If you were hoping that Ronan Farrow would open up his new show on MSNBC talking about his sister Dylan’s relationship with their estranged father Woody Allen, you were likely disappointed.
Farrow also stayed away from MSNBC's usual dose of progressive finger-wagging as well.
The host of MSNBC’s new 1 p.m. program steered the show away from anything salacious or argumentative in favor of something more reasoned and intelligent.
Over the course of an hour, Farrow demonstrated a detached, bemused stance toward the stories he presented. He didn’t appear to be a cheerleader for a particular cause (a slip made by more seasoned MSNBC host Alex Wagner, who used the phrase “why we chose Chuck Hagel” when reacting to the U.S. Defense Secretary’s decision to trim the Pentagon’s budget). And he tipped his hand several times to social media, asking his viewers to use Twitter to express their opinions about a story on the show or to send a picture describing their problems with college debt.
In his opening program, Farrow tried to mix topics on serious segments, with small doses of youthful levity, such as his use of “weed” or “pot” to talk about marijuana during a segment about the drug. His first segment, all about the unrest in Ukraine, relied on NBC’s Richard Engel, then Obama adviser David Axelrod and former Defense Secretary Bill Cohen. Other pieces centered on U.S. governors’ reaction to President Obama and a bill being mulled in Kansas that would sanction spanking. Farrow even tried to suss out whether Alex Wagner had been spanked in her youth.