The Best Unintentionally Ironic MSNBC Ad Yet!

The "Vote-zilla" crew strikes again...

This little gem, an ad promoting “Hardball’s College Tour” through Pennsylvania, has been airing on MSNBC this morning:

“After three days in Pennsylvania, Chris Matthews has the keys to unlock the Democratic primary!”

Um…three days? That’s all it takes to learn the keys to the Keystone State? I mean, I’ll be spending a long weekend in Vegas this summer, and fully expect that my time there will allow me to hone keen insights about the ins and outs of Nevada politics…but I’ll have four days to “unlock the keys” to that state’s political culture. Only three days, though? That seems to push it, you know, just a smidge.

The most ironic part of the ad is that Matthews is from Philly…so, in this instance, he actually could have some personal insight into the culture of Pennsylvania voters—which could be a real selling point for Hardball in the next couple of weeks. It’s rare that the MSNBC ad department—they of the explosive graphics and histrionic language and general Obsession With Melodrama—actually undersell a subject they’re promoting. But there they are, ridiculously touting Matthews’s latest three days in Pennsylvania, “among the people,” as it were…as if the pundit’s sheer intensity allows him the absorptive capability most journalists actually have to, you know, spend time developing.

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.