[Guest post by DRJ]
MSNBC has called a halt to the bold experiment pairing Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews in the anchor chairs to lead the coverage of the 2008 election:
“After months of accusations of political bias and simmering animosity between MSNBC and its parent network NBC, the channel decided over the weekend that the NBC News correspondent and MSNBC host David Gregory would anchor news coverage of the coming debates and election night. Mr. Olbermann and Mr. Matthews will remain as analysts during the coverage.
The change — which comes in the home stretch of the long election cycle — is a direct result of tensions associated with the channel’s perceived shift to the political left.”
NBC and MSNBC insiders offered a much more blunt assessment:
“In interviews, 10 current and former staff members said that long-simmering tensions between MSNBC and NBC reached a boiling point during the conventions. “MSNBC is behaving like a heroin addict,” one senior staff member observed. “They’re living from fix to fix and swearing they’ll go into rehab the next week.”
MSNBC claims its coverage is passionate, not biased or left-leaning. Nevertheless, the article confirms NBC anchors Tom Brokaw and Brian Williams were finding it “tougher and tougher” to defend MSNBC’s coverage.
It also suggests Keith Olbermann stayed in New York during the Republican Convention in part due to fear for his safety.
Olbermann probably had little to fear but the same can’t be said for Republicans. Recently published affidavits detail anarchists’ plans to stretch chains across a nearby highway, kidnap delegates and disrupt the Republican Convention with “burning tires, urine and feces, and explosives including Molotov cocktails.” Other plans included “posing as workers or volunteers to sneak into the convention hall and block its outside air intake vent, … using street puppets to hide weapons, and throwing marbles to trip up police horses and pedestrians.”