MSNBC’s New Slogan Has That ‘Mao Lite’ Ring to It

I’d expect nothing less in a new slogan from the cable net featuring Olbermann, Schultz and Maddow:

A little rebranding goes a long way. Brian Stelter reports this afternoon that, starting Tuesday, MSNBC will add the tagline “Lean Forward,” and roll out a new, two-year advertising campaign aimed at raising the network’s profile.

In some ways “Lean Forward” is a rejection of Fox News’ “Fair and Balanced.” To anyone who is used to media rebranding, “lean forward” is a nice way of saying audience engagement. Meanwhile, the network will continue to use the slogan “The Place for Politics.”

“Lean Forward” brings to mind Mao’s “Great Leap Forward,” but I think it’s only a subtle and benign attempt to make MSNBC appeal to more Obama administration officials.