The State of the Union speech (Bill O'Leary / The Washington Post) The State of the Union speech (Bill O’Leary / The Washington Post)

No, it’s not surprising to note that the two cable channels at opposite ends of the political spectrum — liberal MSNBC and conservative Fox News — view things differently. But their immediate reactions to President Obama’s State of the Union speech last night raise the question as to whether they were watching the same feed.


• Anchor Chris Matthews: “A masterful address by the president.” “I love the nationalism in this speech.”

• Anchor the Rev. Al Sharpton: “A masterful speech.” “Great.” “He went right at it.” “I think he was the Barack Obama we saw in ’08 running.”

• Anchor (and Post columnist) Rachel Maddow: “Energetic.” “Comfortable in his own skin.” “Very much in the moment.” 

• Anchor Ed Schultz: “His demeanor was stellar tonight.” “He hit all the right notes and his tone was so uplifting.”

Fox News

• Contributor (and Post columnist) Charles Krauthammer: “Well, there wasn’t a lot in the speech.”

• Contributor A.B. Stoddard: “Well, I thought the speech was quite predictable.”

• Contributor (and Post columnist) George Will: “Well, it was an agreeably harmless talk.” “It’s a lot of gesture liberalism.”

• Contributor Kirsten Powers: “The speech was definitely oversold by the White House.”