The TV Watch
Instead of Men Behaving Badly, MSNBC Strains for a Polite Primary Night
By ALESSANDRA STANLEY
At its best, which is usually on election nights or after a debate, MSNBC makes viewers feel that they are in a neighborhood bar with political insiders, listening in on the banter and smart assessments. At its worst, the cable news channel makes viewers feel they are in a neighborhood bar waiting on political insiders, the butt of their banter and smart-aleck assessments.
And Tuesday night, MSNBC tried very hard to be on its best behavior. Chris Matthews, who on “Hardball” often refers to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton by her first name, switched to “Hillary Clinton, Senator Clinton.” Mr. Matthews was so intent on not causing offense he introduced a senior Clinton adviser, Lisa Caputo, by saying: “What a nice person she is. And I mean this, she’s a friend of mine, they are all nice friends.”