Viewers and Loyalty to MSNBC’s Base Mean Nothing to Andy Lack
Andy Lack, chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, has been on a very personal crusade to turn both networks into Fox News. Over the past two years he’s made sure Republican politicians are given a tremendous amount of air time, and right wing, hyper-partisan pundits are brought on as contributors and even hosts of their own shows.Â
Lack hired Megyn KellyÂ from Fox News.Â After months of creating a new news show for NBC to compete directly with CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Kelly’s show has gone from poor ratings to very bad ratings, in just three weeks. Her disastrous interview with Vladimir Putin kicked of her first episode. Her disastrous interview with Alex Jones her third. The outrage from all sides has been palpable.
Lack also hired former Fox News host Greta Van Susteren. Even a personal plea and endorsement from Rachel Maddow has not been able to get Van Susteren decent ratings. That’s likelyÂ because she’s just not good at her job. Van SusterenÂ repeatedly hosts conservatives, and then engages in casual and apparently unscripted conversation with them on air, leading to frequent false claims from the journalist who is expected to know basic facts about the issues she’s reporting.Â
There’s also former Bush 43Â communications chief and McCain-Palin ’08Â senior advisorÂ Nicolle Wallace, who has her own daytime show at 4 PM. Of the three, she’s hands down the best.
And now, Andy Lack has bagged himself another hyper-partisan right wing hack and given him his own show.
Hugh Hewitt, whose analysis is just embarrassingly badÂ â€“ he went from “Never Trump” to “Trump! Trump! Trump!”Â â€“ will be getting his own show on MSNBC, thanks to Andy Lack and his dream of re-creating Fox News.
Hewitt will not get his dream job, a weeknight gig on MSNBC, but rather a 30-minute show Saturday mornings.
Expect that to grow to an hour, then to include Sundays, and then to weekdays or even weeknights.Â
In April, New York magazine reported, “the fact that heâ€™s on the verge of getting his own program is alarming to some staffers at MSNBC. Among their concerns is that Hewitt, a dyed-in-the-wool conservative and Trump supporter, doesnâ€™t represent the values of the liberal network. While Hewitt flirted with never-Trumpism during the campaign â€” most notably when then-candidate Trump attacked Mexican-American judge Gonzalo Curiel, and after the infamousÂ Access Hollywoodtape was leaked to the WashingtonÂ PostÂ â€” he always came back to Trump, and ultimately cast a ballot for him in the November election.”
Some staffers have inferred a link between Lackâ€™s directive and the decision to pullÂ Todayâ€™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 â€” where she had her own 11 a.m. program â€” 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 MSNBCâ€™s weekday schedule. Since Van Susterenâ€™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 Toddâ€™sÂ Meet the Press Daily. Van Susterenâ€™s hire was not well-received internally at MSNBC, with Chris Matthews being especially frustrated by the decision, according to two network sources.
Last month, HuffPost explained Lack’s desire to jump to the right, and why it is a problem.
Lack, in seeking to make this vision a reality, has an unusual problem for a TV executive: sky-high ratings.Â Since the election of Trump, MSNBCâ€™s liberal primetime programs hosted by Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow and Lawrence Oâ€™Donnell have surged not just in ratings but in the share of the cable news audience theyâ€™re capturing. In its earnings call on Thursday, NBCUniversalÂ specifically cited the boost in ratings to â€œThe Rachel Maddow Showâ€ for a spike in profits.Â MaddowÂ has been the top show on cable news in the key demographic for two months running, an inconceivable achievement at MSNBC.
Tossing those primetime hosts overboard while theyâ€™re raking in viewership and revenue has so far proved an elusive task.Â
â€œHayes, Maddow, Oâ€™Donnell â€• the entire primetime lineup is doing record numbers and Lack canâ€™t stand it. It makes him furious,â€ said one senior MSNBC source, echoing the sentiment of many other insiders who spoke to HuffPost only on the condition of anonymity. (An NBC spokesman said Lack is happy with the high ratings.)
Apparently, viewers and loyalty to its base mean nothing to Andy Lack. And that’s a problem.
