‘High Level’ MSNBC Source: Olbermann Tainting ‘Face of NBC News’
A “high level source inside MSNBC” tells the TVNewser blog that network stars like Tim Russert and Chris Matthews are “upset” and “pissed” that the far-left Keith Olbermann is tainting the network’s credibility with his “activism,” such as blogging for the hard-left Daily Kos site.
“What’s it going to be like in the general election now that everyone knows we’re the in-house network of Barack Obama,” TVNewser’s Steve Krakauer quoted the MSNBC insider as fretting. The source suggested Olbermann was allowed to get away with his activism because the network fears the Countdown host would quit:
“They are convinced that he will walk. He behaves like a man who has nothing left to lose. He is not central to MSNBC, he is the center of the MSNBC ratings strategy. We hang the entire schedule on him."
A network spokesperson dismissed the complaint, telling TVNewser, "Your source is ill-informed and the assertions are laughable."
Excerpts from the June 3 posting, which went up before tonight’s primary coverage began:
Tonight may be the last of the primaries, but the discussion of the cable news coverage will no doubt continue for months to come. MSNBC has bore the brunt of much of the criticism, from a candidate, a competitor, and many voices in between. Now, TVNewser speaks with a high level source inside MSNBC, who sheds light on some of the inside rumblings.
"Every Tuesday night Keith is up there as the face of NBC News. That's a problem," says our source. "[Tim] Russert is upset about it. Russert has spent 20 years building credibility. All of a sudden he's taking questions from Keith Olbermann, the Daily Kos blogger?"
The insider says Olbermann's election night partner has reservations as well: "Chris Matthews is quite pissed about it. He knows a lot about politics and he takes it seriously. He's so close to it that he's not that political. He's not an activist — Keith's an activist. That's the difference."