When MSNBC rolled out its new slogan "Lean Forward" last year, it was a transparent attempt to beat Fox News at its own game. (That game, for the record: news as partisan propaganda.) This is the only idea that MSNBC has. You can be sure of it, because Jeff Zucker denies it.

Instead of taking this slogan, "Lean Forward," and placing it in a trash can, MSNBC has decided to double down with a new round of ads. Have you seen them? They are running now. They make at least two points very well:

1. Lawrence O'Donnell has been a writer, political adviser, TV producer, and pundit in his career. But now he's just a bad actor.

2. But not as bad an actor as Ed Schultz.

Good luck with your "emphasize our unsubtle political hackery" strategy, MSNBC. Fox News lives in that briar patch.