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MSNBC Guest Inserts Gratuitous Palin Slam Into College Football Story

Nation magazine sports editor Dave Zirin appeared on MSNBC's News Live on Tuesday to discuss college football and ended up trashing Sarah Palin. Talking with host David Shuster about a new SEC regulation stopping fans from using social networking sites at games, Zirin frothed that odd sports rules are like "Sarah Palin considering herself a college graduate. Just 'cause you call yourself that, doesn't mean it means anything."

Is there no subject too unrelated for MSNBC or one of its guests to use to slam the former Alaska governor? Perhaps it's not surprising that the left-leaning cable network would feature a man who covers sports for the very liberal Nation. But, couldn't they find someone from Sports Illustrated, ESPN or any other non-partisan sports outlet?

Shuster didn't even identify the partisan publication that Zirin works for until the very end of the segment. After asking and being told that Zirin writes for the Nation, Shuster enthused, "The Nation. All right. Well, you should be writing for everyone else as well. Great stuff."

A transcript of the August 18 exchange, which aired at 4:30pm EDT, follows:

DAVID SHUSTER: Monica, the competition that's on so many people's minds right now, college football. It starts in a couple weeks, but social technology has apparently been sacked by college football's Southeast Conference. The conference that includes the top ranked Florida Gators has created an uproar by banning the use of social media services at its games. That means no Twittering, Facebooking, blogging, vlogging or YouTubing at games. And that's because authorized media coverage rights belong to CBS and ESPN under a 15 year deal that's reportedly worth $3billion.

...

SHUSTER: And they're angering, as you pointed out, their fan base. And the S.E.C already has a reputation of being, shall we say, a little bit loose when it comes to grades for student athletes. This is just going to go right to the reputation that the S.E.C. is only concerned about money.

DAVID ZIRIN: And that's why student athletes should be paid. You're talking about $3 billion contracts. The NCAA still considers itself a non-profit, which is like, I don't know, Sarah Palin considering herself a college graduate. Just 'cause you call yourself that, doesn't mean it means anything.

SHUSTER: Dave Zirin, who writes for- Salon?

ZIRIN: The Nation. Same thing.

SHUSTER: The Nation. All right. Well, you should be writing for everyone else as well. Great stuff.

-Scott Whitlock is a news analyst for the Media Research Center.