Olbermann, Matthews Pulled as Election Anchors

Monday, 08 Sep 2008 11:29 AM

By Jim Meyers

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Facing accusations of political bias, MSNBC has removed Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews from their anchor chairs in the network’s coverage of the presidential debates and election night.

MSNBC host David Gregory will take over those roles, while Olbermann and Matthews remain as analysts during the coverage.

Placing politically incendiary hosts Olbermann and Matthews had been a “bold experiment,” according to The New York Times.

But the two anchors occasionally squabbled on the air, and MSNBC remained in last place among the broadcast and cable news networks.

MSNBC and its parent NBC’s coverage of the campaigns was perceived as so slanted to the left that when vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin remarked about media bias during her convention speech, the crowd chanted “NBC.”

Matthews at one pointed swooned over Democrat Barack Obama, "The feeling most people get when they hear a Barack Obama speech, I mean, I get, I felt this thrill go up my leg. I mean, I don't have that too often."

The John McCain campaign went so far as to file letters of complaint to NBC’s news division complaining about its coverage and “openly tied MSNBC to it,” The Times reported.

Regarding MSNBC’s left-wing bias, Davidson Goldin, formerly the network’s editorial director, declared: “The most disappointing shift is to see the partisan attitude move from prime time into what’s supposed to be straight news programming.”

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