These terrible people like Ann became scary powerful slander-dragons back in the 1990s, because of the end of the fairness doctrine, and then Bill Clinton only won a plurality of the vote and there was a large segment of the population willing to believe he was a slimy corrupt Arkansas horndog pretty much from day one. But Barack Obama? He won an actual majority of the popular vote and, most importantly, his pre-inaugural approval ratings are historically high. People want him to succeed. People are exhausted with Bush and Republicans and the entire last 20 years.
Rush and Ann still have lots of listeners and sell lots of books, but they're not driving any sort of national conversation anymore, just throwing meat to increasingly marginalized anger-junkies. The Obama smears didn't catch on last year, and they won't get much traction until he starts fucking up. So it was absurd for NBC to annoy viewers by giving this outdated comedienne a microphone during the already hallucinogenic fourth hour of Today.
(Ha ha wait she's BANNED FOR LIFE and also it was apparently the 7 a.m. hour! And they replaced her with Perez Hilton Jesus Christ you just can't win. But yes the question remains: why would a privately-owned television network wish to promote, for free, the work of someone who virulently criticizes them, all the time? What is Ann complaining about, does she want the government to hand out spots on morning tv? Does she want affirmative action for conservative pundits? Sheesh.)