MSNBC FEELS THE HEAT…. There were probably multiple explanations for shaking up MSNBC’s anchor team for political events, but the available evidence suggests the right complained enough to make the network act.
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.
That the network would decide to make some kind of change is not a huge surprise. There were some high-profile, on-air squabbles over the last couple of weeks.
Ultimately, though, it appears Republicans were incensed by a perceived ideological balance, and outraged by the presence of perceived liberals on television, and MSNBC felt compelled to respond to the complaints.
Simultaneously, Fox News announced over the weekend that it, too, was shaking up its coverage, and, in response to complaints from Democrats, would no longer allow Brit Hume and Bill Kristol to anchor the network’s coverage of major political events.
No, no, I’m just kidding. MSNBC doesn’t want those perceived as biased anchoring its coverage, but Fox News remains unconcerned about charges of a Republican bias.