So Much for Freedom of the Press

This year MSNBC canceled that useless tool Tucker Carlson, and they’ve given Rachel Maddow her own program. But Brian Stelter at the New York Times reports that MSNBC has taken two steps back.

MSNBC tried a bold experiment this year by putting two politically incendiary hosts, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, in the anchor chair to lead the cable news channel’s coverage of the election.

Just about everyone on any political cable program is “politically incendiary.” But if you’re a politically incendiary right-winger, you’re OK.

That experiment appears to be over.

After months of accusations of political bias and simmering animosity between MSNBC and its parent network NBC, the channel decided over the weekend that the NBC News correspondent and MSNBC host David Gregory would anchor news coverage of the coming debates and election night. Mr. Olbermann and Mr. Matthews will remain as analysts during the coverage.

I was watching MSNBC through both conventions. The real fireworks usually were between Pat Buchanan and Rachel Maddow. I assume from this that Olbermann and Matthews will still be present, just not anchoring.

The change — which comes in the home stretch of the long election cycle — is a direct result of tensions associated with the channel’s perceived shift to the political left.

“The most disappointing shift is to see the partisan attitude move from prime time into what’s supposed to be straight news programming,” said Davidson Goldin, formerly the editorial director of MSNBC and a co-founder of the reputation management firm DolceGoldin.

Again, the fact that most cable news presented little else but an unfiltered right-wing view for years was not controversial.

Rightie bloggers are doing a victory dance. Only their point of view is allowed on national media. Free speech? Ha.


It was obviously also a result of the spitting and hissing between the two anchors during the coverage, but it’s pretty clear that NBC is taking some serious heat from the GOP and this is, after all, the house that Jack built. They’ll keep Matthews and Olberman on, of course, and they’ve added Maddow. But the word has gone forth and there will be adjustments, many of them small and nearly subconscious. They will hardly even know they’re doing it.

6 thoughts on “So Much for Freedom of the Press

  1. Unfucking believeable, how can any serious person or group criticize MSNBC for liberal bias when we have FAUX news out there openly and proudly shilling for the corporate and fringe political right. The entire 24hrs of programming at FAUX is carefully crafted to brainwash the ingnorant viewer into a political haze of slogans and anti-democrtatic rhetoric. FAUX did not even bother to show the invocation, presentation of colors or the national anthem at the last night of the DNC. They showed it everynight of the RNC.

  2. “Reputation management firm”?!?

    OK, now that I’m done trying to figure out how one goes from ‘editorial director’ to ‘reputation management’ (which probably is saying a lot of things I would rather not hear), I think the real win for the right is being able to successfully style Chris Matthews as a ‘liberal’ . There isn’t a lefty worthy of the name who would consider Matthews to be such a creature…

  3. Apparently, being an objective anchor means you can’t be visibly disgusted when one party turns an aching national tragedy into a partisan football. One of the things people claim was a problem was Keith saying that the 9/11 video shouldn’t have been shown. Supposedly, he would have been fine saying that in an analyst’s chair, but not as the anchor.

    Personally, I can forgive Keith for not understanding where the network wanted to draw the line between anchor and analyst, since they had “anchor” Tom Brokaw in an analyst chair, and being quite opinionated in McCain’s favor, imho.

  4. Once again having the highest ratings means you’re fired, just like Phil Donahue. Go ahead, GE, tell us the one where it’s about business and viewers.

  5. Thankfully, I turned off the TV and walked away many years ago. Solves so many problems and aggravations.

  6. As if we needed any evidence that the government is controlling the press, how come the MSM didn’t mainstream into our living rooms pictures of the recent demonstrations outside the Repub convention in St. Paul. Beyond odd given that the media have a love-affair with violence, from car chases, burning houses, plane crashes, missing children, killer moms and dads, cop shows, war movies…the list is endless. But the violent scenes in St. Paul? Off government ordained limits.

Comments are closed.