DANIEL VAUGHAN: NBC News Needs To Admit What It Is Rather Than Attack Ronna McDaniel

 March 25, 2024

NBC News hired former RNC Head Ronna McDaniel as a contributor and judging by the network's reaction, the end of the world is near. McDaniel, you see, is one of those evil Trump-connected people, and NBC News wants everyone to know that, internally, they are very angry about this development. NBC News stands for journalistic integrity, or at least they claim to now.

Chuck Todd of Meet The Press led the charge, attacking both McDaniel and his own network after McDaniel's interview. Todd claimed, "there's a reason why there's a lot of journalists at NBC News uncomfortable with this," and even questioned whether McDaniel had anything to offer to the network.

What was even more eyebrow-raising was MSNBC. The official NBC News announcement said that McDaniel would contribute across all NBC News platforms, which includes MSNBC. Rashida Jones, MSNBC's President, "told employees the cable network has no plans to have McDaniel on the channel."

You can guess why the people against McDaniel would want her off their programming. All the usual left-wing nonsense about safety, standing for journalism, and the rest fill the explanations.

The outrage is hard to take seriously because the hypocrisy is so real. In its report on the matter, the Wall Street Journal described a "revolving door between news channels and politicos" in the industry. If you've ever turned on a cable news show, you've no doubt seen the fruits of that revolving door.

We don't even have to go that far back in time to see NBC News engaging in this very thing. In April 2022, then-White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki began negotiating an exit from the White House to MSNBC. The deal included terms that would give her show and more. During this time, Psaki continued representing the White House on all NBC networks while moving to them.

She wasn't alone. In January of that same year, Symone Sanders, a former adviser to Vice President Kamala Harris, got a TV deal, too. She signed an exclusive contract with MSNBC to host a show and do more.

Both of them routinely defended the current President of the United States as network hosts on NBC platforms. You'll have to forgive me if I am skeptical of the outrage being spewed by Todd and others at NBC News - they created this industry, support it, and work in it every day.

It's not even a new phenomenon. George Stephanopoulos was a communications director for the Clinton administration and parlayed that into a career at ABC News. He made recently made waves after Republican Rep. Nancy Mace blasted him for trying to use her past of being raped against her.

It's not hard to find examples of this on the right, either. Some of those who leave politics make good journalists. My point isn't to hate on the revolving door; it's simply to acknowledge that it does exist, and NBC News has hired multiple Biden administration officials to host its programming. These are choices.

Virginia Woolf once wrote, "If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people." All I'm asking from NBC News, MSNBC, and the rest is for them to admit what they are. These are partisan programs hosted by partisan-aligned politicos. If you only want left-wing partisans on your network, say so. That's an honest statement.

I don't begrudge anyone at NBC News for their political views. We all have them. But don't pretend that inviting new contributors who are the opposite of you is some gross stance against journalism. We hopped the fence on neutral journalism long ago.

The Wall Street Journal got at the root of this in their reporting, "For MSNBC, besides the risk of upsetting talent, there is also concern that having McDaniel on could alienate its liberal audience. MSNBC is currently the No. 2 cable news network, trailing Fox News but ahead of CNN."

The threat is losing steam to a competitor. If NBC News and MSNBC decide this is a business decision, that's fine, too. They're saying they prefer keeping their liberal audience placated, and this is fine. But it's not a stance on journalism or ethics; it's a business decision.

At this stage, all anyone is asking is for the actors involved to admit what they are and what they're doing. They can't do that because it's too dirty for them. Instead, we get hypocritical diatribes, claiming some higher morality. Meanwhile, they willingly hire people from the political party they support.

Just admit what you are already—a partisan network that prefers Democrats. The so-called journalistic ethics books that would disqualify Ronna McDaniel would remove Psaki, Sanders, and others on the network. It's glaringly apparent to everyone else with a pair of eyes. 

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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