Variety‘s Brian Steinberg — many years after the fact — wonders if there’s too much opinion and not enough news on MSNBC. Network president Phil Griffin says the ratings woes of late are temporary. “There has been an inordinate amount of big, breaking news, and that is, honestly, when CNN does well,” he says. Steinberg’s point:
Dispensing “just the facts” is no longer enough for most people. Just ask your local newspaper publisher. Still, when big stories do arise, you need newsgathering muscle, not gum flapping. Activist [Al] Sharpton can’t do what Brian Williams does, and the more [Rachel] Maddow and Chris Matthews pontificate, the farther they get from being able to present news events in an objective fashion. Who is the face of MSNBC should terrorism cripple a major American city?
MSNBC has woven a grand tapestry. But it should never forget that there are times when a news network simply has to stick to its knitting.