ICN is hearing that the fallout from the David Shuster suspension is rocking 30 Rock. Some staffers believe Shuster was thrown to the wolves for two reasons. One, to appease the Clinton campaign and “save” the debate to be aired on MSNBC between Clinton and Obama. Two, because they can; because Shuster is a small fry, a low man on the totem pole, and expendable. The argument would be it wouldn’t have happened to someone higher up, more important, like Olbermann or Matthews.
There may be something to both points. But at the same time I believe that’s totally irrelevent to the matter at hand. When you get right down to it, what Shuster said merited punishment of some sort. Suspension may have been severe but not something that shouldn’t have been on the table. The fact is Shuster has been dancing on the edge for years now in his reporting and commentary. When you live on the edge like that for that long, eventually you’re going to go too far. Just ask Don Imus. Imus, by the way, would be a rebuttal to the point that Shuster only got a time out because he’s small fry. They fired Imus and MSNBC’s morning ratings cratered and still haven’t recovered to where they were before he got fired.
This incident does however raise an issue that concerns MSNBC of late. And when I say of late, I mean over half a year.