Alex Wagner: ‘We Are Not Firing Shots Across the Bow’

By Merrill Knox Comment

Politico’s Dylan Byers takes a look at the evolution of MSNBC’s “Now with Alex Wagner,” which debuted in November.  With its informal, conversational style that resembles a casual get-together, the program is “beginning to wield a subtle but notable influence on the political discussion,” Byers writes:

“Now” doesn’t try to make news. Wagner hardly ever lands the groundbreaking interview or elicits the controversial quote that gets everyone talking, a la [Andrea] Mitchell or NBC’s Meet The Press. Nor does she seek to pit her panelists against one another in an effort to stir up ratings. Hers is a bull-session rather than a brawl. It cedes the floor to a rotating salon of print and online journalists, as well as a familiar cast of network contributors, and opens a line into the newsroom insider’s view on the national political narrative.

Wagner also makes a point of preventing shouting matches, something many cable news programs encourage. “We are not firing shots across the bow,” she said. “People can disagree strongly with one another, but rudeness is not tolerated. We’re very careful to cultivate a spirit of goodwill. People disagree, but they rarely cut each other off. If I have a pet peeve, it’s when we have the rare guest who gets fired up enough to be antagonistic.”