Yukking it up in New Hampshire

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MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews provided a glaring counterpoint to their NBC News colleagues Brian Williams and Tim Russert during the news division’s coverage of the New Hampshire primary last night.

Olbermann and Matthews were obviously in a jovial mood. They seemed to take a fair amount of glee in skewering John McCain’s acceptance speech. Suffice to say, McCain lacks the oratorial élan of say, Barack Obama, or even Hillary Clinton.

At one point they were joined by Mike Barnicle in New Hampshire, who offered this witticism.

“The head bellman at the Radisson hotel here in Manchester is very pleased because John McCain read one of his lines,” he said.

This prompted peals of laughter from Olbermann and Matthews in the New York studio.

Olbermann facetiously apologized.

“NBC News would like to issue a quick apology to Senator John McCain,” he said. “OK now let’s go back to it.”

The skewering, that is.

Certainly there is a place for satire and humor in political discourse.

But at times Williams and Russert looked like chagrined parents who had lost control of the kids on the long car ride.

Perhaps the gang should huddle and decide which image they wish to portray – that of real journalists or Daily Show knock-offs.

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