NBC News reverses decision to hire former RNC head Ronna McDaniel after backlash from staff

 March 27, 2024

NBC News has reversed its decision to hire former RNC chair Ronna McDaniel as a paid contributor to both NBC and MSNBC after strong negative reactions from many of its existing staff.

“There is no doubt that the last several days have been difficult for the News Group. After listening to the legitimate concerns of many of you, I have decided that Ronna McDaniel will not be an NBC News contributor,” NBCUniversal Group Chairman Cesar Conde said in an email to staff members Tuesday.

“I want to personally apologize to our team members who felt we let them down. While this was a collective recommendation by some members of our leadership team, I approved it and take full responsibility for it,” Conde wrote.

The reversal came just four days after the network announced that it would be hiring McDaniel. She appeared on "Meet the Press" on the network on Sunday in the paid contributor role.

Temper tantrums

In particular, hosts Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow threw on-air temper tantrums about the decision.

Both hosts pointed out that McDaniel had gone along with former President Donald Trump in questioning 2020 election results and that McDaniel had gone from agreeing with Trump to being critical of him after leaving the RNC.

“The issue isn’t about ideology, it’s about basic truth,” NBC News Chief Political Analyst Chuck Todd posted on X. “Those trying to make this a left-right issue are being intentionally dishonest. This is about whether honest journalists are supposed to lend their credibility to someone who intentionally tried to ruin ours.”

Maddow said:

[I] want to associate myself with all my colleagues both at MSNBC and at NBC News who have voiced loud and principled objections to our company putting on the payroll someone who hasn’t just attacked us as journalists, but someone who is part of an ongoing project to get rid of our system of government, someone who still is trying to convince Americans that this election stuff, it doesn’t really work, that this last election, it wasn’t a real result, that American elections are fraudulent.

And her statement went downhill from there.

Echo chamber

Breitbart's John Nolte had a different take on the decision., and attributed it to an invasion of the left-wing echo chamber--even by someone who is now willing to criticize Trump.

"You gotta love it," he said. "I know I do."

He explained, "Anytime the corporate media expose themselves for what they are — spoiled, dishonest, hypocritical, hyper-partisan crybullies desperate to keep their velvet-lined echo chamber echoing, that’s a win for America. Every time the left-wing tail wags the dog at an NBC, New York Times, or CNN, it is yet another black mark against their credibility that pushes them even further into irrelevance."

McDaniel has reportedly retained legal counsel and is considering her options after the reversal.

It isn't known what kind of contract she had and whether there was a clause to reverse or end the terms at the point when they were ended, or whether NBC News is going to have to pay her off even though they won't be putting her on the air.

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