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MSNBC May Cancel Lawrence O’Donnell’s ‘The Last Word’ and It May Be Because of Trump

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OPINION – Message to Liberals: MSNBC Is Not Our Friend

MSNBC is not a “liberal” news network. It is a for-profit vehicle of global telecommunications giant Comcast. Comcast is not in the news business, it is the “you” business. MSNBC, especially NBC News and MSNBC chairman Andy Lack, has made clear the network is in business to sell its viewers to advertisers. Period. What programs it produces and what journalists it employs are merely a means to a desired end: profit. And squeezing out liberals in order to attract more conservatives is MSNBC’s game plan.

Case in point: Network executives, it appears, are preparing to cancel “The Last Word,” hosted by Lawrence O’Donnell, who has been on the network since MSNBC’s inception. O’Donnell’s show is the network’s second-highest rated show, after “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

There are just four weeks left on O’Donnell’s contract, and the network – as it did with Melissa Harris Perry – reportedly has not bothered to reach out to O’Donnell’s agent or even let him know if the show has a future. Usually these negotiations begin months in advance.

According to a report by Yashar Ali at HuffPost (formerly The Huffington Post), part of the reason may be that Donald Trump has been trying to get MSNBC to cancel O’Donnell for years.

Ali reports he spoke with ten sources both inside MSNBC and outside the network.

“If O’Donnell’s contract is not renewed, the news would certainly be welcome to President Donald Trump, who has had a long-running feud with O’Donnell,” Ali reports.

In 2011, O’Donnell called on NBC to fire Trump, then the host and executive producer of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” for pushing his racist and inaccurate “birther” conspiracy against President Barack Obama. In 2015, he also claimed that Trump was lying about his wealth. Trump threatened to sue O’Donnell for making false statements but never followed through on his threat (which O’Donnell had predicted). 

According to three sources, Trump has pressured MSNBC President Phil Griffin to fire O’Donnell on multiple occasions. Griffin alluded to Trump’s push for O’Donnell’s ouster in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter last month, saying, “[Trump] started calling me all the time in 2011 to say Lawrence O’Donnell was a ‘third-rate’ anchor.”  Griffin and O’Donnell enjoy a cordial relationship but Griffin’s power as the President of MSNBC has been diminished by Lack since he returned in 2015. As a result, Lack will be the one to decide whether O’Donnell stays and under what terms. 

“There is a fear, among some at MSNBC, that Lack is making programming decisions in an effort to appease the Trump administration (an accusation that has been made of CNN and Fox News), which may lead to more access to the White House and in turn, conservative viewers,” Ali notes.

Stunning.

If MSNBC executives are making programming decisions based on what President Donald Trump wants, it is not, by definition, an independent news network. And that’s a shame, because there are many, many great, hard working journalists at MSNBC and NBC News.

Regular watchers of the network have seen a stunning increase in conservative voices on MSNBC for the past year. The addition of former Fox News host Greta Van Susteren to MSNBC’s lineup at 6 PM was shocking, but more shocking has been her disappointing lack of ability sometimes to grasp and convey basic facts. 

Ali, writing at New York Magazine last month, reported “MSNBC is in talks with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt about creating a show for him on weekend evenings.” 

At an NBC News town hall after the election, Lack said that the organization should be focused on appealing to America’s heartland, according to people at the meeting. The remark was widely seen as a directive to, as one source put it, “focus on Trump voters.”

Some staffers have inferred a link between Lack’s directive and the decision to pull Today’s first black woman host, Tamron Hall, off the show to make room for former Fox News host Megyn Kelly. Ultimately, Hall chose to leave both NBC and MSNBC — where she had her own 11 a.m. program — rather than accept a diminished role. Lack also hired former Fox News host Greta Van Susteren and gave her the 6 p.m. slot on MSNBC’s weekday schedule. Since Van Susteren’s show debuted in January, the ratings have been, by any objective measure, abysmal. In a rare occurrence for that spot, her numbers have actually been lower than those of her lead-in program, Chuck Todd’s Meet the Press Daily. Van Susteren’s hire was not well-received internally at MSNBC, with Chris Matthews being especially frustrated by the decision, according to two network sources.

In January, the New York Post’s “Page Six” reported: “NBC wants to be ‘the next Fox News,’ insiders say.”

“He believes he’s building MSNBC and NBC into the next Fox. It seems the network wants to take a more conservative tone,” a source said.

Over the past year more right wing commentators have flooded MSNBC’s airwaves, some of the worst among them are Hugh Hewitt and Matt Schlapp – who are, from what I can tell, anathema to many liberal viewers. 

American democracy is in enough danger as it is. Americans need responsible, independent journalists to uncover and deliver the honest truth, not corporations pulling strings based on what the worst President in U.S. history wants.

There are some excellent journalists in front of and behind the MSNBC cameras. They, and the American people, are ill-served by decisions coming from Andy Lack.

To comment on this article and other NCRM content, visit our Facebook page.

