Watch the evolution of an MSNBC meltdown

posted at 5:21 pm on November 5, 2014 by Noah Rothman

As a rule, the most interesting coverage of an election night is always the losing side’s coverage. Last night, MSNBC’s anchors, most of whom would concede they are more ideologically friendly toward Democrats than Republicans, lost and lost big.

While there was some stellar analysis and measured commentary on that network from the likes of Chuck Todd and Steve Kornacki, there was also a fair bit of infighting, punchy recrimination, and general despair from the left-leaning network’s flagship personalities.

The evolution of MSNBC’s coming to terms with one of the largest Republican electoral landslides in the history of American midterm elections is worth dissecting.

9:30 p.m. Eastern:

Things are starting to look grim for Democrats nationally at this stage. After being buoyed briefly by the news of Scott Brown’s loss in New Hampshire, the good news for Democrats had begun to ebb by this point in the evening. Just 30 minutes after the polls closed across Colorado, Senator-elect Cory Gardner has begun to pull away in the Centennial State.

It was here that Rachel Maddow insisted that Cory Gardner won “because he ran to the left of Mark Udall” and “Democrats win the argument even if they lose the race.” This was also the moment when Chris Matthews began to hurl accusations of political ineptitude toward Barack Obama and Chris Hayes’s insistence that America has invested millions to install Gatling Guns along the border with Mexico.

The wheels are coming off.

10:35 p.m. Eastern:

Udall has officially lost at this stage of the night, and Maddow is not happy about it. After relating an anecdote about how personable Udall is in person and how wooden he is as a candidate, Maddow decides to gratuitously slur Gardner whom, she says, “looks like a Muppet stuck in on.” Classy.

11:10 p.m. Eastern:

This might be the moment the bottom fell out of the night for MSNBC. The Senate had not yet been called for the GOP, but the writing was clearly on the wall. In quick succession, Matthews called the gubernatorial races in Georgia and Illinois for the Republican candidates. “Unbelievable,” he muttered. “This is amazing.”

Todd later informed the panel that this represents the first time a president’s home state governor (for whom he personally voted, by the way) lost a bid for reelection since 1892.

12:50 a.m. Eastern:

The Senate has now fallen to the Republicans, and the party is on track for a historic night on both the federal and statewide levels. Matthews appeared to lose all faith in humanity when even Massachusetts turned on Democrat Martha Coakley and elected Charlie Baker to serve as the state’s next governor.

“There’s so much going on,” Matthews said. “The Denver Post endorsing Cory Gardner. The Des Moines Register Ernst. There’s something weird going on among – even among the educated crowd.”

Translation: Only hicks and idiots are supposed to support Republicans. You have a journalism degree, for the love of God.

For the record, The Register endorsed Bruce Braley, but Matthews was on an odd, misanthropic roll.

Update 4:12 p.m. Eastern, November 5: The culmination of Matthews’s frustration came on Wednesday in an appearance on Alex Wagner’s program. There, Matthews became visibly irritated with his fellow progressives who he seemed to suggest have grown to accommodating toward the president. The exchange between Matthews and former White House advisor Bill Burton became quite heated at times.


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Comments

Pro-illegal alien amnesty Noah Rothman loves him some Chuck Todd.

bluegill on November 5, 2014 at 5:34 PM

I’ve noticed that, too.

I guess anything to be an invited guest on Meet the Depressed.

Bitter Clinger on November 5, 2014 at 6:31 PM

How delusional. Can’t believe these people have a viewing.

RdLake on November 5, 2014 at 6:32 PM

Flipped on the Morning Joe show this morning while I was getting ready for work just to see the sad expressions and long faces and couldn’t help but notice that they were all dressed in black, like they were in mourning. It was delicious ! Tried to bring up the old race card again but I think it failed miserably. Today is a happy day !

stormyskyz on November 5, 2014 at 6:32 PM

Test

HonestLib on November 5, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Pro-illegal alien amnesty Noah Rothman loves him some Chuck Todd.

bluegill on November 5, 2014 at 5:34 PM

.

Because that…

.

what???

V7_Sport on November 5, 2014 at 6:34 PM

You guys ain’t RedNecks…Sheesh.

Two kinds of Muppets on a stick.

One, you buy for your kids at the county fair ever year and it tastes like mountain oysters.

Two, describes a SSM honeymoon and comes with fudge.

Come down south and learn a few things. Chuckle.

