“The Situation” Premieres On MSNBC

By Brian 

So THAT’s the situation. Tucker Carlson premiered on MSNBC Monday night, and the show’s odd intersection with the Jacko verdict made for an extra-special debut. “Tonight is Michael Jackson night!,” Carlson exclaimed. The show was heavy with MJ news, but it still managed to discuss a boatload of other topics. During a great segment titled “Op-Ed, Op-Ed,” the crew offered 20 second retorts to newspaper columns.

The participants weren’t always on the same page. “I completely agree with that,” Rachel Maddow said at the end of one conversation. “I completely disagree with that,” Carlson responded. But they were smiling, and they weren’t shouting at eachother. “One apparent innovation of Carlson’s show is the idea of allowing each commentator a set time to make his or her case, while everyone else on the panel keeps their mouths shut,” an e-mailer says. “No shouting one another down. If that’s the only thing Tucker Carlson brings to the cable-news party, he’s made a worthwhile contribution.”

> During a segment on “toddler profiling,” ESPN radio host Max Kellerman had the quote of the night: “You’re going to get kicked out of the Republican Party with talk like that, Tucker.” That’s something other conservative commentators would dread hearing — but not Carlson.

> The show had genuinely funny moments — and while some of them were one-liners, they weren’t all concocted ahead of time. “I’m loving the humor of this show… I think they got me hooked,” a viewer writes. MSNBC on MSN commenters have more.

> “A good first show — so good, we may even try to do it tomorrow,” Carlson’s on-air producer said during the final (and most entertaining) segment, The Cutting Room Floor.