Political analyst Steve Kornacki may be – and probably is – MSNBC’s one remaining thin thread of credibility and respectability. He is, in my judgment, the most objective and knowledgeable political analyst on television.
That is not a recent opinion. Way back in 2016, I wrote a commentary in praise of Kornacki’s ability to report the facts and offer opinions based on objective analysis. Back in 2016, Kornacki distinguished himself by reporting on the election returns that were making it increasingly obvious that Donald J. Trump was about to get elected President of the United States.
His projections throughout the night were spot on. But more importantly, he never betrayed any personal view of the outcome – not in words or tone – even as MSNBC’s exclusively left-wing panel of political analysts were in a state of trauma.
I well recall that golden moment when the panel was hypothesizing as to how Hillary Clinton might still pull it out. What about the big cities in the battleground states, they asked? What about the Black vote in Pittsburgh and Detroit?
Kornacki again glanced at his map and figures and very calmly told that the “numbers (for Clinton} are not there.” Kornacki literally projected Trump the winner before the folks in the back room made their official call. That is when the remaining blood drained from then-MSNBC commentator Chris Matthew’s face and Rachel Maddow slumped speechless in her seat.
In my previous commentary, I worried that Kornacki might eventually evolve into another MSNBC political zombie merely by hanging around the office so much. I was confident that Kornacki could not fix MSNBC, but that they could ruin him.
So far that has not happened – but there have been some early warnings. They have not come from his role as election analyst, but those occasions when they put Kornacki in one of those “sitting in for …” guest host slots. Even then, he was not as strident or mendacious as the namesake hosts, but there was still some of the producer-scripted bias in Kornacki’s presentations.
I think FOX would gain a great election analyst. It would be good for the network. It would be good for Kornacki. Hell … It would be good for America.
FOX is the most successful cable station and has tons of money. They should ask what it would take to get Kornacki to make the switch – and then meet the demands. It would be well worth it. And it needs to be done before MSNBC re-molds Kornacki into just another one of the networks pull-string talking dolls with the pre-recorded message.
So, there ‘tis.