HonestLib on November 5, 2014 at 6:37 PM

I turned it to MSNBC for a couple of minutes and just could not take it. I changed the channel, quickly.

SC.Charlie on November 5, 2014 at 6:39 PM

Plus it’s Noah quoting Madcow, so, you know.

Nutstuyu on November 5, 2014 at 6:31 PM

I subjected myself to the video.

It’s an accurate quote. Mind-numblingly dumb. But then its Madcow and MSNBC.

Bitter Clinger on November 5, 2014 at 6:39 PM

To paraphrase a good lin from 2 and a half men –
“reality hit them like a shovel”

dentarthurdent on November 5, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Did you notice, on the screen titled MSNBC Meltdown- Part 2 In the background, it shows the Georgia Senate race, 67% of the vote in, and Perdue leading Nunn by 16 points, 57 to 41. Yet, the network comment is, “Too Close To Call”
The ability to deny reality is a hallmark of liberalism.
Bias? What Bias?

Littlehugger on November 5, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Very, very funny, Noah. A well done synopsis of a complete, network wide, meltdown.

Thomas More on November 5, 2014 at 6:53 PM

Pass the popcorn.

Mike from NC on November 5, 2014 at 6:55 PM

I found the funniest part of all those videos is them scream and yelling and try and figure it all out…

All the while the crawl at the bottom of the screen shows Republican victory after Republican victory.

Republican Senate win… Republican governor win… Republican House win… Another Senate win … governor win… Senator … governor…House…gov… Sen…

It’s like a bunch of people on the Titanic arguing about why the man in the crows nest didn’t have binoculars – meanwhile the water rises, and rises…

kurtzz3 on November 5, 2014 at 6:57 PM

Michael Steele. Trying to sell that the election results were strictly the result of anti-incumbent sentiment. What he won’t say to try to ingratiate himself to that lunatic crowd to try to stay relevant.

Syzygy on November 5, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Steele knows he has to play his role or the appearances and the money that goes with them dries up.

If you noticed, Steve ScHmIdT was on MSNBC last night. The left has taken good care of him and Nicolle Wallace for their complicity in destroying the McCain campaign and ensuring that Obama was elected in 2008.

bw222 on November 5, 2014 at 7:02 PM

I was actually somewhat impressed with MSLSD’s coverage. I found it at least slightly less ideological than in past elections and, as Noah mentioned, Steve Kornacki was awesome.

wbcoleman on November 5, 2014 at 7:05 PM

Horrific. Utterly unwatchable. The level of analysis going on there is not even up to high school debate team level.

Especially that last bit. Burton is insane. Flat out. If he actually believes that crap, wow. He’s not even a sycophant for Obama, he’s delusional.

deadrody on November 5, 2014 at 7:06 PM

The real question is: what the hell were they expecting?

It’s not like this came out of nowhere, right? Why didn’t they have talking points for this?

Unless they actually believed their…. UNSKEWED POLLS LOLOLOLOLOL

TimesUp on November 5, 2014 at 7:08 PM

I think it’s only Matthews who realizes that the Dem’s are in a big hole and that Obama isn’t going to get them out. The rest are “too smart” to believe otherwise.

Tater Salad on November 5, 2014 at 7:16 PM

So what’s going up Tingles’ leg now?

Star Bird on November 5, 2014 at 7:22 PM

My cellphone’s autocorrect is more entertaining than that whole lot.

“Chris Matthews is a steaming pile of human fences.”

Oxymoron on November 5, 2014 at 7:23 PM

Bloomberg business channel called everything earlier than the rest. And they were visibly upset.

I thought MSNBC held it together better than Bloomberg.

However, Liberals once again prove they do not even come close to understanding what it means to be a human being.

petunia on November 5, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Is it time to mend human fences?

Akzed on November 5, 2014 at 7:32 PM

So what’s going down up Tingles’ leg now? Star Bird on November 5, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Akzed on November 5, 2014 at 7:32 PM

My cellphone’s autocorrect is more entertaining than that whole lot.

“Chris Matthews is a steaming pile of human fences.”

Oxymoron on November 5, 2014 at 7:23 PM

ROFL!!!

Bitter Clinger on November 5, 2014 at 7:42 PM

I tried PMSNBC for a few minutes last night and saw some of their correspondents in the field at the campaign HQs and saw how biased they were – already they were trying to spin the losses. They were so sickly liberal that I turned back to Fox.

