If MSNBC is really as liberal as Howard Kurtz says it is, why does Kurtz insist on exaggerating his evidence? Here he is today:
Left wing tilt: Can someone please explain what MSNBC's "Left wing tilt" is? The only show I watch is Morning Joe and I don't see much "liberalism" there. Who but the homebound watch evening cable chatter?
Howard Kurtz: I don't think there's any dispute -- not even MSNBC would dispute -- that Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz are firmly on the left, and Chris Matthews is a former Democratic strategist who recently pondered running for the Senate from Pennsylvania as a Democrat. Those are the hosts on the air on MS from 5 to 11 p.m.
Chris Matthews hasn't been a "Democratic strategist" for roughly 25 years. His flirtation with a Senate run as a Democrat isn't particularly illustrative; at the time he was thinking about running, the incumbent was a Republican. And he reportedly decided not to run because there wasn't anything he wanted to accomplish as a Senator - not exactly a sign of someone someone with strong progressive views or Democratic leanings. He has said he voted for George W. Bush -- again, not something that is typically a sign of strong Democratic leanings or a liberal worldview.
On the other hand, Matthews spent the latter half of the Clinton administration attacking the Clintons and Al Gore, and most of the Bush administration lavishing praise on Bush and attacking and mocking Democrats. And his attitudes about ethnicity and (especially) gender are famously at odds with progressive values. (Not that Matthews is alone among MSNBC personalities when it comes to less-than-progressive attitudes about women.)
Kurtz' use of Matthews as evidence of MSNBC's liberalism undermines his case - and his simplistic and misleading description of Matthews suggests that he knows Matthews is not a good example.