"The journalistic bond between The Post and MSNBC just grew a bit stronger, as the paper’s opinion section announced that MSNBC host Rachel Maddow will be writing a monthly column."
So began Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple's announcement Wednesday concerning the addition of the perilously liberal Maddow to the Post opinion page.
Honestly, if you were the Post, would you want your relationship with the so-called "news network" considered by most to be the biggest farce in journalism to grow stronger?
After the high profile dismissal of Alec Baldwin and Martin Bashir, is this really the time to be adding one of their commentators to your payroll?
Editorial page editor Fred Hiatt seems to think so writing in a memo to staff Wednesday, "We expect that she will bring to Post readers the strong arguments, sharp wit and thoughtful analysis of political and social issues that have made her show an Emmy Award winner."
I guess Hiatt isn't concerned about the extreme liberal bias possessed by Maddow, or how she often plays fast and loose with the facts to promote her agenda.
Or maybe her liberalness is the selling point, as loyal Post readers for years have complained that the opinion pages were too - dare I say - neoconservative.
With the recent hiring of the Huffington Post's Radley Balko and now Maddow, maybe Hiatt is trying to alter that perception.
Of course, perception often differs from reality.
Consider that when one includes bloggers that don't often make it into the actual print edition, the Post currently has 32 opinion contributors not including Maddow and Balko.
Of those, 20 - or 63 percent - are liberal. Six are moderates - straight down the middle, or slightly right or left of center.
At present, the only moderately conservative to conservative contributors to the Post are Michael Gerson, Robert Kagan, Charles Krauthammer, Jennifer Rubin, Marc Thiessen, and George Will.
As you can see, the Post clearly needed to add Maddow and Balko to balance out the six conservatives on the payroll.
On the other hand, is it possible the Post under the new ownership of Amazon's Jeff Bezos is looking for a little quid pro quo?
As Wemple noted, "Numerous opinion and news staffers from The Post appear regularly on MSNBC airwaves, including Dana Milbank, Jonathan Capehart, Chris Cillizza, Eugene Robinson and Ezra Klein."
All but Milbank at this part are paid MSNBC contributors. Maybe more importantly, as Capehart and Klein have both done some substitute hosting, they are rumored to be in consideration to replace the departed Bashir.
Might the hiring of Maddow be a bit of grease being applied to the skids to give the Post even more visibility on television?