They gave them a chance. But they could not get along. After weeks of on-air squabbles, and amid accusations of political bias (such as the chants of "NBC! NBC!" that erupted during Sarah Palin's speech the other night), MSNBC has taken lightning rods Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann away from prime-time coverage of the presidential election, remanded them back to their own shows, and replaced them with a more sanguine host, reporter David Gregory — much to the relief of those at NBC who felt the duo's antics were compromising the news organization as a whole. According to the Times:
In interviews, 10 current and former staff members said that long-simmering tensions between MSNBC and NBC reached a boiling point during the conventions. “MSNBC is behaving like a heroin addict,” one senior staff member observed. “They’re living from fix to fix and swearing they’ll go into rehab the next week."
If this were a buddy movie, longtime rivals Matthews and Olbermann would, in exile, find a bond in being punished together. With no one else around to understand the specific pain of being demoted from the most exciting election like, ever, they would form a friendship, overcome their flaws as human beings, and eventually return stronger than ever. Like Jimmy MacElroy and Chazz Michael Michaels in Blades of Glory! But in reality these guys are just going to retire to their respective pastures and keep talking and gobbling up money until they disgrace themselves or die. Which wouldn't be a very good movie at all.
MSNBC Takes Incendiary Hosts From Anchor Seat [NYT]
CHRIS & KEITH 'LEFT' OUT AT MSNBC [NYP]