Down with MSNBC

Think that MSNBC has gone fully around the liberal bend, becoming the unimpeachable favorite of the left-leaning blogosphere?

‘Fraid not. Here in “The Big Tent,” the blogger friendly para-convention posting, eating, drinking and socializing space, was featuring a disjointed broadcast experience. On a half dozen or so flatscreen and projection TVs, the crowd was watching MSNBC’s feed, while listening to C-Span’s audio. This highlighted the surprising amount of time of that MSNBC preferred to serve viewers Oblermann-Matthews chit-chat rather the scene in the convention hall.

Bizarre as it was, it seemed to be a workable compromise—and anyhow, given the number of folks staring into laptops, there’s a healthy number of eyes off the TV screens. But then, during former Representative Jim Leach’s Obama-endorsement speech (until 2007 the Republican had been a Representative from Iowa for 30 years), someone flipped the audio to MSNBC.

That didn’t sit well.

“Why they’d cut off Jim Leach?” someone bellowed.

“That’s not what we want,” said another.

And then something happened that I’m willing to wager has never happened before. From the front of a room a high school cafeteria-style chant (foot stomps and table pounds and all) began, thinly, but clearly:


Soon, commercial and pundit free audio was restored. The video feed followed minutes later. And peace fell over The Big Tent.

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Clint Hendler is the managing editor of Mother Jones, and a former deputy editor of CJR.