Add the Washington Post and Time Magazine to the list of organizations recently questioning the leftward shift by MSNBC. That list also includes the New York Times, the Associated Press…oh, and the White House.
Time magazine’s James Poniewozik takes on Keith Olbermann following the anchor’s Special Comment on Friday. “Olbermann is edging ever-closer to self-parody, or, worse, predictability,” he writes. “He sounds like just another of the cable gasbags he used to be a corrective to.”
Poniewozik, who voted for Obama, concludes, “Maybe the experience of being annoyed by someone you used to constantly agree with could teach political audiences something about how they have appeared all along to their adversaries.”
An MSNBC insider gave TVNewser another take. “MSNBC has doubled down on Keith Olbermann, but they give up a lot in doing that,” our insider said. “They didn’t set out to be left wing, they didn’t want to be left wing. But Keith Olbermann let the freak flag fly and did huge numbers as a result. I believe there’s a revolt coming.”
“NBC and its cable outlet have become more integrated since MSNBC moved to the 30 Rockefeller Plaza headquarters in New York last fall, a trend accelerated by the sharing of journalistic talent during the campaign,” writes Kurtz. “Some top NBC journalists say privately they are troubled by the overlapping identities.”
He writes of their primary night coverage, “anchored by (Chris) Matthews, a onetime Democratic operative, and Olbermann, the ‘Countdown’ host who recently finished one anti-Bush commentary by instructing the president to ‘shut the hell up.’”
NBC SVP Phil Griffin disagrees. “To call us an arm of the DNC is a joke,” he says. “We have people with multiple points of view. Everyone is getting a little thin-skinned. We argue and debate every topic.”