Last night on Hardball, during a discussion with Howard Fineman and Chip Saltsman on whether or not Rick Santorum can beat Mitt Romney, host Chris Matthews compared MSNBC’s ad slogan “Lean Forward” to what he called Santorum’s effort to “Lean Backward,” declaring it was a winner for the network, but probably not for Santorum.
Matthews: You know the slogan of this network is leaning forward or lean forward. It seems like his is lean backward. Chip? Is that a winner? Lean backward? I think lean forward has been a winner for us but lean backward may not be a winner for him.
When MSNBC president Phil Griffin announced the launch of the “Lean Forward” campaign in November 2010, he said it was about “finding solutions.”
And solutions are exactly what he needs. Since that time, MSNBC parted company with their top-rated anchor Keith Olbermann, and have shifted their primetime lineup around in an effort to find ratings success.
MSNBC, which at the time was a solid number two behind Fox News, slipped in January to third place behind CNN in the cable news ratings and continues to struggle with its lineup against a reinvigorated CNN.
If that’s what Matthews considers a winner for the network, then maybe he’s been eating a little too much blueberry pie with Al Sharpton.