MSNBC boss Phil Griffin, in an interview with the Associated Press’ David Bauder, says the cable news network has survived the departure of its star host Keith Olbermann, and will be more than ready to handle Olbermann’s return to television tonight on Current. Griffin repeated his belief that the network is strong enough now to ultimately compete with Fox News for first place. “MSNBC has established a sensibility, a position, a platform,” he said. “MSNBC stands for something and MSNBC is really the place to go for progressives and people who are looking for smart, thoughtful analysis. We’re growing, and we’re putting real effort behind it.”
Griffin’s suggestion that MSNBC is the “place to go” for progressives has already been jumped on by some conservative critics as proof of the network’s “hard-left slant,” as Lachlan Markay writes on NewsBusters. The network’s branding campaign, Lean Forward, has surely used progressive imagery and ideas in the words of star hosts like Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and Lawrence O’Donnell, but Griffin has previously said the network is not “tied to ideology” in the way he’s argued Fox News is. “”We are not a rubber stamp, and it would be wrong for anybody to imply otherwise,” Griffin tells the AP.
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