MSNBC Reins It In

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Congratulations to MSNBC for pulling itself together and looking like a news network again.

What a change from last week, when the cable net’s coverage of the Democratic National Convention turned into a cringe-inducing display of juvenile bickeringamong on-air personalities Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, Joe Scarborough and David Shuster.

For its coverage of the Republican National Convention on Tuesday, things were notably more disciplined, with Olbermann “quarterbacking” from New York City (as NBC News chief Steve Capus put it to B&C’s Marisa Guthrie), Matthews several states away, in St. Paul, and solid contributions from NBC News grown-ups Tom Brokaw, Andrea Mitchell, David Gregory and Chuck Todd.

Still, last week’s drama left an air of tension whenever Olbermann and Matthews were paired up on a split-screen. I couldn’t help but imagine that one of them might suddenly reach across the frame and strangle the other.

By Joel Topcik

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