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‘Hunger Games at NBC News’: New McDaniel Revelations Have ‘Enraged’ Staffers, Report Says

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The backlash from NBC News’ hiring of Ronna McDaniel is not over. New reporting from Puck, CNN, and The Washington Post reveals the considerable efforts from top NBC and MSNBC brass to recruit, hire, and support the former RNC chair who promoted false election claims, was allegedly involved in helping Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, and refused to say Joe Biden had been elected fairly.

Staffers at NBC News and MSNBC were outraged at McDaniel’s hiring, but new details about behind-the-scenes efforts reportedly have increased that outrage.

Some critics are either calling for resignations of NBC News and MSNBC  leadership, or questioning how long they can ride out the mess.

“What is Brian Roberts going to do?” CNN‘s Oliver Darcy asks. “The Comcast boss is watching an unceasing five-alarm fire rage at 30 Rock, scarring the reputation of NBC News and threatening to consume multiple parts of the Cesar Conde-run NBC Universal News Group.”

“Conde has lost control of his organization, prompting industry insiders to wonder how he continues to remain in his role as chairman of the NBC News Group. In the words of one veteran media executive I spoke to Wednesday, ‘It’s inconceivable that he should,'” Darcy writes, saying Conde’s actions and those of his top executives have “hosed gasoline” on the scandal.

READ MORE: Lawmaker Slammed for Claiming College Basketball Players Were Actually ‘Illegal Invaders’

That scandal involves these revelations from Puck’s Dylan Byers, who reports, “bringing McDaniel to 30 Rock had been part of a nearly two-month-long effort that was spearheaded by Budoff Brown and her boss, NBC News President Rebecca Blumenstein, with buy-in from Conde and his deputies at both NBC News and MSNBC.”

“Rashida Jones,” he adds, “the president of MSNBC, was very interested in having McDaniel appear as a contributor on her network, as well.”

But this bombshell has drawn a good deal of attention. Noting how Chuck Todd led off the very public pushback against the hiring of McDaniel, Byers reports, “On Sunday, Budoff Brown reached out to McDaniel’s aide and former chief of staff at the R.N.C., Richard Walters, to see if there were any friends or colleagues who could speak up on her behalf.”

“The two sides also discussed having these folks call attention to what they saw as a double standard—after all, this was the same network that was turning Psaki, a former Biden White House Press Secretary, into a Maddow-adjacent prime time star. Walters later assured Budoff Brown that they’d been able to advance conservative pushback on social media against Todd, specifically, and that this might give NBC News some cover, for which Budoff Brown thanked him.”

CNN, pointing to those details, adds, “staffers inside NBC News are enraged at the fact an executive would have engaged in such behavior.”

Former Chicago Tribune editor Mark Jacobs, who now writes about politics and the media, called for the firing of Jones, Blumenstein, and Budoff Brown.

Other critics are expressing concerns on multiple fronts.

READ MORE: Ronna McDaniel Is Just a ‘Normal’ Person Who ‘Never Denied the Election’ Says Hugh Hewitt

“It’s like the hunger games at @NBCNews. Every day new, horrible stories of journalism & corporate malpractice. Every single one of these managers must go,” observed Jennifer Schulze, a media critic who was a Chicago Sun-Times executive producer, WGN news director, and adjunct college professor of journalism.

She also highlights a Washington Post report that ropes NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt into the mess.

“Every @NBCNews exec who thought hiring a reputed liar & phony elector co-[conspirator] needs to resign or be fired,” Schulze says.

“The @NBCNews managers who recruited & signed an election denier should be out the door, too,” she adds. “Not only was it downright offensive to hire Ronna, it was journalism AND corporate malpractice.”

Pointing to his newsletter, former Obama senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer writes, “NBC’s ill-fated decision to hire Ronna McDaniel is a story of a media outlet unwilling to accept the ways Trump changed politics, but it’s also one of the best arguments for Dems need to build our media ecosystem ASAP.”

READ MORE: Comer Refuses to Investigate Trump Family Member Over ‘Influence Peddling’ Allegation

He calls McDaniel’s hiring “evidence” the media has “yet to accept the reality that this is not a normal election between a Republican and a Democrat.” And adds, “An [industry] that prizes objectivity above all else, is incapable of accurately covering an election where one candidate is a normal politician and the other is an insurrectionist. Many in the media would rather stumble into autocracy than take a side.”

Veteran journalist and Sirius XM host Michelangelo Signorile observes, “We couldn’t have asked for a better situation to shine a bright light on the corruption of the corporate media—and its impulse to legitimize MAGA extremism and lawbreakers for profit—than NBC’s hiring former RNC chair, election denier, and Trump enabler Ronna McDaniel.”

And he warns, “The forces that made the coup-plotting former RNC chair a paid contributor are still shaping news and information about this pivotal election.”