Rich D on November 5, 2014 at 7:43 PM

That pic of Tingles is gold, GOLD I say!

Maddow is a pathetic piece of trash, the insult against Gardner is a schoolyard-level taunt on a national tv show, not that many people were watching.

Reminds me of 2012 when this same crowd was acting like tittering teenagers while Bachmann was interviewed. I wonder if the MSDNC execs ever take a moment to wonder why their ratings are ALWAYS in the toilet.

Bishop on November 5, 2014 at 7:48 PM

A hundred TEA Party members in the House? Did I hear that right? A hundred? Maybe it’s the result of the ever-ongoing morphing of definitions done by the Left.

TEA Partier becomes conservative Republican becomes non-GOPe congressman becomes every House Republican not progressive enough to be a Democrat.

Yeah, you might make to a hundred that way.

Lolo on November 5, 2014 at 7:54 PM

This is what it looks like when your god Obama is proven to be mortal. And stupid.

Nethicus on November 5, 2014 at 7:59 PM

There, Matthews became visibly irritated with his fellow progressives who he seemed to suggest have grown to accommodating toward the president.

You need an editor. What a trifling sentence.

OliverB on November 5, 2014 at 8:01 PM

What are the odds of Chris Matthews becoming a Republican by this time next year? I don’t see him being a die-hard tea partier, but maybe a Dick Morris type who switches sides because he thinks the analysis biz is more interesting on the other side…

joe_doufu on November 5, 2014 at 8:09 PM

Not the best thread Noah….where was the meltdown?? All you did was post liberals talking to each other and totally clueless….where were the meltdown clips? Boring to say the least. If you catalogue please post videos with actual panic!

777eagleofthesky on November 5, 2014 at 8:15 PM

I watched about as much as I could and it was positively delightful. And CNN’s late night coverage had a panel with our dear friend (and Maddow doppelganger) Sally Kohn and she was struck dumb by the results. Took quite a while for her to shake out of her concussed state and spin, twist and deny what the election really meant.

Gymistokles on November 5, 2014 at 8:21 PM

I guess I had forgotten almost completely the thrill of victory.

And I am enjoying their agony of defeat.

More vids please.

Sherman1864 on November 5, 2014 at 8:31 PM

Song of the Day:

Beach Boys “Catch A Wave”
1963

ConstantineXI on November 5, 2014 at 8:34 PM

What are the odds of Chris Matthews becoming a Republican by this time next year? I don’t see him being a die-hard tea partier, but maybe a Dick Morris type who switches sides because he thinks the analysis biz is more interesting on the other side…

joe_doufu on November 5, 2014 at 8:09 PM

If he ever loses his MSNBC gig, I see Chris as Bob Beckel’s future substitute on “The Five”.

jon1979 on November 5, 2014 at 8:46 PM

[grabs toothpick…starts picking popcorn kernels out from between teeth…swishes with Mountain Dew…picks out more popcorn kernels…*belch*…takes a swig of Mountain Dew…continues picking kernels out…]

Newtie and the Beauty on November 5, 2014 at 8:48 PM

I actually enjoyed watching MSNBC, I thought it was must see tv, hard to look at Rachel Maddow and Chris Mathews were a hoot and Rev Al looked like a little monkey with that big head. It was great watching them try to find something positive when their night really sucked.

austinjoseph on November 5, 2014 at 8:51 PM

The schadenfreude is so tasty today. My tummy is stuffed full but I just cannot stop eating! Thank you, HA.

smartaleck on November 5, 2014 at 9:04 PM

While there was some stellar analysis and measured commentary on that network from the likes of Chuck Todd

Like when Rachel Maddow wanted Todd to explain why NBC hadn’t called the Florida Governor’s race after Charlie Crist had given his concession speech and UpChuck said “there could still be votes found for him in Broward…..” Of course he was half joking but the point was NBC didn’t want to pile on bad news all at once.

Marcus on November 5, 2014 at 9:24 PM

…his picture looks like….his tingle dried up!

JugEarsButtHurt on November 5, 2014 at 10:29 PM

” There’s something weird going on among – even among the educated crowd.”

Pride goeth before a fall.

claudius on November 5, 2014 at 10:38 PM

Great sequence! I liked the miserable face of Chris Matthews in part #2.

