The MSNBC Conundrum
In a must reaad, the AP’s David Bauder (I presume it’s Bauder…as usual this went out uncredited) writes about MSNBC and its challenges. I want to quote the whole damn thing but that would be wrong. Instead I’ll highlight the part everyone will be talking about most…Keith Olbermann’s opinion on the situation…
To many fans, MSNBC’s weakness isn’t that it’s liberal. It’s that the network is boring.
“The solution is not that ‘we need more news’ or that ‘we need to alter the political viewpoint,’ but what does the content of the shows look like,” said Keith Olbermann, former MSNBC prime-time host. “Do not be afraid to make good television. And in Rachel, Phil Griffin, and Andy Lack, they’ve got three people in place who’ve already done that there.”
Olbermann single-handedly lurched MSNBC to the left during President George W. Bush’s second term when his angry commentary attracted a loyal audience. He had the passion, Maddow the quietly analytical mind and together they formed a potent one-two punch.
After Olbermann left, MSNBC set about modeling its lineup after Maddow, its Rhodes scholar and highest-rated personality.
Liberal in outlook, MSNBC’s programming approach is often conservative. Watching MSNBC can feel like a hidden camera picking up a discussion in the faculty lounge. Fox viewers often feel like they’ve stumbled upon a street brawl.