MSNBC Gets Political

Howie Kurtz reports that MSNBC has finally figured out what it is: A network for political junkies with the ability to draw from mother network NBC’s stable of news stars.

MSNBC has seen the future, and it is politics. Delivered with plenty of opinion. Preferably with lots of cameo appearances by big-name news stars from the mothership.

The perennial third-place cable news channel enjoyed a nice bump in the ratings during the midterm campaign, in part because the likes of Brian Williams, Tim Russert, David Gregory and Campbell Brown broke away from their NBC duties to help out.

Oddly, I thought that was the plan from the very inception of the network. Indeed, the synergies with NBC News was the reason it was touted as a serious competitor to CNN. That it’s taken them this long to figure out the obvious does not say much for the brain trust running the show.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Triumph says:

    MSNBC? Never heard of it!

    Speaking of cable news channels, James, have you offered a review of al-jazeera’s English service yet? They are streaming it for free–I don;t know of any US cable systems that have picked it up.

  2. TimC says:

    I agree. Unless there is something on TV really worth watching, from 7:30pm to 10pm during the week, it’s Hardball, Keith Oberman (although I wish he’d tune down the anti-Bush rhetoric –GW isn’t responsible for all bad things), and Scarborough Country. After Murtha was soundly defeated for the Majority Leader post, I couldn’t wait to get home and see what was going on on Hardball.