 

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OPINION

‘Stop Bringing Up Nazis and Hitler’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Smacked Down by Democrats

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U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was strongly criticized by two Democratic Congressmen after the Georgia Republican’s remarks about “Ukrainian Nazis” and her attempts to paint Ukrainians as Nazis.

“Stop bringing up Nazis and Hitler,” U.S. Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) urged, after Greene’s remarks suggesting there is a large Nazi problem in Ukraine, during a House Oversight Committee hearing. “The only people who know about Nazis and Hitler are the 10 million people and their families who lost their loved ones, generations of people who were wiped out. It is enough of this disgusting behavior, using Nazis as propaganda. You want to talk about Nazis, get yourself over to the Holocaust Museum. You go see what Nazis did. It’s despicable that we use that and we allow it and we sit here like somehow it’s regular.”

Moskowitz began by telling the Committee his “grandparents escaped the Holocaust.”

“So my grandmother was part of the Kindertransport out of Germany. Her parents were killed in Auschwitz. My grandfather, her husband escaped Poland, from the pogroms,” he continued.

READ MORE: ‘Used by the Russians’: Moskowitz Mocks Comer’s Biden Impeachment Failure

“There are no concentration camps in Ukraine. They’re not taking babies and shooting them in the air ’cause they’re Jewish. There’s no gas chambers. There’s no ovens. They’re not railing people in, they’re not ripping gold out of people’s mouth. They’re not taking stuff out of their home. They’re not trying to erase a people. They’re Ukrainians.”

Greene’s remarks over the weekend had caused anger.

“It’s antisemitic to make Israeli aid contingent on funding Ukrainian Nazis,” Congresswoman Greene declared Sunday from her official government social media account, as legislation to support Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan moved to the top of Speaker Mike Johnson’s priority list in the wake of Iran’s attack on Israel. Her implication appeared to be Ukrainians are Nazis – a Putin talking point.

Greene on Wednesday spent several minutes again implying there are many Nazis in Ukraine, as she was refuted by a top scholar, Yale professor of history Timothy Snyder. Dr. Snyder is the author of a dozen books, including two on Nazis and the Holocaust, and is an expert on the Holocaust, Central and Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, and serves on the Council on Foreign Relations.

Responding to Greene’s remarks, Snyder told the lawmakers, “no far-right party has ever crossed three percent” in a Ukrainian election.

READ MORE: ‘Scared to Death’: GOP Ex-Congressman Brings Hammer Down on ‘Weak’ Trump

Greene was also criticized by U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-FL), who called her out for her “hypocrisy” and reminded her that in 2022 she “spoke at event led by white supremacists.”

That event was hosted by white supremacist Nick Fuentes:

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Big Journalism Fail’: Mainstream Media Blasted Over Coverage of Historic Trump Trial

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OPINION

‘Big Journalism Fail’: Mainstream Media Blasted Over Coverage of Historic Trump Trial

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The media’s ability to shape public opinion is well-documented, and by the end of the second day of the first criminal trial in history of a former U.S. president critics are slamming the content, framing, and focus of mainstream media organizations. The biggest concerns: refusing to cover the former president’s apparent inability to stay awake in court, too much identifying information of potential and chosen jurors, and even subtle descriptions that can be used to feed into false perceptions the trial is “unfair” or, as the ex-president likes to say, a “scam.”

Overnight, CNN’s Oliver Darcy’s “Reliable Sources” newsletter blasted mainstream media outlets that “strangely show little interest in reporting on Donald Trump’s courtroom naps.”

“Imagine, for a moment, if President Joe Biden were to be caught openly sleeping at an important hearing,” Darcy posits. Trump was caught “nodding” off repeatedly several times over the first two days of trial (there is not trial Wednesdays). “Then imagine it were to occur at another important hearing the next day. Not only would right-wing media outlets like Fox News run wild with coverage questioning his fitness for office, mainstream news organizations would no doubt also treat the snooze fest as a serious news story. But, for some unknown reason, Donald Trump falling asleep at his historic criminal trial in New York (as he apparently did, again, on Tuesday) has been met with a rather muted response.”

READ MORE: SCOTUS Justices Appear to Want to Toss Obstruction Charges Against Some J6 Defendants: Experts

Noting, “It’s important,” Darcy asks, “why has much of the press fallen asleep at the wheel?” and serves up some examples – or lack thereof.

“ABC News and NBC News didn’t even bother mentioning it on their evening newscasts and many major outlets haven’t even filed straight stories on it. To be frank, if not for The NYT’s Maggie Haberman reporting on the matter Tuesday, it’s unclear whether the public — which is relying on news organizations to be its eyes and ears in the courtroom, given cameras are barred — would know about it.”

“It’s all the more bizarre given that Trump has made attacking ‘sleepy Joe’ a central tenet of his campaign, framing the president as lacking the stamina to serve in the nation’s highest office. Which is to say, the fact that Trump is the one apparently unable to stay awake in his own criminal trial isn’t a trivial story.”

