Sunday, February 22, 2015

MSNBC Cleans House

This was inevitable. Apparently MSNBC is going in a less partisan direction.

Yasmin Nair wrote about the recent shake-up. She says:
Farrow is, in a way, a very particular case in that he had no talent to speak of and that’s not necessarily the case with Chris Hayes, who is actually very, very smart but seems lost on a show with peculiar camera angles and a too-obvious desperation to seem “hip.” Maddow is an annoying liberal, and Harris-Perry is a turncoat who adopts whatever position seems likely to most endear her to the audience of the week. They are not likely to regain their freshness in the wake of the upcoming presidential election, one where the easily drawn lines between Democrats and Republicans will not be so easily discerned. But they can at least figure out which camera to look at and how to speak coherently to it.
Personally, I think Maddow would be better with a panel and Harris-Perry as a talking head with one or two substantial interviews and a singular viewpoint. In essence, they should switch formats. Ronan Farrow was just painful to watch. I'm sure he's passionate and no doubt smart, but that doesn't necessarily translate into television presence, no matter how entertaining his twitter feed is. Joy Reid got the axe along with Farrow. Hers was definitely the stronger of the two afternoon shows, but following Farrow did her no favors.

Since Keith Olberman's departure in 2012, MSNBC has suffered a personality crisis of sorts. I'm no fan of screaming white men of any political persuasion, but its current lineup is pretty lackluster, to say the least, but the bigger problem is marketing. Their audience -- liberals under 40 -- gets their news from other sources, so it's kind of moot to compete with Fox or even CNN.