MSNBC Edges Rightward? Keith Olbermann Out, Ed Rendell Rumored To Be In

NewsBusters asked Saturday, "Does Olbermann Ouster Mean Comcast is Moving MSNBC to the Right?"

Roughly 24 hours later, Politico reported that Ed Rendell is in contract negotiations to become a pundit for the so-called news network:

The former two-term [Democrat] governor and Philadelphia mayor is still in contract negotiations with the cable network, but details could be finalized as early as this week.

"I'm doing it mostly because I want to continue to participate in the public dialogue and speeches and television are the best venues to do that," Rendell said in an interview.

As TVNewser noted, there seems to be a growing trend of former governors heading to cable. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Alaska's Sarah Palin are now working for Fox News; New York's Eliot Spitzer recently joined CNN.

As such, this isn't necessarily anything new.

What is newsworthy though is Rendell isn't your typical MSNBC liberal. Next to folks like Keith Olbermann, Lawrence O'Donnell, Rachel Maddow, and Ed Schultz, the former Pennsylvania governor is practically right-wing.

And, he is considered by folks on both sides of the aisle to be a very reasonable, calm, polite, and thoughtful interview.

Not exactly the model of a modern major liberal currently roaming MSNBC studios.

To be sure, this would be a baby-step compared to the network actually adding a conservative to its stable, but this still might be telling us something about the new direction here especially if Rendell is being brought on specifically to cover the 2012 campaign.

Despite what former MSNBC contributor David Shuster said on Sunday's "Reliable Sources," the performance of Maddow, Matthews, O'Donnell, and Olbermann on Election Night two months ago was disgraceful.

As media critic David Zurawik wrote at the time, "[T]he entire realm of TV journalism was diminished in the public mind." Even the liberal Daily Beast was offended.

NBC bigwigs must have taken notice, and are likely looking to bring some sanity to their coverage of the next election cycle.

They've surely gone a long way by getting Olbermann out and Rendell in if Politico is right about this pending move.

Makes you wonder what's next.

Stay tuned.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.