One of the great hypocrisies behind MSNBC’s decline is their willingness to fire liberal hosts for telling the truth while giving corporate favorites and liars like Joe Scarborough and Brian Williams chance after chance.
Yesterday, NBC announced that Brian Williams was being shipped off to MSNBC instead of being fired for his years of lies. To hear Williams tell it, he was just a news anchor whose ego got the better of him. During an interview on NBC’s Today, Williams said, “What happened is clearly part of my ego getting the better of me to put myself in a better light to appear better than I was. That is the process here.” Williams also claimed that he never used his position as Nightly News anchor to mislead, but that his habit of lying about stories was a part of building up his own status and celebrity.
Clip of Williams on Today:
Compare this situation to when MSNBC pushed Keith Olbermann out the door and fired Martin Bashir for telling the truth about Sarah Palin. The move to oust Olbermann began when it was discovered that he made some political donations, even though Joe Scarborough has done the same and more and has faced no punishment.
Keith Olbermann has taken the high road and wished Brian Williams the best of luck at MSNBC:
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) June 18, 2015
Rachel Maddow, who was stone cold silent during the Olbermann and Bashir episodes, spoke out in favor of Brian Williams joining the network on her Thursday night show. Maddow said that nobody at NBC asked her to address the subject, but, “I personally, not speaking for anyone other than myself- I am really happy that Brian Williams is coming here to MSNBC.” During her comments, Maddow never said that Williams lied.
Video of Maddow:
Rachel Maddow runs a really good show on MSNBC, but she has also been the model corporate employee. Maddow likes being on national television, and she isn’t about to step on the toes of her bosses on the air. That’s fine, but her comments highlight the glaring double standard at MSNBC.
Network favorites like Williams and Scarborough get away more than the liberal hosts. It doesn’t matter to NBC News/MSNBC if the viewers like or dislike a host. The network’s favorites will always get to stay.
This double standard was noticed by the audience, and it is one of the main reasons why MSNBC’s ratings are in the dumpster. NBC’s policies are inconsistent. Fans see their favorite hosts shown the door while others get away with murder.
Maybe Brian Williams was too big to fire as some have suggested, but MSNBC has succeeded in sending the wrong message to viewers.
The cable network is a mess, and instead of fixing the real issues, NBC News has managed to do the one thing that will make the situation worse.
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