MSNBC + Politico = Washington's cable news network

With Jeff Zucker’s CNN drifting away from politics and toward celebrity stories and true crime — and Fox News sticking closely to its stable of “Republican strategists” and in-house conservative pundits — MSNBC has its pick of the entire political press corps. And it has made itself central to the online political conversation by sending its black town cars to collect younger, web-savvy politicos who spend all day chattering about the ins and outs of the game online. …

More than a few Washington Post reporters, like blogger king Chris Cillizza and Nia-Malika Henderson, are almost ubiquitous with the network’s programming, sometimes making multiple appearances on different shows throughout the day and night. Some Post employees moonlight as paid MSNBC contributors, meaning you’ll definitely see Ezra Klein, Jonathan Capehart, Gene Robinson, or all three on any given day.

Politico’s deal with MSNBC seems quite different, even though the desired results are the same for the network. Including the longtime branded “Playbook” segment on Morning Joe, Politico blankets MSNBC’s dayside programming — literally from dawn to dusk — with its reporters, minus that pesky “contributor” status.