If you watched CNN or Fox News last night, you got a balanced analysis of how Republican Scott Brown pulled off the political upset of the century (or, if you prefer, how Democrat Martha Coakley blew a dead solid electoral lock). Yes, I said Fox News, without irony. To be sure, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity made it clear they were rooting for Brown. But their shows also included a steady parade of liberal-leaning guests — former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, former Dukakis campaign manager Susan Estrich, Democratic party strategist Mary Anne Marsh, NPR commentator Juan Williams and radio host Alan Colmes. And pollster Frank Luntz interviewed a panel of two dozen or so Massachusetts voters, most of them Democrats, about how they voted and why. Practically every conceivable perspective on the election was represented.

And on MSNBC, you got practically every conceivable expression of venom against Brown and anybody who voted him. From Maddow’s dark suspicions that the election was rigged — she cited complaints about a grand total of six ballots out of about 2.25 million cast — to Olbermann’s suggestion in the video up above that the same Massachusets voters who went for Barack Obama by a 62-28 percent margin had suddenly realized they helped elect a black guy and went Republican in repentance, the network’s coverage was idiotic, one-sided and downright ugly…

It may be too much to expect NBC, these days reduced to a national wisecrack, to be embarrassed over the frothing lunacy that passes for news coverage at corporate stepchild MSNBC. But both networks are part of the same news division. If news boss Steve Capus thinks his reporters can continue to appear with Olbermann and Maddow without suffering credibility contamination, he’s dumber than whoever was behind the Leno/O’Brien late-night shuffle.