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You Never Forget Your First Time ... Watching MSNBC

I lean right on most issues, and I'm well aware of how MSNBC leans. I've read the channel’s web reporting and watched some of its video clips, all of which reinforced the image the channel has cultivated in recent years.

Sites like Newsbusters.org do a thorough job exposing some of the more outrageous comments uttered on the network.

But I never watched MSNBC for an extended period until Tuesday night, during the coverage of the Massachusetts Senate special election. I was genuinely curious how they would cover a breaking news story with the potential to run afoul of their most popular hosts' belief systems.

I wish my curiosity hadn't gotten the better of me.

The channel assembled Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow, two unabashed liberals and Barack Obama supporters, to comment on the breaking news. And who was anchoring this portion of the programming? Keith Olbermann, someone whose tone appears far more intense than his peers. (I'm trying to be gentle.)

Three hardcore liberals assigned to report on a major senatorial race, each looking as if someone was torturing their dog off camera. Norah O’Donnell looked equally pained, and she was stationed at Brown's camp. Typically, when a newscaster is situated in the winner’s circle, the jubilation can be infectious. She was immune.

Fair and balanced? Doom and gloom is more like it. Where was the jovial Matthews, the feisty political observer, during one of the biggest nights in recent electoral memory? This is meaty stuff, an historic night with plenty to chew on, but Matthews looked as if he had eaten something that disagreed with him. It’s safe to assume he didn't get a tingle all night.