MSNBC has drawn criticism from pundits from both parties, other journalists and the White House, for the perceived, and often obvious, leftward shift of their lead political anchors Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann.
“Every Tuesday night Keith is up there as the face of NBC News. That’s a problem,” says our source. “[Tim] Russert is upset about it. Russert has spent 20 years building credibility. All of a sudden he’s taking questions from Keith Olbermann, the Daily Kos blogger?”
Without the presence of Russert, the network has become a lampoon of itself (See the
Daily show parody of the MSNBC Feud above). If you think what you see on the air is bad, take a gander at what is happening behind the scenes (from Jossip.com)
The other story from the DNC
MSNBC’s internal fighting is far from over — nor is the reporting on it. We hear the Wall Street Journal‘s Rebecca Dana will have something up for tomorrow’s paper (albeit leaning in the network’s favor), which follows our own regular reports, as well as the Drudge-linked Politico story from Michael Calderone. Meanwhile, in the past few hours we’ve spoke to a number of 30 Rock staffers in Denver, New York, and Washington — some of whom thought it more productive to speak to us than attend to the on-going live DNC coverage — and the common wisdom is: 1) Nobody can believe how much Keith Olbermann is getting away with, even if he does draw ratings; 2) As an Olbermann protege, Rachel Maddow is attracting negative feelings from staffers, since she stays mum on many of these catfights, but “there’s still time” to represent; 3) MSNBC head Phil Griffin is alienating staffers by publicly defending Olbermann while privately bashing him, and it’s left many wondering when that will leak (oops); 4) MSNBC publicist Jeremy Gaines appears increasing stressed out and can be seen “shaking” with a phone attached to his ear dealing with reporters; 5) You don’t want to run into Chris Matthews anytime soon, especially en route to the bathroom, because he has zero pleasant things to say right now; 6) Joe Scarborough is definitely stressed, but he’s managed to calm down a bit today and can be seen laughing and gabbing; 7) None of this is helping ratings, with MSNBC scoring the lowest numbers against Fox News and CNN in convention coverage. And one last thing: Nobody, including all of MSNBC, believes Phil Griffin when he says “MSNBC does not have an ideology … We hire smart people who are passionate about their love of politics and love of news.” Says one veteran off-camera staffer: “Bullshit … It’s a total farce.” It’s a shame that MSNBC can’t own up to the way it’s leaning, if only because now it can’t separate itself from