In a refreshing example of self-policing, even if arguably occurring later than it should have, MSNBC announced that it is replacing Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews as co-anchors of their political night coverage.
According to David Bauder, of the Associated Press, "the change reflects tensions between the freewheeling, opinionated MSNBC and the impartial newsgatherers at NBC News. Throughout the primaries and summer, MSNBC argued that Olbermann and Matthews could serve as dispassionate anchors on political news nights and that viewers would accept them in that role, but things fell apart during the conventions." (Olbermann is a darling of many of those who are left-leaning.)
Even though Olbermann and Matthews had pledged to function as journalists rather than commentators, this seems to have proved too difficult a task.
David Gregory is expected to replace Olbermann and Matthews in anchoring MSNBC’s coverage of the presidential and vice presidential debates as well as on election night. Olbermann and Matthews will continue as commentators.
Kudos to NBC for taking this step. It is high time that news providers take more aggressive steps to help the public distinguish between ‘pure reporting’ and spin-based commentary.