While the claims "Fox News is not a news channel but a propaganda arm for the GOP" is a popular talking point - Ed Schultz and other Democratic operatives can not say the phrase "We Democrats" enough to have them placed in the same category.
MSNBC is still a destination for liberal viewers, but there's some disappointment that network personalities aren't more challenging to the Obama administration and Democratic orthodoxy, said Jeff Cohen, an Ithaca College journalism professor and liberal activist. He said there hasn't been enough debate about military action in Afghanistan and Libya.
"I would argue that it was more independent when Olbermann was there," Cohen said. "His charm, if you can call it that, is that he's uncontrollable. He's not a party-line guy."
MSNBC is facing the same issue that Fox News had during the Bush administration: It's not as exciting being on defense when the party you support is in power as it is being on the outs and on the attack, said Tim Graham of the conservative Media Research Center.
"Now it's, 'Let's not make trouble for these people. They have enough to handle with angry conservatives,'" he said.