So MSNBC going back to more "traditional" election coverage? Looks like that David Gregory ascendancy everyone predicted back before the Rachel Maddow ascendancy is finally happening! All because Tom Brokaw and Brian Williams are embarrassed by those loud shouty people and Jeff Zucker's in serious trouble with the rest of the Illuminati. Well it's a stupid, stupid idea, for many reasons. Reasons which we'll explain below.
- Ratings Are Up "MSNBC nearly doubled its total audience compared with the 2004 conventions," Brian Stelter points out. Though they're still in third place, building an audience does actually take time, and their demographic numbers are great.
- This Won't Make Conservatives Shut Up. MSNBC is embarrassed that Republicans are holding up MSNBC as a prime example of liberal bias, and tying poor NBC News to the crazy rantings of its cable arm. Hah, yes, and David Gregory, the guy who became famous for abusing Bush spokespeople, will fix that! Remember how conservatives have spent 100 years decrying the liberal bias of CNN? The CNN that is now represented by the apolitically moronic Wolf Blitzer and the inoffensive cuddly unicorn Anderson Cooper? Both of whom are useless and boring at covering politics? This won't shut up any critics, at all. Show some fucking backbone.
- Matthews and Olbermann Are Smart We already called Blitzer a moron, and we meant it. The man's journalistic expertise is limited to an ability to stand up for a long time and babble at length without too much dead air. Matthews and Olbermann are blowhards and egomaniacs, yes, and they're far too pleased with themselves when they do something like reference some 70-year-old Capra movie, but they actually know a lot about history and politics.
- The Bitchery Is Great Television Duh! Bickering and barely concealed contempt are the stuff of high drama! No one talked or cared about MSNBC, except as a third-place loser joke of a cable network, until Olbermann and Matthews began making headlines by pissing people off. Matthews, remember, spent most of the primary campaign pissing off liberals, even though he's clearly an old-school conservative Catholic Democrat himself. But it created buzz! Which is the only point of cable news, really—entertainment, not edification.
- Now We Have to Watch Fox. Because if we can't crack up at the clashing egos of MSNBC's crazy mascots, we'll have to go back to cringing and cackling at the unrepentant assholish coverage of Brit "Sick of This Shit" Hume and his all-star team of interchangeable white dudes and blondes, plus Bill Kristol looking like a weasel and giving you a preview of the next day's Republican spin on everything.
So, MSNBC President Phil Griffin, be a fucking man for once and hold your ground against Zucker and NBC News President Steve Capus and even Original Blowhard Tom Brokaw (seriously, why did the act of "retiring" bestow respectability upon that hack?). If people wanted Brian Williams and David Gregory to cover everything quietly and politely they'd actually watch your evening news. Scarborough, Olbermann, Matthews, and Maddow are the best of cable this year, because of their unique ability to annoy the shit out of each other and also to generally know what the fuck they're talking about, which is basically unheard of on television, let alone cable news.