With that kind of audience loyalty in mind, it’s no wonder MSNBC made the decision a few years ago to basically put in writing what everyone had known about it for some time: It wanted to be grab its own share of the political spectrum and be for liberal viewers what Fox News was for conservatives. While MS has to answer to the NBC News mothership, which is all about the Chuck Todd-approved phony objectivity of the “both sides are to blame” meme, it’s certainly allowed its opinion shows to skew undeniably to the left. And, as hoped, it’s paid off for the network in the ratings. At no point more clearly than over the past couple of nights — nights in which MSNBC, the former redheaded stepchild of the NBC empire, actually toppled the Fox News juggernaut in the key 25-54 demo. It’s the first time that’s happened two nights in a row.
Simon Owens is an assistant managing editor at U.S. News & World Report. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Email him at email@example.com