Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Matthews and Olbermann out for election coverage

How amusing? Very amusing, at least for us and sensible Americans who are sick of this duo:

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.

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.

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.

Executives at the channel’s parent company, NBC Universal, had high hopes for MSNBC’s coverage of the political conventions. Instead, the coverage frequently descended into on-air squabbles between the anchors, embarrassing some workers at NBC’s news division, and quite possibly alienating viewers. Although MSNBC nearly doubled its total audience compared with the 2004 conventions, its competitive position did not improve, as it remained in last place among the broadcast and cable news networks. In prime time, the channel averaged 2.2 million viewers during the Democratic convention and 1.7 million viewers during the Republican convention.

Do we think that MSNBC has learned it's lesson? Hell no because these two hacks still have their jobs. Their biased and vile commentary during the RNC should have been enough to get them booted, but they're not ready to do that just yet. And as to how bad it's gotten between MSNBC, and the parent affiliate NBC, well, we'll let one senior staffer tell you:

In interviews, 10 current and former staff members said that long-simmering tensions between MSNBC and NBC reached a boiling point during the conventions. “MSNBC is behaving like a heroin addict,” one senior staff member observed. “They’re living from fix to fix and swearing they’ll go into rehab the next week.”

Ouch. That smarts. That's going to leave a mark. But it's true. While they increased their ratings during the primaries and the conventions, they still came in dead last in the ratings race. That's a reflection of the discontent people have with the network, and the two faces that are representative of the network. People know who Matthews and Olbermann are, and we honestly haven't met or spoken with anyone who really likes either guy. (An old friend of mine that used to watch ESPN when Olbermann was on it complained to me that Olbermann has gone completely nuts during the RNC.)

At least with David Gregory we might see a fairer view of the election. We know, and apparently MSNBC knows it too, that if those two are on the screen on election night they will murder the ratings when John McCain wins the night. They'll seethe and expose their very apparent bias even more. MSNBC made the right choice here because the last thing they need to do is destroy what is left of their already tattered credibility.

HT to Captain Ed and William Amos.

Publius II


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