Pope: MSNBC’s Smart, Thoughtful

By Brian 

MSNBC won’t net the biggest ratings during their coverage of the Pope’s death, but that doesn’t mean their product isn’t deserving of praise. Keith Olbermann’s thoughtful, original packages have spurred several e-mailers to suggest he’s at his prime on this story. “I’m surprised NBC isn’t using him in their coverage,” an insider wrote this afternoon. MSNBC’s efforts to make “smart TV” are visible and audible on my set today.

Meanwhile, I’ve received several e-mails from readers wondering why Chris Matthews is heading up MSNBC’s coverage from Rome: “What is a political pundit doing in Rome?,” one person asked. “He appears to be way out of his element.” MSNBC sent Matthews to cover the death of a world leader — and one who was very much political at times. Additionally, Matthews is Catholic, and “knows the church inside and out,” an insider says…

> “It’s not Hardball tonight, Cardinal, so I’d love your feelings,” Matthews said to one guest at 7:30pm.

> “Usually I’m a huge CNN watcher and usually won’t switch channels, but today I find myself watching MSNBC. Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann are fantastic. Chris is asking really interesting questions of their guests (in his usual blunt style) and Keith is extremely eloquent,” an e-mailer says.