Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has signed on as a cable news analyst... for left-leaning MSNBC. As RNC boss, Steele repeatedly came under fire for cost overruns and "embarrassing sound bites," and his television musings inspired The Daily Show to immortalize (and lampoon) him as a jive-talking blue puppet. But now the real Steele will be a TV regular, and had reportedly also been in discussions with CNN and Fox News. Is the Steele-MSNBC marriage a good one?
Steele makes for great TV: Here's "hoping this MSNBC thing works out," says Elspeth Reeve at The Atlantic Wire. Steele has a "conversational, confident, and sort of sassy" style, and, for added fun, he "says 'baby' a lot, in a manner befitting a 1970s person with a mustache." Looking back over his many cable news appearances, "it's hard to imagine why CNN and Fox didn't snap him up." But now that he has a new television home, at least there may be a new excuse "for The Daily Show to break out Puppet Michael Steele now and again."
"Michael Steele in talks with MSNBC to answer his true calling"
And he's a "perfect fit" for MSNBC: Some may see this as "an unmistakable sign of the apocalypse,"says Frances Martel at Mediaite. But much like "Juan Williams and Alan Colmes make for good television over on Fox," Steele will work well on MSNBC. "He can passionately defend his points without exhibiting any bitterness, and, in fact, it seems he relishes being persistently challenged in his ideology by everyone around him." Plus, he gives MSNBC the "strong Republican voice" that critics always say it lacks.
"Former GOP Chair Michael Steele is in talks with MSNBC to become contributor"
They should just give him his own show: Steele is "sharp and engaging with a good presence that carries over well on television," says Jazz Shaw at Hot Air. And he doesn't "take himself too seriously." It's too bad the network is only making him an analyst rather than giving him his own show to host. That would really help MSNBC "gain some credibility."
"Michael Steele to MSNBC? The Rapture is surely upon us"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- 6 tiny scientific mistakes that created huge disasters
- Inside Turkey's shadow war with ISIS
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- How science is accelerating our search for alien life
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1: 10 major differences between the book and the movie
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
Subscribe to the Week