matthews might be good for beyond random screaming.

For now the plan is to have David Gregory anchor the coverage the nights of the debates and for election night coverage. There will be episodes of Countdown both before and after the debates. Other nights liberals will also have Rachel Maddow, whose new show begins on Monday.


  1. 1
    TheBad says:

    I’m waiting for all the moonbats to start screaming Karl Rove did it. When in fact most people in this country are smart enough to make their own options on matters, and was tired of listening to these two. They may have destroyed Hillery in the primaries, with their smears, but enough is enough.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    While Matthews was unfair to Hillary at times, it was Hillary who destroyed Hillary by her outrageous conduct in this race.

    Some on the left will be angry but hopefully they will think about it and realize Olbermann should not be anchor for the same reasons they like his commentary. This might even free him up to offer harder hitting commentary if he is not in the anchor chair. Some later reports even suggest that Olbermann himself suggested the move.

  3. 3
    Scott P says:

    Ok, I’m sorry, Olbermann and Matthews may be imperfect, but David Gregory is an absolute moron!  Everything out of that guy’s mouth is delivered with with complete conviction, and yet what he’s saying makes absolutely no sense. There’s no way I’m gonna watch that idiot all night long, and no way I’m gonna resort to CNN. I guess it’s just all blogosphere from here on in….

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    That’s a different question. Olbermann and Mattthews should have roles other than as anchors. Whether Gregory is the one to be anchor is a different matter.

  5. 5
    MsJoanne says:

    Notice that the GOP started screaming NBC when Palin was talking about the mean-old press. This is as concerted an effort to shut up dissent as any others. The rounding up of the indy media as a preemptive strike, the quashing of protesters (while the GOP nazi brethern cheered on), the heavy handed hatred which spewed from the television set into millions of homes, the propaganda of the 9/11 tribute.
    It is OK for Fox to be completely partisan and that is perfectly alright with the GOP. Bush Sr. goes on Limbaugh and while thinking he is off mic asks, “How’s our man Ailes?”
    This is all a very concerted effort to get dissenting voices off of the air. And they are going to show how to do it by making sure Palin doesn’t speak to anyone at NBC or MSNBC. They are laying down rules for talking to Palin and gave the first interview to a very friendly Gibson.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Of course the right wing started screaming about criticism form MSNBC contributing to this. That doesn’t change the fact that from a journalistic point of view Olbermann and Matthews made poor anchors (even if they were the most entertaining to watch).

    Fox continues to be partisan in their coverage (with a handful of exceptions which I have noted recently). It makes it easier to criticize Fox’s partisan coverage when conservatives can’t respond that MSNBC is acting similarly from the left. It is easiest to criticize Fox when they are the only one which has such highly partisan coverage.

  7. 7
    SeaSiren says:

    It’s really a sad commentary in this country that voices are being quieted. It does not say much in this country that people blame the messenger. Olberman has turned into something I cannot watch anymore. Chris drove me crazy becuase no one can get a word in anyway.

  8. 8
    MarionY says:

    I love Olbermann and he was great as anchor. Matthews leaves a lot to be desired. Gregory is a dunce and has been exposed as a right-wing pundit.  He has no business as a anchor, and is a poor pundit to boot. I’m with Scott P and will get my news coverage online. I’ve had it with the fascist takeover of our media.

  9. 9
    Ron Chusid says:

    ” I’m with Scott P and will get my news coverage online”

    Cable news has been a poor source of news regardless of who has been on. It is necessary for events which are best viewed, such as debates and conventions, but newspapers remain far better sources of meaningful information.

  10. 10
    Cheryl says:

    Wow… I never realized how easy it is to manipulate the media until this election.  It appears that the GOP has the upper hand here, crying foul when the voices don’t parrot their warped talking points and ultimately getting their way.  I think that Keith and Chris are brave to go against the republican grain, by simply speaking the truth despite possible backlash.  Republicans win elections because they manipulate the press and are able to sell Americans a bill of goods that no one can challenge without fear of retribution.  I’m sickened by this process and the GOP.  I don’t think that David Gregory is unbiased.  I’ve watched him many times and it is apparent that he leans to the right.  It’s so sad that in a country that boasts and brags about it’s democracy, the American people tend to base their decisions on the ebb and flow of media coverage.  Whoever controls the media, wins the election regardless of the issues.  It’s so very pathetic.  Broad mass ignorance is a factor, true; but ruthless power and money hungry politicians win and Americans across this land lose… and the beat goes on.  Democracy?  What about the tapes from Palin’s church… ALASKA IS THE REFUGE STATE FOR THE LAST DAYS…  WHAT IS THAT NONSENSE ABOUT.  Why aren’t those comments being looped endlessly, ad nauseum in the media???  What a difference!  What a distinct and profound difference???  Bias?  YOU BET!

  11. 11
    MsJoanne says:

    I think this is probably the worst of attacking the corporate media and forcing an agenda upon US.  It was equally troubling when the police and DHS preemptively arrested independent media and photographers before the Republican National Convention, not to mention the torture that was inflicted upon average American citizens.

    The media is just one branch of the very rotted tree.

    And we are in the process of being flushed into a very deep pit of excrement; America is rapidly losing what once made us America.

  12. 12
    OCKerouac says:

    First off, great blog. I appreciate some insightful ‘left’ leaning content that isn’t ‘tin foil hat’ crazy…

    Second, while I am a huge Olbermann fan, ultimately television news, radio stations, and print media are all companies, not non-profit organizations. As such, NBC made the determination that they were not garnering ratings with Keith and Chris, and reacted accordingly. This is totally their right, and honestly, makes nothing but sense from their point of view. Any viewer who is upset by this should stick to watching Countdown and the new Rachel Maddow show and get their debate coverage from CSPAN. If MSNBC’s ratings drop off even further without Kieth and Chris, they will react accordingly because they are not poor business people.

    Third, The bigger point is there is no ‘The Media’. There are a number of companies who own media outlets and report with the bias that makes the most money. The best idea is to take all news coverage with a grain of salt and recognize that whether a statement comes from the right or the left, the truth of the matter is likely going to be someplace in the middle. My personal belief is that it is often closer to the left’s half of the middle, but that’s just me…

  13. 13
    Ms.DonnaG says:

    What is happening when people who have the power to change a channel at any time they choose let the pressure from the right dictate to stations what the masses can and cannot watch on cable news?  First comcast switches MSNBC to higher cable service so that the average individual contracting for basic cable can not longer pick up MSNBC and now pressure from other cable news shows dictates who our anchors are to be.  Soon we will just turn on the set and have only the products shown available to us to purchase or to watch.  So much for democracy!!  Love ya Keith –Chris too–Bet Tim Russert is turning in his grave!!

  14. 14
    N00bs says:

    Oh noes, MSNBC is not on basic cable!! Guess what, Fox News isn’t on the basic Dish Network package either. Vast left-wing conspiracy? C’mon, be fair and balanced…lol.

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