On my way home from a vacation up north, I flipped on C-Span radio for much of the Jersey Turnpike. The station replays the morning chat shows. Since I am addicted to the presidential race, I just had to listen to George Will and Brit Hume, etc. I’d listen. Then scream. I’d listen. Then Scream. All through Jersey. It was fun.

News had already broke that MSNBC was ditching its fiery brand names (Olbermann and Matthews) because of the view that they might be too liberal. This is an interesting turn of events for the schizophrenic network (tonight is the debut of liberal talker Rachel Maddow‘s show) Olbermann and Matthews had sparred with each other on the air and Olbermann had taken a jab at Joe Scarborough. Jon Stewart compared the antics to The Lord of the Flies.

What was Olbermann’s REAL alleged screwup? Going after the Republicans for using graphic 9/11 footage as a prop during its convention. And going after his own network for airing the video. You can read/watch Olbermann’s critique here.

Meanwhile, the chat shows had peppered the McCain campaign about when Sarah Palin would finally sit down for an interview. Yesterday we learned that the McCain campaign awarded the Palin interview to ABC’s news anchor Charles Gibson. I’m sure I will watch it. But I can’t help but think the obvious thought: Gibson is no Russert.

What does Palin need? What do we need? Russert. It would have been awesome to see Russert post up old, pre-convention Palin stances on earmarks, the “Bridge to Nowhere,” Polar Bears, Creationism, and Iraq. Is she really George Bush in lipstick? Russert would not only find out, his findings would stick.

Palin would have to answer all the questions about flip-flops, earmarks and that bridge to nowhere. She would have to prove her readiness. And no Republican would be able to accuse Russert of bias. I doubt Gibson’s interview will change many minds or bring about an accurate portrait of Palin. Say what you will about Russert, his interview would have meant something.