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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Watch: Texas Republican Opposes Any New Gun Legislation Because We’re Going to ‘Convict’ and ‘Punish’ the Shooters
A Texas Republican state lawmaker said just one day after 19 elementary school students were shot and killed he opposes any new gun legislation for two reasons: the U.S. Constitution, and under existing laws prosecutors should just “convict” the shooters.
“What we want to know is what your solution is,” CNN host Alisyn Camerota told Rep. James White, who happens to be a former school teacher.
“We’ve all seen how quickly and creatively Texas—your local legislature—can act when it wants to, say, protect the unborn embryo,” Camerota added, referring to Texas’ vigilante abortion ban, as The Daily Beast reported. “Why not act with that alacrity to protect living, breathing 10-year-olds in this school behind me?”
“We have this thing called the Constitution,” White replied, even though the Texas abortion ban, under current law, violates at least the spirit of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.
Like Texas Governor Greg Abbott and many other Republicans, and like the NRA, White then defended his desire to pass no legislation to help reduce gun violence by declaring the problem is actually one of mental health.
He said, “these young men, for some reason, they have some very disturbed emotional state.”
There is no evidence, according to Gov. Abbott, that this shooter had any documented mental health issues.
White then decided to propose utilizing existing law to reduce gun violence.
“At the end of the day,” he said, “we’re going to look at the people who do these acts, we’re going to convict them, and we’re going to punish them.”
Appearing flabbergasted, Camerota replied, “You can’t convict him, sir.”
“Sir you can’t convict him. He was killed. He was killed, along with 19 children in the school behind me.”
“We’re going to look at the people who do these acts. We’re going to convict them and we’re going to punish them”
“Sir, you can’t convict him. He was killed along with 19 children in the school behind me” pic.twitter.com/Y5f6HZ0ZWU
— Acyn (@Acyn) May 25, 2022
Duggar Gets 12 Years in Jail After Prosecutor Tells Judge He Has a ‘Violent Sexual Interest in Children’
Josh Duggar, the former “19 Kids and Counting” reality TV star who was found guilty on horrific child pornography charges in December was sentenced by a federal judge Wednesday to serve 151 months – more than 12 years – in prison.
U.S. District Judge judge Timothy L. Brooks, appointed to the federal bench by President Barack Obama, called Duggar’s crimes “the sickest of the sick,” US magazine noted.
Editor’s note: Caution – graphic descriptions follow.
“Authorities described Duggar, 34, as a ‘very savvy computer user’ who tried to cover his tracks as he downloaded ‘sadistic and masochistic abuse’ material in 2019,” Buzzfeed adds.
Among the more than 600 images and videos that prosecutors said he downloaded was footage of prepubescent girls being raped, whipped, threatened with knives, and held naked in a dog cage.
Another video showed the rape and torture of a toddler — footage so terrible that a Homeland Security Investigations agent said it was among the most horrific things he had been forced to watch in his career.
The 34-year old Arkansas-born Duggar, who was forced to resign as executive director of FRC Action, the political activist arm of the anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council, spent nearly two years promoting his conservative and religious values as he was fawned over as a role model by the far-right, including FRC President Tony Perkins, and former Arkansas GOP governor Mike Huckabee.
“The former TLC personality has previously been involved in multiple scandals over the years,” US adds. “In May 2015, resurfaced court documents revealed that he molested five girls — four of which were related to him — between 2002 and 2003. He was 14 and 15 years old at the time. Sisters Jill Dillard (née Duggar) and Jessa Seewald (née Duggar)came forward one month later, revealing themselves to be two of their brother’s victims.”
Duggar has seven children with his wife Anna.
Watch: Video of Beto O’Rourke Confronting Texas GOP Governor and Lt. Gov. Goes Viral
Democratic former U.S. Congressman Beto O’Rourke approached the stage where top Texas Republicans were holding a press conference following Tuesday’s mass school shooting.
“This is on you,” O’Rourke told Governor Greg Abbott, who is running for re-election against O’Rourke. Abbott was blaming the shooting that left 19 elementary school children and two teachers dead on a lack of mental health facilities in Texas, despite having rejected federal aid that would have expanded access in the Lone Star State.
“Sit down and don’t pull this stunt,” Senator Ted Cruz chastised.
But Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, arguably the most powerful person in the room, went ballistic.
“You’re out of line and an embarrassment,” Patrick told O’Rourke.
“You’re doing nothing,” O’Rourke said.
Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, on stage, loudly called O’Rourke “a sick son of a bitch.”
“He needs to get his ass out of here. Sir, you are out of line. Sir, you are out of line. Sir, you are out of line,” the mayor said, as WFAA reported. “Please leave this auditorium. I cannot believe you are a sick son of a bitch that would come to a deal like this to make a political issue.”
“You are doing nothing,” O’Rourke said. “This is totally predictable. You’re all doing nothing.”
“This is on you until you choose to do something about it,” O’Rourke added.
O’Rourke was escorted out of the auditorium by a security guard.
It was not Patrick’s first attack on O’Rourke. In 2019 he used an anti-LGBTQ slur on Fox News to go after the highly-popular Democrat, calling him “light in the loafers.” O’Rourke, as NBC News noted at the time, is heterosexual.
“He is so light in the loafers he floats off the ground at times,” Patrick told Fox’s Laura Ingraham, leading to an advertiser boycott.
After, O’Rourke told reporters the “only thing” Gov. Abbott did “was make it easier to carry a gun in public.”
“And he bragged about the fact that there would be no background check, no training, no vetting whatsoever. He talked about this was evil. The only thing evil is what he continues to do to the people of this state. He says this was unpredictable — it was totally predictable and I predict this will continue to happen when you continue to have a governor who will not stand up for the people of Texas.”
The video below has been viewed 1.2 million times in just over an hour. Other versions have also gone viral.
Watch the video from earlier Wednesday via CNN:
Beto O’Rourke interrupts ongoing press conference by Texas Gov. Abbott and other officials. pic.twitter.com/qa8YY0ghQy
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) May 25, 2022
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