The New York Times’ Allessandra Stanley writes about MSNBC coverage of the Potomac Primaries…
At its best, which is usually on election nights or after a debate, MSNBC makes viewers feel that they are in a neighborhood bar with political insiders, listening in on the banter and smart assessments. At its worst, the cable news channel makes viewers feel they are in a neighborhood bar waiting on political insiders, the butt of their banter and smart-aleck assessments.
And Tuesday night, MSNBC tried very hard to be on its best behavior. Chris Matthews, who on “Hardball” often refers to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton by her first name, switched to “Hillary Clinton, Senator Clinton.” Mr. Matthews was so intent on not causing offense he introduced a senior Clinton adviser, Lisa Caputo, by saying: “What a nice person she is. And I mean this, she’s a friend of mine, they are all nice friends.”
MSNBC was the only one of the three cable news networks that showed Mrs. Clinton’s speech at a Texas rally almost in its entirety; Fox News and CNN cut away much sooner to the primary results. Tuesday night’s coverage of the so-called Potomac primaries on MSNBC was so polite it was almost comical: the channel’s usually brash, voluble anchors were like schoolboys sent to the principal’s office, straining to look penitent and extra attentive.