If Nate Silver won the official election of who’s right, then who took home the popular vote? If you ask Brian Stelter, it was clearly MSNBC.
In a parallel from from years ago, it seems like the 24-hour news channel has bulked up and turned itself around since the last presidential election. The channel’s rough start as “a CNN also-ran to an Anti-Fox” came to a huge change for the 2012 election as channel has morphed into a true counter-brand to Fox News. It required a four-year re-branding message, including a series of ads where notable on-air talent like Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz and Rachel Maddow stand before historic or iconic images–not to mention most were originally shot by Spike Lee.
It could be that the tides are changing, as even Variety has Fox News as a major winner and loser on election night. Buried almost the the end in the lavish praise comes the always tantalizing anonymous sources familiar with all manners of media matter. Supposedly The Washington Post’s Ezra Miller is being eyed for a possible weekend show along with Chris Hayes, or the coveted 8pm slot. But that’s neither how, now or why. What’s important is recognizing that MSNBC is skewing itself to a younger market. Whether they’re accomplishing it by not having real-time debate reactions like CNN or eshewing making everything as “Extreme” as Fox News is still up in the air. There’s a shift to get rid of the old weekend documentaries (the “Lockup” series included) and tune to constant political coverage, or even discussion like The Cycle which kicks off seven hours of specialized talking heads.
Either way, it seems like Fox News may have inadvertently followed the plot of Mean Girls too closely. The only question worth answering in the follow-up must be which network is Lindsey Lohan and which is Rachel McAdams. Maybe we’ll find out at next year’s White House Correspondents Dinner?
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