The failed Wisconsin recall a week ago (6/5) generated a lot of conventional wisdom: Scott Walker renewed his mandate, the unions lost, and a new dynamic was introduced into the presidential campaign that helped the Romney campaign. And from a media perspective, Fox News was crowned the winner while MSNBC and, in particular, Ed Schultz were the grieving losers.
The mood around MSNBC that night and the next day bore witness to the disappointment of the MSNBC hosts. Pundits — conservative and liberal — mocked MSNBC’s seemingly all-in bet on the recall.
Despite their disappointment being palpable, it does not mean that MSNBC “lost”. MSNBC is not in the business of getting democrats elected (as much as it may seem to be the case); MSNBC is in the business of selling its viewers to advertisers. When you look at it from the perspective of ratings and social media, the night becomes a win for Ed Schultz.