Accuracy in Media

MSNBC president Phil Griffin praised his network’s coverage last week of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, and Hurricane Isaac, by calling it “the smartest, most thought provoking and energetic coverage anywhere on cable,” while singling out Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews for their roles.

Griffin was particularly happy with what he called Maddow’s “magisterial anchoring,” and Chris Matthews’ “pure joy and love of politics,” that resulted in what Griffin said “provided real depth, honesty and moments of surprise.”

Depth and honesty? Griffin certainly couldn’t be referring to Matthews, who started the week in Tampa by attacking RNC chairman Reince Priebus, and continued throughout the week calling the Republican Party and Romney campaign racist, choosing invective over facts.

Matthews has been unapologetic about his fact-starved attacks. Based on his appearance yesterday on Andrea Mitchell  Reports, he is planning on doubling down this week during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC where he will be waiting for another thrill up his leg from Obama.

From: Griffin, Phil (NBCUniversal)
Sent: Friday, August 31, 2012 06:28 PM
Subject: A Note From Phil

This week’s Republican convention represents an extraordinary point in MSNBC’s history. For the first time ever, we beat CNN in east coast/west coast prime (7p-2a et) in total viewers and the demo during convention coverage this week, on nights considered the political equivalent of the Olympics.  We reached this point through hard work and talent of an incredible team at MSNBC.

Willie kicked it off every morning at 5:30AM with a packed house in Tampa.  Then, we lit it up with Morning Joe, the smartest political conversation to start anyone’s day, with an incredible roster of guests from across the spectrum — I want to thank Joe, Mika and Willie, and Alex and his team, for doing what they do so well every day, only this time from Tampa and on one of the biggest stages of the year. The Elephant Bar was THE place to be in Tampa. And, who will forget that scene at the convention center when Joe and Mika interviewed Chris Christie the day before he gave his key note speech.  Morning Joe sets the agenda every day, what they’re doing is exciting and impressive.

Our daytime coverage lead by Yvette Miley kept the momentum going with great bookings, great energy and insight, while juggling the events in Tampa with the breaking news of a huge storm. Chuck and Andrea continuing the conversation from Tampa, Tamron hosting and leading our coverage in New Orleans, Chris Jansing, Thomas Roberts, Alex Wagner (and thanks for your contributions in prime), The Cycle, and Martin Bashir all doing smart shows and showing why we are The Place for Politics.

And that lead into our prime time coverage lead by John, Izzy, Bill, and Court. With Rachel Maddow’s magisterial anchoring and Chris Matthews’ pure joy and love of politics, we put together the smartest, most thought provoking and energetic coverage anywhere on cable. What I loved most is that for those who watched we provided real depth, honesty and moments of surprise. Ed Schultz defended the teachers unions and hailed Paul Ryan, saying a star was born. Lawrence brought his years of living politics to set the big speeches in context, including last night when he said Romney gave the best speech of his life. Rev. Al always brought the analysis back to the real world, while Steve Schmidt shared his strategic insights about where the Romney campaign and the Republican party are headed. How great is it to now include Chris Hayes, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Ezra Klein whose observations are so impressive. Ezra’s in-depth fact-checking segment on debt, jobs and policy really set us apart.

MSNBC has built its success on going deep,  going smart and that’s the path we are going to continue moving forward.

We have built a team and network we can all be proud of. It’s success nobody could have predicted when we launched 16 years ago, when CNN ruled the roost.

A special thanks to Marc Greenstein and his production teams for all the logistical planning and awesome execution. And to Mark Lukasiewicz and everyone at NBC News for all their hard work and support.

What a great way to kick off the last leg of the presidential campaign.

Have a great weekend, see you in Charlotte.

(h/t TVNewser)

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