Images: Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC via Wikimedia

 

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'YOU GOT OWNED TODAY'

‘Squashed Like a Bug’: Gaetz Smacked Down After ‘Rage-Tweeting a Slander on America’s Entire Military History’

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“Buddy the only war you fought is against age of consent”

Congressman Matt Gaetz attacked the U.S. Armed Forces on Wednesday, suggesting America doesn’t win wars because of Generals like the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley. General Milley, who has worn an Army uniform since before the Florida Republican congressman was born, is being heralded for delivering a strong and intelligent rebuke of Gaetz’s attack on critical race theory and criticizing the U.S. Military for being “woke.”

Gen. Milley told Gaetz during a House committee hearing that he would like to better understand both critical race theory and “white rage,” which he implied was connected to Donald Trump’s January 6 insurrection.

“I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned and noncommissioned officers of being quote ‘woke,’ or something else because we’re studying some theories that are out there,” Milley told Gaetz.

Gaetz, whose district has a huge military presence including one of the largest air bases in the world, did not wait long to strike back, attacking  General Milley:

Attacking Americans who believe systemic racism is real:

Attacking the U.S. Armed Forces:

And praising the Chinese Communist Party (CCP):

It did not go well for him:

 

 

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WHOA

Watch: Joint Chiefs Chairman Incinerates Matt Gaetz With Epic Lecture on Critical Race Theory

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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley blasted U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz for mocking and  opposing critical race theory during what was supposed to be a budget hearing. He left the Florida Republican Congressman speechless and only able to shake his head.

Milley, a General in the U.S. Army who has been in uniform since 1980 decimated Rep. Gaetz, his supporters, and conservatives in general for mocking the idea that systemic racism exists, while adding that he would like to better understand both critical race theory and “white rage.”

“First of all, on the issue of critical race theory, etc,.” Milley began. “A lot of us have to get much smarter on whatever the theory is, but I do think it’s important, actually, for those of us in uniform, to be open minded and be widely read, and the United States Military Academy is a university, and it is important that we train, and we understand, and I want to understand white rage, and I’m white, and I want to understand it.”

“So, what is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building, and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America? What caused that? I want to find that out,” Milley, who has degrees from Princeton, Columbia, and the Naval War College, declared. “I want to maintain an open mind here, and I do want to analyze it, it’s important that we understand that because our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Guardians, they come from the American people. So it is important that the leaders, now and in the future, do understand it.”

“I’ve read Mao Tse Tung, I’ve read, I’ve read Karl Marx, I’ve read Lenin: that doesn’t make me a communist. So what is wrong with understanding, having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend?”

“I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned and noncommissioned officers of being quote ‘woke,’ or something else because we’re studying some theories that are out there. That was started at Harvard Law School, years ago, and it proposed that there were laws in the United States, antebellum laws prior to the Civil War that led to a power differential with African Americans that were three-quarters of a human being, when this country was formed, and then we had a civil war and Emancipation Proclamation to change it, and we brought it up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – took another 100 years to change that. So look it I do want to know, and I respect your service and you and I both Green Berets, but I want to know. And it matters to our military in the discipline and cohesion of this military, and I thank you for the opportunity to make a comment on that.”

Watch:

 

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

‘Pray for the Christians’: Graham Urges School Boards to Fight the ‘Godless Socialist Agenda’ of CRT

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Evangelical and anti-LGBTQ activist Franklin Graham is urging Americans to “pray for the Christians” who are fighting what he calls a “godless socialist agenda,” an agenda he says now includes critical race theory and “concerning transgender policies.”

Pointing to an article about Loudon County, Virginia, currently a hotbed of controversy over transgender students’ rights and the teaching of critical race theory (which is not actually being taught in public schools, only in colleges and universities,) Graham patted himself on the back for traveling to all 50 states in 2016 to urge Christians to run for office, especially school boards.

He says those local boards’ decisions “impact our children and our grandchildren’s lives, and they impact the future of our country, so it is vitally important. I’m thankful for the parents in Loudoun County, Virginia, who are speaking up and working to keep things like critical race theory and concerning transgender policies out of their schools.”

“We have to stand up against the godless socialist agenda trying to divide us and take over this country,” he claimed.

“Pray for the Christians in Loudoun County, that they would stand strong and speak the truth in love. And pray about how you can get involved in your city and make a real difference. Will you?” Graham urged.

Conservatives have been infiltrating local school boards, where they have the opportunity to indoctrinate children at a young age into far right wing extremism, the pro-Trump MAGA movement, white nationalism and white supremacism, and an anti-science agenda.

In April TIME reported, “QAnon Candidates Are Winning Local Elections,” and asked, “Can They Be Stopped?”

And earlier this month the National Education Association (NEA) asked: “Is QAnon Radicalizing Your School Board?

“Proponents of QAnon allege that Satan-worshipping pedophiles are secretly running the country, and they also have spread false information about COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, the recent election and more,” the NEA article revealed. “When they get elected to local offices, they endanger citizens because their potential decisions—around budget, safety, school curriculum and more—aren’t grounded in reality.”

And in 2017 Media Matters reported on “How The Hate Group Alliance Defending Freedom Is Infiltrating Public Schools.”

Image via Facebook

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