Jennifer Schulze, a media critic who was a Chicago Sun-Times executive producer, WGN news director, and adjunct college professor of journalism, pointing to Darcy’s criticism, calls it “a big journalism fail.”

READ MORE: ‘Scared to Death’: GOP Ex-Congressman Brings Hammer Down on ‘Weak’ Trump

The ex-president is facing 34 felony counts for falsification of business records when he paid hush money to an adult film actress then allegedly tried to cover it up, which some say is election interference.

New York State Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan is overseeing the Trump trial, and ordered the identities of all jurors and prospective jurors to remain anonymous. Trump has a proven track record of alleged attempts to intimidate witnesses, judges, prosecutors, and others involved in his trials.

Some are concerned the media went too far in posting and publishing some possibly identifying information internet sleuths could use to piece together their names.

“There is seriously far, far too much identifying information about prospective jurors, several of whom are now empaneled, coming out in the press,” warned attorney and author Luppe B. Luppen.

Here’s how Fox News host Jesse Watters used that information to target one empaneled juror, while attempting to discredit the trial.

Fox News’ Sean Hannity went after “Juror Number One,” who is the foreperson.

It is not just Fox News targeting jurors.

Even The New York Times’ coverage of jurors drew the ire of critics.

READ MORE: ‘Your Client Is a Criminal Defendant’: Judge Denies Trump Request to Skip Trial for SCOTUS

Here’s how The Times’ Jonah Bromwich reported on the jury foreperson:

“The foreperson who was just selected — that’s juror one, the de facto leader of the group who will likely help steer deliberations — works in sales and enjoys the outdoors. He is originally from Ireland, but will help decide the former American president’s fate.”

University of Wisconsin—Madison professor of political science, who has a Ph.D. in Government, criticized the Times’ reporting.

“100% certain if the foreperson were native born, they would not have written this sentence and used the formulation of ‘former president’ subtly implying the foreperson from Ireland is somehow not a real American.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

 

 

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OPINION

SCOTUS Justices Appear to Want to Toss Obstruction Charges Against Some J6 Defendants: Experts

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Republican justices on the U.S. Supreme Court appeared skeptical of a law used to prosecute over 300 January 6 defendants, and Donald Trump, as they heard oral arguments Tuesday.

“A decision rejecting the government’s interpretation of the law could not only disrupt those prosecutions but also eliminate two of the federal charges against former President Donald J. Trump in the case accusing him of plotting to subvert the 2020 election,” The New York Times reports.

“January 6 insurrectionists had a great day in the Supreme Court today,” Vox‘s Ian Millhiser reported. “Most of the justices seem to want to make it harder to prosecute January 6 rioters.”

Millhiser on social media put it this way: “On Monday, the Supreme Court effectively eliminated the right to hold a Black Lives Matter protest in three US states. On Tuesday, the same justices were very, very afraid that January 6 insurrectionists are being treated unfairly.”

READ MORE: ‘Scared to Death’: GOP Ex-Congressman Brings Hammer Down on ‘Weak’ Trump

Right-wing justices on the Supreme Court suggested the law, which makes it a crime to obstruct an official proceeding, could be used too broadly.

“Would a sit-in that disrupts a trial or access to a federal courthouse qualify?” Justice Neil Gorsuch asked, as NBC News reported. “Would a heckler in today’s audience qualify, or at the State of the Union address? Would pulling a fire alarm before a vote, qualify for 20 years in federal prison?”

Some legal experts appeared stunned and disappointed by the right-wing justices’ remarks.

“In oral argument today, Justice [Clarence] Thomas is minimizing the severity of the 1/6 insurrection at the Capitol. Perhaps that’s because his wife was part of the conspiracy. What a disgrace that he’s sitting on this case,” attorney and frequent CNN guest Jeffrey Toobin commented.

READ MORE: ‘I Have a Bucket of Water’: Dems to Save Johnson’s Job Over GOPer Who Wants ‘World to Burn

“The text of the obstruction law the Supreme Court is considering today pretty clearly applies to January 6 defendants. Will the purportedly textualist conservative majority, as in Trump v. Anderson, once again bypass text to avoid accountability for Trump and his supporters?” asked former federal corruption prosecutor Noah Bookbinder, who is now president of the government watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

“Supreme Court expressed concern that Jan 6 prosecutions could chill violent insurrections against democracy,” wrote Scott Shapiro, a Yale Law School professor of law and professor of philosophy.

Elie Mystal, The Nation’s justice correspondent, did not hold back.

“The six conservative justices are absolutely trying to figure out how to throw out the obstruction charges against their cousins and wives and pledge brothers who attacked the Capitol on January 6,” he wrote.

Similar to Millhiser’s comparison, Mystal remarked, “If you think that trash you just heard from the Supreme Court about protecting J6 rioters will *ever* be applied to peaceful Black protesters, think again.”

READ MORE: ‘Something’s Fishy Here’: Trump’s Latest $175 Million Bond Filings Questioned by Experts

 

Image via Shutterstock

 

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