TVNewser’s Chris Ariens writes about MSNBC’s late New Hampshire coverage last night and then extrapolates…
Hours after New Hampshire had been called for Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders, MSNBC convened many of the NBC News campaign correspondents to talk about state of the race. It just turned to out that all six reporters are women.
“This is what the Boys on the Bus looks like this year,” said Rachel Maddow, referring to the 1973 book on the coverage of he 1972 election. “Thanks for asking a man to attend,” added Brian Williams who, along with Maddow, anchored MSNBC’s prime time coverage, and moderated the discussion with the correspondents.
Among those taking part (l-r, above) Hallie Jackson, Chris Jansing, Kristen Welker, Katy Tur, Andrea Mitchell and Kasie Hunt. The correspondents were assembled in a circle, seated on folding chairs, with the discussion captured on a steadicam not far from the main MSNBC set in Manchester.
“Perhaps we’ll start doing more of this,” said Williams as the half-hour conversation wrapped just before midnight. “Remember, the political season is just getting started.” For now, these six NBC Newsers are back on the campaign trail covering the candidates.
First of all, last night was noteworthy…for getting Brian Williams out of 30 Rock. For Iowa Williams and Maddow were stuck at MSNBC HQ and I thought their coverage suffered as a result. I even speculated on Twitter that NBC was afraid of putting Williams in a live audience situation out of fear that someone would start blurting out “Liar! Liar! Liar!” or something similar. Last night wasn’t a live audience situation so that question is still operative. But putting Williams on the road was the right call.
I also found the roundtable fascinating…and that’s not something I just toss out willy nilly given my natural deeply rooted aversion to most 2016 coverage. This wasn’t your typical View/Talk/Five/Outnumbered scenario. It was of a different vein…more of a cross between GPS and Morning Joe.
It may be that MSNBC will use this format in the future as 2016 progresses…but I don’t believe the network, as Ariesn posits as a question, has found its new late night show. Given who was there it was a lineup that is unsustainable going forward for logistical reasons. Half the people there last night are D.C. based with other duties. The other half are either New York based or normally national correspondents. I don’t see how you can keep this group intact on a regular basis given all that. MSNBC may try a subset of this group in a new show as a fallback but it wouldn’t be as good.