After weeks of rumored behind-the-scenes tension MSNBC has announced that it is removing Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann from their roles as anchors of live political events and replacing them with David Gregory. According to WaPo Olbermann, who has come under increasing criticism of late for his perceived liberal bias (though, his remarks after the GOP’s 9/11 video, while by no means objective, did go a long way to reminding us why he’s had so much success), actually initiated the talks in an effort to “clarify his role.” The Times‘ Brian Stelter reports that the change “is a direct result of tensions associated with the channel’s perceived shift to the political left.”
Trouble has been brewing at MSNBC on this front for a while now. Page Six notes Tom Brokaw’s comment that “Keith has gone too far. I think Chris has gone too far.” Up until Sarah Palin entered the picture one of the most talked about stories at the conventions these last two weeks was the behind-the-scene turmoil at the cable network. These rumblings were picked up on early by Rachel Sklar, in the wake of Dan Abrams losing his show and Rachel Maddow being brought on — Sklar saw Maddow’s hiring as sign of “MSNBC moving sharply to the left.” MSNBC plans to keep Olbermann and Matthews on as post-debate political analysts.