No details on this yet, but Drudge has a headline up stating that MS-NBC has dumped both Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews from its “anchor chair”. David Gregory will take over the political duties and apparently also the anchor spot, at least if Drudge has this correct.
If this is true, what happened? Olbermann has been an embarrassment for years, and Matthews has hardly hidden his “thrill up his leg” for Barack Obama for the last few months. Did NBC finally just get tired of these two credibility killers?
Or did someone at General Electric read this post?
Update: The Drudge headline says NBC’s dropping them from the anchor chair, not just for the debates. Again, we’ll have to wait to see what NBC announces, but from that Drudge note, it sounds like they’re out altogether.
Update II: Here’s what Drudge says:
MSNBC drops Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews from anchor chair… David Gregory will anchor news coverage of the coming debates and election night…. Developing…
Granted, they could just have decided to drop O & M from debates and election night, but doesn’t that amount to a tacit admission that the two have no credibility? Aren’t those the two main events for political anchors, and if they can’t handle that, why would MS-NBC trust them with any kind of political reporting? Why keep them on the air after emasculating them like that?
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.
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 finally had enough during the conventions, according to the Times. The chant of “NBC, NBC” during the Republican convention didn’t help. It does look like Olby gets to keep his news program … for now.
Update IV: Jazz Shaw wonders whether MS-NBC overreacted in an interesting and thought-provoking piece at TMV. I’d say that the mistake MS-NBC made was in assigning these two the anchor duties for election coverage, knowing their very obvious biases. Both of them have only marginal credibility now even as analysts; they’ve become hacks for Obama so blatant that even the most Kool-Aid-ridden viewer acknowledges that. Under those circumstances, nothing they say has any more value than a statement from the campaign’s press office — and unfortunately, Olbermann frequently goes where even the campaign dares not tread.