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Highland Park Shooting Deaths Include Both Parents of Two Year Old Found at Scene of July 4th Massacre
On Twitter Sunday afternoon in the aftermath of the July 4th Highland Park mass shooting a photo of a young boy appeared in several tweets. He was described as lost, good samaritans assumed he had become separated from his parents in the mayhem of the massacre, and people were trying to reunite him with his family.
CBS Chicago reporter Marissa Parra now reveals the boy’s name is Aiden, but he won’t be reunited with his parents: both were shot dead by the Highland Park gunman.
Remember this little boy found wandering alone after #HighlandPark parade? We’ve just found out why… both his parents were killed💔
A fundraiser has been started for Irina and Kevin McCarthy’s 2-yo son Aiden as he grows up without them
— Marissa Parra (@MarParNews) July 5, 2022
“Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, were among the seven people [who] were killed during the mass shooting,” CBS Chicago reports.
“We took him to safety under tragic circumstances, came together to locate his grandparents, and prayed for the safety of his family,” reads the story on a GoFundMe page hoping to raise money for Aiden.
“Sadly, I need to share his name…Aiden McCarthy. And he needs more of our help,” it adds. “At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents,” it adds. “Aiden will be cared for by his loving grandparents, Misha and Nina Levberg, and he will have a long road ahead to heal, find stability, and ultimately navigate life as an orphan. He is surrounded by a community of friends and extended family that will embrace him with love, and any means available to ensure he has everything he needs as he grows.”
About $475,000 has quickly been raised with more than 7600 people contributing. The top donation is $5000.
‘Invasion’: Texas Lt. Gov. Likens Border Crossings to Attack on Pearl Harbor – ‘These People Are a Danger to America’
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, a far-right Republican, is comparing migrants crossing the border into Texas to Japan’s 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor that killed 2335 people. He is calling it an “invasion” and says that gives the state the right to “put hands on people.”
Patrick, who because of Texas’ unique structure is more powerful than the governor, told Fox News on Tuesday, “we are being invaded, and if we’re being invaded under the constitution I think that gives us the power to put hands on people and send them back. Put hands on people and send them back,” he said repeatedly.
“These people are a danger to America,” Patrick said in a rant. It was unclear if he was referring to migrants or President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
The Lt. Governor, who has hawked the racist “great replacement theory” repeatedly, and used the term “invasion” repeatedly, told Fox News that Texas is now spending $4 billion annually on the border, while Texas National Guardsmen and Texas Rangers complain of being called up to serve, having to abandon their regular jobs, for no apparent reason.
“This is the biggest danger we have, to your family,” Patrick says of the fentanyl crossing the border. “It’s all on Biden,” he claimed.
Last week Texas Governor Greg Abbott drew extensive criticism for using the deaths of more than 50 migrants packed into an 18-wheel tractor-trailer as a political opportunity to attack President Biden. Even some conservatives attacked Abbott for his inhumane remarks..
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick repeatedly says the state’s declaration of an “invasion” of migrants means they can “put hands on people and send them back.”
He then says “we’re being attacked just like we were on Pearl Harbor.” pic.twitter.com/kmcPakR43Z
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) July 5, 2022
7th Victim of July 4th Mass Shooting Dies
Seven people have now died as a result of a gunman opening fire from a rooftop into an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois.
The latest victim succumbed to their injuries Tuesday afternoon, NBC 5 Chicago reported. Authorities have not identified all the victims, but have said five of those who died were adults. Another 46 people were wounded.
Police on Tuesday announced that the shooter fired at least 70 rounds into the crowd, using a “high-powered rifle” that is “similar” to a AR-15. They also revealed the suspected gunman planned the attack for weeks, purchased his weapons legally, disguised himself by wearing women’s attire to “conceal his facial tattoos and his identity,” and to “help him during the escape.” He then walked to his mother’s house after the shooting.
Law enforcement Monday evening arrested Robert Crimo, who they say is a “person of interest,” but he has not been charged.
“There are no words for the kind of monster who lies in wait and fires into a crowd of families with children celebrating a holiday with their community,” Illinois Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker said in a statement. “There are no words for the kind of evil that robs our neighbors of their hopes, their dreams, their futures. There are no words I can offer to lift the pain of those they leave behind. Please know that our state grieves with you, that MK and I grieve with you.”
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