The reason why Chris Hayes is moving to 8 PM is because MSNBC thinks that they can attract more viewers by not talking about issues that impact the working class.
The New York Times has the skinny on why Ed Schultz was moved to weekends, “The change is predicated on the belief that MSNBC can win a wider audience with Mr. Hayes than it did with Mr. Schultz, a champion of the working class whose bluster didn’t always pair well with Ms. Maddow and the channel’s other prime-time program, “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.” Mr. Hayes, on the other hand, is just as wonky as Ms. Maddow and Mr. O’Donnell, and is a regular contributor to both of their programs.”
MSNBC thinks that their viewers don’t want to hear about working class issues, so they dumped Ed Schultz for a man whose only familiarity with the term blue collar comes from books and shirt colors. White intellectual progressives are overjoyed by this move, but the execs at MSNBC don’t seem to have any clue about who is actually running the left now.
White progressives aren’t in charge anymore. The Obama coalition of women, African-Americans, Hispanics, gays, and young people is powering the left. If MSNBC really wanted to reach a broader audience, they would have promoted someone who looks and sounds like that audience into prime time. There is not a single non-white host on cable news between 8-11 PM ET. This trend will continue with Chris Hayes.
MSNBC is already trying to spin this by touting the number of minority guests that Hayes features on his current weekend program Up. The problem is that those guests aren’t talking about the issues that impact the Obama Left the most. Chris Hayes is promising that he will think with us through the news five nights a week, but some members of MSNBC’s audience don’t need a lecture from a white intellectual who embodies every stereotype of progressives that conservatives hold.
The execs at MSNBC think that putting a Rachel Maddow clone into the 8 PM slot will bring them ratings glory, but just what audience are they trying to reach? By dumping working class America, MSNBC’s top brass is sending the message that they don’t really care about the problems of most Americans.
Ed Schultz’s show wasn’t perfect, but it was unique. Schultz gave a regular platform to guests who the mainstream media establishment ignores. Sen. Bernie Sanders, union leaders, and the stories of regular working class Americans were regular parts of his show.
Just one night after Schultz may have had his best show ever, he and his viewers get kicked to weekends to make room for Chris Hayes’ progressive intelligentsia shtick. Ed Shultz’s viewers aren’t going to tune in to hear Chris Hayes ignore them.
Phil Griffin and MSNBC have tried this stunt before. They once tried to replace Keith Olbermann with Lawrence O’Donnell, and we all remember how that worked out.
The message to the working class is clear. MSNBC doesn’t care about you, and the things that matter to you.
MSNBC used to have that bigger audience that they crave with Keith Olbermann, but Chris Hayes isn’t Keith Olbermann.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association