About a year into MSNBC's strategy of refashioning itself into the network for Bush haters, some consequences are starting to emerge for the cable channel and its corporate parent NBC.
Internally, the lurch to the left has resulted in numerous outbreaks of hostility as the remains of the old guard fight to protect themselves and the token conservatives find themselves increasingly marginalized.
Some external consequences are emerging a well now. While apolitical liberals still haven't kicked their CNN habit (and likely won't), MSNBC's corporate leftism has antagonized conservatives. It showed last night here in St. Paul as conventioneers held up signs denouncing the network and began a derisive chant of "NBC! NBC!" when Alaska governor Sarah Palin took a pronounced swipe at the media in her vice presidential nominating speech.
"I've learned quickly, these past few days, that if you're not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone," Palin said in one of her biggest applause lines of the night.
Immediately thereafter, the audience started booing loudly and clapping. Within a second or so, various crowd members starting chanting out "NBC! NBC! NBC!" This quickly spread throughout the packed arena. Many conventioneers followed it up by pointing toward the MSNBC temporary studio inside the Xcel Energy Center, conveniently positioned next to the Arab television network Aljazeera by someone at the RNC.
After waiting for the boos to die down, Palin paused and delivered a retort:
"But here's a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion - I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this country. Americans expect us to go to Washington for the right reasons, and not just to mingle with the right people."
Amusingly enough, MSNBC's biggest left-wingers Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews actually had discussed these lines in Palin's speech just hours before.
"Who those reporters and commentators might be she does not say, at least not in the excerpt. It will be interesting to see if they're named in that speech," Olbermann remarked to Matthews in highly defensive conversation between the two, NBC's Tom Brokaw, and Norah O'Donnell.
"There's no one I can think of, off the top of my head, who did what she is apparently complaining of tonight, but she will be doing the complaining herself."
Evidently the audience was a little smarter on that account.