The New York Times' TV critic Alessandra Stanley has a look at the awkward relationship between NBC's straight news division and the freewheeling commentators at MSNBC.
Star anchors at NBC, like Meet the Press' David Gregory, occasionally join the liberal-lunging panel discussions at MSNBC. But when they do, it's not for long. "Like piano players in a brothel, they don’t go upstair," Stanley writes.
Then there's this from Stanley's story:
The NBC network’s anchors keep their opinions to themselves, and so do its star reporters, like Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd, who appear on both cable and network shows, and somehow skillfully navigate past the rockier shoals.
Problem: Andrea Mitchell.
Mitchell is branded as a straight-news reporter but over the course of the last year, the brand has come into question multiple times.
Mitchell appears in an ad for MSNBC's "Lean Forward" campaign. Other people who appear in those ads: The openly liberal Ed Schultz, Lawrence O'Donnell and Chris Hayes, each of whom take generally liberal positions in the ads (tax increases, government regulation of carbon output, creating jobs via government).
As for keeping her opinions undisclosed, when Paul Ryan was picked to be Mitt Romney's running mate earlier this month, Mitchell said it was "not a pick for suburban moms. This is not a pick for women."
No doubt Mitchell is expected to provide news analysis, but labeling a running mate pick as "not... for women" crosses the line into personal opinion territory. Probably.