The MSNBC Primetime Obama Tax Deal Schism: O’Donnell vs. Olbermann and Maddow…
When Lawrence O’Donnell joined MSNBC a couple of months ago, the conventional wisdom was that MSNBC now had three hours of Liberal/Progressive programming (or Socialist in O’Donnell’s self-described case) and the theory was you wouldn’t be seeing much of an ideological change between 8pm and 11pm ET. Well the conventional wisdom may have to be rethought because MSNBC is now presenting a fractured schism between two polar opposites on a major issue dominating our news cycle: Obama’s Tax Deal.
Last night the first two hours of MSNBC prime showed Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow launch full frontal assaults on Obama’s Deal with Olbermann turning in a twelve minute long Special Comment blasting Obama for appease-ism followed by Rachel Maddow doing a methodical dissection of what’s fundamentally wrong with this deal. So far so good. Everyone’s on the same page.
But then the clock turned ten and The Last Word took a decidedly different tact. O’Donnell had on a panel of progressives where he made clear his position that this deal was the best thing Obama could do at this juncture and that a Congressional showdown between Democrats and Republicans over tax policy of the type Olbermann was urging would not work. As part of Olbermann’s Special Comment he cited a statement from Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu that she would do everything in her power to stop this deal. But O’Donnell used his “Re-Write” segment to blast and ridicule Landrieu for that statement. On Twitter today O’Donnell has continued to take a different tone from the Olbermann/Maddow wing with a series of Tweets…
I agree with @nytimes: Democrats should vote for Obama tax deal “because it is the only one they are going to get.”
Liberal critics of the Obama deal say exactly what Pat Buchanan said of George H.W. Bush: he’s weak.
Let’s see if liberal Obama critics can do what Pat Buchanan did to H.W. Bush: destroy him and help elect a President from the other party.
Now just who might those “liberal Obama critics” might include? Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow?
It used to be that the internal MSNBC factionalism pitted Joe Scarborough against Maddow and Olbermann. But on this issue the leading force of push back to the withering progressive attacks by Olbermann and Maddow on Obama’s Tax Deal is a fellow traveler.
This is just the latest example of why The Last Word isn’t the show you think it might be and why O’Donnell continues to be refreshingly unpredictable.