NEW YORK – The mix and tone of political stories on NBC News broadcasts "Nightly News" and "Today" has not been affected by cable sibling MSNBC's move to the left during this campaign, a nonpartisan study concluded on Tuesday.
The conclusion by the Project for Excellence in Journalism bolsters the argument by NBC News executives that their straight-news broadcasts aren't influenced by the left-wing prime-time talk shows hosted by Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow on MSNBC.
MSNBC's left turn has caused some tensions within NBC News this fall and clearly hurt the network's reputation with the McCain campaign.
The project's study found no hint that NBC News' coverage being less favorable toward Republicans than the media as a whole. It judged NBC's coverage of Sarah Palin to be more positive than any other network, with Fox News Channel second. The conclusions, however, were part of an earlier study that found John McCain's coverage overwhelmingly negative since the conventions among all media.