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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‘Squashed Like a Bug’: Gaetz Smacked Down After ‘Rage-Tweeting a Slander on America’s Entire Military History’
“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:
With Generals like this it’s no wonder we’ve fought considerably more wars than we’ve won. https://t.co/wt43YAs6cU
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) June 23, 2021
Attacking Americans who believe systemic racism is real:
I’m far more offended that they actually ARE woke… https://t.co/TWT4LhJ4iu
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) June 23, 2021
Attacking the U.S. Armed Forces:
We must defend our patriotic military service members against their woke leadership.
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) June 23, 2021
And praising the Chinese Communist Party (CCP):
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) June 23, 2021
It did not go well for him:
Sorry, didn’t realize that committing sexual assault on minors and then paying them off was a war. I mean Venmo can be a bit tricky but I wouldn’t call it “war”.
— Mandolyn Hicks 🏖 (@mandolynhicks) June 23, 2021
We? 🙄 Unless you count struggling with Venmo’s privacy settings as a war, “we” haven’t fought in a war.
— Jorge A. Caballero, MD (@DataDrivenMD) June 23, 2021
buddy the only war you fought is against age of consent
— kilgore trout, dna harvester (@KT_So_It_Goes) June 23, 2021
You got squashed like a bug today, boy. It was glorious.
Get these last tweets out before your human trafficking indictment tho. Daddy can’t save you this time, it ain’t some local yokel cops and your DUIs
— Ned Pyle (@NerdPyle) June 23, 2021
Matt was so thoroughly embarrassed that he decided to rage-tweet a slander on America’s entire military history.
— 👤 (@9teen80four) June 23, 2021
You got owned today and you damn well know it.
— 𝓖𝓮𝓻𝓪𝓵𝓭𝓸 (𝓝𝓞𝓣 𝓡𝓲𝓿𝓮𝓻𝓪) 💧 (@gvravel) June 23, 2021
It’s time you show the Generals how it’s done. Take a break as a lawmaker and go overseas and represent our great nation in battle. Win us a few
— antony sparza (@antonysparza) June 23, 2021
Way to attack your voting base and district, Matt. Keep going, though. Show your district how you “support” the military.
— SSton (@SharinStone) June 23, 2021
Gaetz is an ignorant ass and belongs in prison. He couldn’t carry any military member’s water. https://t.co/5gfwJb3g1R
— Dr. Steve Woodsmall, Major, USAF-Retired (@SteveWoodsmall) June 23, 2021
This needed to be said. Glad it was one of our military leaders.
And Matt Gaetz is a punk. https://t.co/VlDhb34AxQ
— Paul C. (@TheFeistyFinn) June 23, 2021
Look at Matt Gaetz. This general has more decorations than the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, and yet that clown shakes his head.
Don’t ever believe, for a second, all this “we love the military” and “blue lives matter” stuff.
It’s all roses until they aren’t convenient covers https://t.co/U1g0wPqmwO
— Matt Verderame (@MattVerderame) June 23, 2021
Hey, @mattgaetz, see those stripes on Gen Milley’s right sleeve? Each one represents 6 months in combat. SecDef Austin has more, but they aren’t on his suit. You really want to do this? https://t.co/vwiSfm1aNc
— Mark Hertling (@MarkHertling) June 23, 2021
I don’t ever want to hear how the GOP respects the military ever again https://t.co/cHHlEzNY0U
— abk_kyle (@AbkKyle) June 23, 2021
Watch: Joint Chiefs Chairman Incinerates Matt Gaetz With Epic Lecture on Critical Race Theory
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.”
Strong reaction from Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley on the issue of critical race theory before House Armed Services.
“I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our noncommisioned officers of being quote ‘woke'” pic.twitter.com/otWBw3YdPK
— Dave Brown (@dave_brown24) June 23, 2021
‘Pray for the Christians’: Graham Urges School Boards to Fight the ‘Godless Socialist Agenda’ of CRT
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.”
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