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Olbermann & Matthews: “Forget the Scuttle, Don’t You See How We Get Along?”

msnbc_9-3.JPGMSNBC was looking for some fireworks that would help boost their ratings during the political conventions, but the fireworks came on-air instead.

This week at the RNC, the tone is different. Broadcasting & Cable’s Joel Topcik notes MSNBC is, “pulling itself together and looking like a news network again.”

Of course, there’s a major difference in the coverage this week — Keith Olbermann, their lead anchor, is in New York.

MSNBC president Phil Griffin tells TVNewser how the decision was made for Olbermann to stay in New York. And it all began in Chicago. Griffin and Olbermann were at the Chicago Cubs game Saturday, separately. Olbermann also went to Sunday’s game and, during a morning email exchange, Griffin suggested Olbermann should go back to New York, instead of on to St. Paul. Olbermann responded “Seriously?”

“I made the decision to send Keith back on Sunday, early afternoon. It looked like the storm was going to be the story in the beginning of the week and I needed him in the right position to own that story,” Griffin tells TVNewser.

But several insiders we talked to have questioned why Olbermann, who has attacked Republicans regularly on his show, was the only cable anchor covering the RNC from New York.

Several sources inside NBC and MSNBC have told TVNewser there is truth to many of the stories that have been discussed, rumored and reported about Olbermann and Matthews over the past week.

So, TVNewser asked Chris Matthews today in St. Paul. “We’re complementary first of all,” Matthews says. “He’s a broadcaster, I’m sort of a political guy, he’s a broadcaster.”

And the comparisons don’t end there. But do they truly get along?

Matthews goes in-depth about that after the jump…


“He’s very professional, very orderly in his way,” Matthews says of Olbermann. “He operates in a very professional, predictable…well he’s obviously a strong performer. But he obviously operates in a very orderly…and I don’t mean this as a put-down but…predictable. He’s a very strongly predicable person in the way of his professionalism. I’m uneven and, what’s the right word, flamboyant and impulsive.”

As for the first dual-location convention broadcast Monday, Matthews says, “I think it was pretty smooth last night.”

But Matthews tells TVNewser, “You gotta watch it. Don’t you see that we get along? Forget the scuttle, don’t you see how we get along? I think it’s pretty obvious we get along.”

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