MSNBC’s Ideological Battle

By Alex Weprin 

In an exhaustively researched piece, The Huffington Post’s Michael Calderone examines the current state of MSNBC, now that President Obama has won reelection. MSNBC is in a unique position, as many of its hosts were unabashedly pro-Obama. Now, the pro-Obama forces and the liberal forces (which are often at odds with the President on issues like drone strikes, tax cuts, etc) are more likely to butt heads.

[MSNBC president Phil] Griffin suggested that Obama’s unwillingness to appear regularly on MSNBC proves the network is “not the home team.” And going forward into the second term, Griffin said his hosts will hold Obama accountable.

“We’re going to hold Obama to his campaign promises,” Griffin said. “And the fact is, there are many things that some of our hosts support him on. But basically, we have a standard, whether it’s the war on terror or getting out of Afghanistan: Is he going to live up to his campaign promises?”

While MSNBC is arguably the most successful progressive network on TV, it is not free from criticism on the left.

“If the Democratic National Committee were to own a network and produce news programming designed to promote the party, it would look exactly like what MSNBC has become,” said Glenn Greenwald, who writes on civil liberties and national security for The Guardian.