But he was the only one taking it seriously – the rest of them were at a pajama-boy sleep-over.

virgo on November 5, 2014 at 11:43 PM

Great sequence! I liked the miserable face of Chris Matthews in part #2.

But he was the only one taking it seriously – the rest of them were at a pajama-boy sleep-over.

virgo on November 5, 2014 at 11:43 PM

As much as we (rightly) s*** on Matthews over “Thrill up my leg” and all that, Matthews likes politics because of the wheeling and dealing in the smoke filled rooms, the “DC Way” and all of that.

And he hasn’t really got a whole lot of that in the age of Obama. He’s got a lot of having to say that if you don’t support 100% of Obama’s agenda and his “my way or the highway” stompy-foot attitude, that you’re a racist.

Matthews is addicted to and fascinated by the Washington DC game, so it’s interesting to see him drop the “All Hail Barack the Sun King” crap.

Even if it’s only to bow at the altar of Hillary.

HikaruKitsune on November 6, 2014 at 12:34 AM

Does anyone else remember the time this guy hosted Rush’s show? I remember him babbling for an hour, or so, taking the Lord’s name in vain and turning off the radio.

Or, did I just dream that?

TitularHead on November 6, 2014 at 2:33 AM

2008 Matthews: Tingles running up his leg.

2014 Matthews: Tinkle running down his leg.

Armed Texan on November 6, 2014 at 5:35 AM

An aside:

The reason nobody cares about the “teeth” in the Immigration Reform bill is because everybody knows that it will never be enforced by this Administration. Just like the provisions of Obamacare that are inconvenient or the fact that the Damn Fence (virtual or otherwise) has still not been built, any part of an immigration deal that the President does not like will simply be ignored.

Haiku Guy on November 6, 2014 at 7:09 AM

Bill Burton completely losing his composure was pretty satisfying.

forest on November 6, 2014 at 8:39 AM

Ahahahaha … It’s such fun to see utopian neo-Marxists choke on a reality sandwich

Whitey Ford on November 6, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Mr Mathews is amazed there are so many people (so many @#%$’n people)who are actually this backward and stupid to reject Mr. O’s agenda but R. Maddow counters with “This is really a win for libs in disguise” You know, there is something going on even among the educated crowd.

brotherobert on November 6, 2014 at 9:23 AM

I bet MSNBC hosts and quite a number of Democrat pundits and supporters would love to claim it is election fraud.

Except for the fact that these guys and Eric Holder’s DOJ have been saying voter fraud doesn’t exist for the past 6 years.

So they can’t make that claim. Too bad, so sad.

s1im on November 6, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Lolo on November 5, 2014 at 7:54 PM

One hundred Tea Party members in Congress, I live to dream.

Cindy Munford on November 6, 2014 at 10:51 AM

positively Anchormanian – I’M NOT SURE WHAT WE ARE YELLING ABOUT!!!

Spyder23 on November 6, 2014 at 10:53 AM

How many times did Their Leader, Barack Obama, get a mention? that would have been telling. After all the malicious, incompetent boob was the important reason the vote turned out as it did.
hen thee was his nasty remarks afterwards. The man has some bad things in mind for us, I suppose that’s no secret.

arand on November 6, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Sweet, sweet lingering taste of victory. The whole event renews my faith in the American electorate’s ability to reinvent itself. The MSNBC team’s open disbelief is a mirror image of how I’ve felt over the past 3 election cycles. With the only caveat that my feelings were based on fact; MSNBC hosts live in a fantasy hope-y change-y world. And boy, they get nasty when things don’t go their way….

Cigarhop on November 6, 2014 at 12:33 PM

You know… tingles saying “your community” sounds a whole lot like saying “you people.” But it’s ok when the left does it.

JellyToast on November 6, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Surely no one with a functioning brain can stand to listen to this bs except to critique it. Welcome to post-Christian America. Only the God on Whom we’ve so suicidally turned our backs (against which the Founders warned us) can save us now. Soli Deo gloria!

russedav on November 7, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Old videos of MSNBC has drawn more viewers on Hot Air than MSNBC had during 2014.

Herb on January 1, 2015 at 6:18 AM

Seriously, the first words out of Sharpton’s MOUTH were about Ferguson and Michael Brown? Can you say, “Grievance we much!” ???

JEFF_IN_NC on January 1, 2015 at 6:16 PM

Who the hell would have thought the voice of reason would be Chris Matthews?

JEFF_IN_NC on January 1, 2015 at 6:58 PM