September 10, 2008
Pulling Up Anchors
In the "How Are We Going to Be Able to Tell?" category, cable network MSNBC has announced that Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann will, henceforth, be "commentators" rather than news anchors at political events.
Great! Now they can tell us what they really think!
The only question is: Why'd it take so long?
It's been months, after all, since Matthews famously talked about getting a "thrill running up my leg" while listening to a Barack Obama speech. More recently, Olbermann said conservatives haven't called Obama the "N" word - "yet." And after gushing over speakers at the Democratic convention - one speaker, Olbermann said, hit it out of the park, across the street and over the buildings across the street - he then "apologized" for a 9-11 retrospective video at the Republican National Convention, calling it distasteful.
According to media critic Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post, even NBC news reporters were arguing against Olbermann and Matthews behind the scenes, saying the duo's slobbering left-wing bias was "tarnishing (NBC's) reputation for fairness."
"Olbermann began to have difficulty keeping his opinions in check, or simply stopped trying," writes Associated Press television writer David Bauder.
Folks at NBC can blame its more edgy cable sister, MSNBC. But when Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin chided the news media in general, the convention's delegates began chanting "NBC! NBC!"
Taking the embarrassing step of moving Olbermann and Matthews to "analysts" rather than "anchors" is cosmetic at best. And it comes oddly late. Did the folks at NBC not know? Or were they just in agreement?
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