Ed Driscoll

Newsbusters Buries the Lede: MSNBC to Air GOP Debate

“Only NBC Notes Unveiling of New Reagan Postage Stamp,” Brent Baker of Newsbusters writes, but get a load of this:

At the Reagan Museum and Library in Ventura County, California, former First Lady Nancy Reagan on Monday unveiled a new Ronald Reagan postage stamp which is to be released in February to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Reagan’s birth, “The Reagan Centennial.”

Of the broadcast network evening newscasts, only NBC, which has a deal to host a Republican presidential debate through MSNBC at the library, made note of the occasion. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams briefly announced on his December 13 newscast:

Nancy Reagan on hand today at the unveiling of the stamp that will mark the centennial anniversary of her husband’s birth. The Ronald Reagan stamp goes on sale February 10th, just days after what would have been the former President’s 100th birthday.

NBC “has a deal to host a Republican presidential debate through MSNBC” at the Reagan Library?  But what does “through MSNBC” mean? Will it be airing on MSNBC, but moderated by NBC-affiliated hosts such as Andrea Mitchell, who frequently lets her Beltway liberal partisanship fly when appearing on MSNBC? Or Tea Party/flyover country expert Brian Williams?

Or will the actual MSNBC anchors be moderating? If so, the obvious question at this point, is why would Republicans agree to a debate on a network that so loathes them, but that’s answered in part by recalling Roger Ailes’ line when Democrats refused to debate on Fox during the 2008 election cycle: “If you are afraid of journalists, how will you face the real dangers in the world?”

But as far as Keith Olbermann and his partners in vitriol on the channel, will any GOP candidates call the network on their extreme (to say the least) rhetoric, displaying an obsession with calling anyone to the right of the president and/or the anchors on the channel as a racist, a Nazi, or both?

Somewhat surprisingly, given the White House’s previously chummy ties with the network, or perhaps as yet another example of the Obama White House’s rather ham-handed triangulation attempts, Robert Gibbs did yesterday, much to his credit:

Robert Gibbs had some advice for Keith Olbermann during today’s White House press briefing: leave the Nazis out of it.

Gibbs was asked about his reaction to Olbermann’s Dec. 8 “Special Comment,” in which he stopped just short (but not very short) of comparing the President’s proposed tax cut deal to the Munich Pact’s appeasement of the Nazis, Matt Negrin reports over at 44.

“Whenever you compare anything to what the Nazis did, if you ever get to that point in your speech, stop, because nothing does, and hopefully, God willing, nothing ever will,” Gibbs told reporters.

Asked if Obama heard Olbermann’s “special comment,” Gibbs replied, “I doubt the president heard that.”

Olbermann quoted Winston Churchill throughout a stemwinder of a response to the tax cut deal — which, among other things, threatened support for a Democratic primary challenger – saying that the historical parallels the quotations suggested were not accidental.

The Godwinesque comparison aside, I wonder if Keith recalls how little the president cares for Churchill.