In case you missed it---Lanny Davis says he was “100 percent transparent” with Fox News and MSNBC when it came to telling them what Purple Nation Solutions was all about. That is, a new lobbying/legal/strategic communications firm. But MSNBC and Fox didn’t place the emphasis on the lobbying/legal/strategic communications part; they went long and hard on the message of Davis and partner Michael Steele on bridging the partisan divide, so much that you could almost forget that Davis and Steele are in this to make some money.

Also: Will MSNBC’s new show “The Cycle” match the Rollick Factor of “The Five”?


*Bill Carter of the New York Times tells us that negative reviews — like those about Aaron Sorkin’s HBO series “The Newsroom” — may not have that great of an impact on viewers:

The reviews for “Newsroom” included more slams than most HBO shows — and every previous show by Mr. Sorkin – ever have received. But Mr. Sorkin, who is most known for creating “The West Wing” and writing the Oscar-winning screenplay for “The Social Network,” has a large following of fans and the more negative reviews may not have deterred them from checking out his new work.

The show’s first episode drew 2.1 million viewers.

*Mediaite reports that “Today Show” boss Jim Bell is looking at an expanding portfolio at NBC News.

*Matt Lewis of the Daily Caller riffs about the challenges facing S.E. Cupp of MSNBC’s “The Cycle.” She’s the lone conservative pitted against three liberals in an ensemble format:

There are a lot of ways this can go wrong. Do you go along to get along and be co-opted? Do you challenge everything — leave no shot unanswered — and come across as defensive? Can you pick your battles??

The dynamic that Lewis overlooks here is that she’s actually positioned for distinction — she’s the only voice of opposition to the majority, among which there’ll be differences, but differences of relatively narrow bandwidth. By sitting there with the countervailing viewpoint, Cupp will sit in the show’s driver's seat. She needn’t worry about disappearing, as all three of the libs will have to.

*The New York Times is recognizing that people are consuming content in different ways, and it has a deal with Flipboard as testament to that recognition. So says Mathew Ingram of GigaOm.

...the Flipboard arrangement is a sign that the newspaper might be undergoing a philosophical or cultural change when it comes to content, something it will hopefully continue as it searches for a new CEO who can take it into a digital future. In addition to Flipboard, the newspaper also announced another interesting digital-native partnership recently: namely, a deal with viral web-content aggregator BuzzFeed, to share knowledge related to the election and other topics. Learning from new providers is smart.

*Laura Ingraham takes a look at atheism in America and shows one of her great gifts — stirring up shouting matches where there need be none: