We’ve been waiting for it to happen. We’ve speculated it would happen. Now it’s happening. Buried in Jeremy W. Peters’ New York Times article on the political histrionics plaguing cable news this elections season is this nugget…
Such stridency has put NBC News journalists who cover Republicans in awkward and compromised positions, several people who work for the network said. To distance themselves from their sister channel, they have started taking steps to reassure Republican sources, like pointing out that they are reporting for NBC programs like “Today” and “Nightly News” — not for MSNBC.
Tell that to Chuck Todd who has to work there. Tell that to Chris Jansing who has to work there. Tell that to Alex Witt who has to work there. Tell that to all the NBC talent who have to appear on MSNBC’s liberally charged air and put up with the occasional loaded question. Trying to distance yourself from MSNBC isn’t like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It’s throwing the bathwater out while trying to keep the baby from flying out with it. It’s impossible.
If you want to see a glimpse of what NBC’s future could be, especially if Romney wins tomorrow night, just look at the last few years of the Obama Administration’s relationship with FNC. Peters did.
At Fox News, there is a palpable sense that the White House punishes the outlet for its coverage, not only by withholding the president, who has done interviews with every other major network, but also by denying them access to Michelle Obama.
This fall, Mrs. Obama has done a spate of television appearances, from CNN to “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on ABC. But when officials from Fox News recently asked for an interview with the first lady, they were told no. She has not appeared on the channel since 2010, when she sat down with Mike Huckabee.
There can be no argument that FNC gets punished for its coverage. If NBC News keeps putting its journalists on MSNBC, one day there may be no argument that NBC gets punished for MSNBC’s coverage.