In an interview with Mediabistro’s executive director Chris Ariens, MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing defended the network’s left turn while stating that her program plays it straight down the middle.
Ariens: We’re back with Chris Jansing here on Media Beat. And it’s no secret that MSNBC has moved left in primetime. But the perception from the viewer is, that must be the case for the rest of the network and I think Fox feels this too from the right. So do you feel like the whole network does lean that way? Do you feel it from the—the reaction you get from viewers? What do you hear out there? Do you—is that your sort of political persuasion or how—how do you make sure that you’re right down the middle?
Jansing: You know, one of the things I’m proudest of is that if you talk to members of my family, they don’t even have any idea who I vote for or which way I lean politically, and there’s no doubt what we are in primetime. MSNBC makes no apologies for that. I think we are a source of great information. I think the hosts that we have on in primetime are the smartest people around. And is it a struggle? Yeah, I think when people first tune in to MSNBC sometimes during the day, they may be expecting what they see at night, and they find out it’s not that. Part of the reason why our ratings have been going up, because people have gotten very comfortable with the idea that they’re going to get both sides of the story on MSNBC dayside.
But Jansing doesn’t always play it straight down the middle. Earlier this year she cited a report by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on “active U.S. hate groups,” asking if the rise of radical right-wing groups had anything to do with Jared Loughner’s assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ).
Jansing also showed her bias when she substituted for Chris Matthews in August and wondered aloud if Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry “was too far off even for the GOP?”
Maybe Jansing’s family doesn’t know which way she leans politically but it’s crystal clear to everyone else.