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Perhaps no one is surprised to discover that New York Times columnist Frank Rich spends his Saturday nights watching MSNBC. What is surprising is that Rich excoriates the liberal network that failed to interrupt its White House Correspondents Dinner coverage for, you know, real news:
At 6:30 p.m. the abandoned Nissan Pathfinder was found smoking in Times Square… . Over the next hour and a half, several news organizations spread it as well while Times Square was evacuated. To clear the Broadway theater district at curtain time on Saturday night isn’t like emptying a high school; it’s a virtual military operation… . On MSNBC, which I was watching, it didn’t even merit a mention on a crawl… .
MSNBC was instead busy covering the correspondents dinner . . .
That MSNBC couldn’t be bothered to interrupt its two-hour coverage of these festivities to report on the attempted bombing was particularly embarrassing, given that the network’s headquarters are just blocks from Times Square. If NBC journalists in the Washington Hilton ballroom were too busy gawking at Justin Bieber to pounce on the bulletins moving through the BlackBerry-and-Twittersphere, you’d think someone back in New York would.
Apparently little short of King Kong climbing up 30 Rock could have grabbed the network’s attention… .
Perhaps even more surprising than Rich’s criticism of MSNBC is his admission that we are “a country at war.” It would have been nice if Rich had actually named the enemy, but let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth.