Anybody who thinks that the Obama administration has a picnic on the airwaves everywhere but on Fox News Channel and the radio dial hasn’t been paying attention. They’re turning up the heat from the left over at MSNBC.
While the opinion class at FNC is convinced Obama is moving the nation too far to the left, it is equally true that those who start from the left are convinced Obama isn’t moving it nearly far enough.
That is certainly the case with MSNBC’s two main opinion hosts, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, and others, including radio’s own Ed Schultz. According to a report from the New York Times, Maddow spent the better part of last week complaining about the state of the health care bill after the House, and particularly Bart Stupak (D-MI) got through with it – and suggested Obama start taking steps to get it done correctly or risk alienating his own base voters.
MSNBC execs say that as yet they have heard very little pushback from the White House – in fact, the last time they were getting significant feedback from that source, George W. Bush was living there. But network execs make no bones about the fact that they are concerned more about holding the administration accountable than they are with acting as cheerleaders.
MSNBC is also concerned with keeping its cash register ringing, and NYT says it stands to match last year’s income despite the sour economy and the lack of an election to help ratchet up ratings. So MSNBC execs feel their approach is working.
RBR-TVBR observation: If you’re in politics, make sure you wear your verbal body armor every day because, between radio, cable and the internet, there is no safe haven from criticism. And it is almost impossible to be so far out on one edge or the other that you can’t suffer potshots from a pundit even farther out on the fringe.