Lots of juicy tidbits in this New York Times article today – after the eye-rolling use of the word “bold” in the 1st paragraph. Only the NYT would consider it “bold” to front 2 liberal commentators as objective news reporters:

MSNBC tried a bold experiment this year by putting two politically incendiary hosts, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, in the anchor chair to lead the cable news channel’s coverage of the election….
That experiment appears to be over.

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After months of accusations of political bias and simmering animosity between MSNBC and its parent network NBC, the channel decided over the weekend that… David Gregory would anchor news coverage of the coming debates and election night…
The change… is a direct result of tensions associated with the channel’s perceived shift to the political left….

Executives… had high hopes for MSNBC’s coverage of the political conventions. Instead, the coverage frequently descended into on-air squabbles between the anchors, embarrassing some workers… and quite possibly alienating viewers….
MSNBC… remained in last place among the broadcast and cable news networks….
When the vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin lamented media bias during her speech, attendees of the Republican convention loudly chanted “NBC“….
On the final night of the Republican convention, after MSNBC televised the party’s video “tribute to the victims of 9/11” Olbermann abruptly took off his journalistic hat…
After saying that the video had exploited the memories of the dead, he directly apologized to viewers who were offended. Then, sounding like a network executive, he said it was “probably not appropriate to be shown.”…
A like-minded talk show will now follow [Olbermann’s] “Countdown” at 9 p.m.: “The Rachel Maddow Show,” hosted by the liberal [Air America] radio host, begins Monday.
Mr. Griffin, MSNBC’s president, denies that it has an ideology. “I think ideology means we think one way, and we don’t,” he said. Rather than label MSNBC’s prime time as left-leaning, he says it has passion and point of view….

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Some tensions have spilled out on-screen. On the first night in Denver, as the fellow MSNBC host Joe Scarborough talked about the resurgence of the McCain campaign, Mr. Olbermann dismissed it by saying: “Jesus, Joe, why don’t you get a shovel?”
The following night, Mr. Olbermann and his co-anchor for convention coverage, Mr. Matthews, had their own squabble after Mr. Olbermann observed that Mr. Matthews had talked too long….
On a recent Friday afternoon, a graphic labeled “Breaking News” asked: “How many houses does Palin add to the Republican ticket?” Mr. Griffin called the graphic “an embarrassment.”

[HT: proofreader Laura Loo; top photo courtesy of New York magazine]

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