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MSNBC Turns 25

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Cable news network MSNBC launched on July 15, 1996, and has delivered its share of highs and lows over its 25-year history. The Onion looks back at the most important events in MSNBC’s history on its 25th anniversary.

  • 1996: Fledgling network stumbles after premiering morning show Live With Regis & Osama Bin Laden.
  • 1997: Keith Olbermann joins MSNBC to give conservatives an even easier target to make fun of.
  • 1998: First MSNBC president Mark Harrington dies without an heir, sparking the so-called War of the Five Executive Vice Presidents.
  • 2000: Graphics mixup displays network’s name as MNSBC for six weeks unnoticed.
  • 2003: Principled opposition to invasion of Iraq replaced with more commercials for Nutrisystem.
  • 2005-2008: Tucker Carlson spends three years hiding in plain sight.
  • 2015: Brian Williams interrupts broadcast to announce he’s just been killed in a helicopter during the Iraq War.
  • 2016: Network launches three shows focused on how crazy it’d be if Trump won.
  • 2017: Maddow’s just gonna go with this Russia thing, huh?
  • 2021: 100 millionth out-of-context MSNBC soundbite repeated verbatim by liberal viewer arguing with friend.