NBC is coming under fire from the right for removing McDaniel
NBC is coming under fire from the right for removing McDaniel

NBC has faced heavy criticism from the right for cutting a deal to add former Republican National Committee chair Rona McDaniel as a contributor.

McDaniel’s sudden departure followed vocal protests by some of the network’s most prominent on-air hosts who opposed her previous rhetoric regarding the 2020 election and the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.

Former President Trump, who has had his own bad relationship with McDaniel, was among the Republicans criticizing NBC.

“Wow! Rona McDaniel was fired from Fake News NBC. She only lasted two days and that’s after McDaniel did her best to say what they wanted to hear,” Trump wrote Tuesday on his Truth Social website.

“The sick degenerates at MSDNC really run NBC and Chairman Brian Roberts can’t seem to do anything about it,” the former president wrote in another post attacking Comcast, the network’s parent company.

Conservative pundit Hugh Hewitt, who moderated a Republican primary debate hosted by NBC News last fall, said he had “never seen anything this brutal since I started in the media in 1990.”

“I think they made a terrible decision and let MSNBC take over their network,” he said, referring to the left-leaning NBC cable channel.

“It’s going to hurt. The 74 million people who voted for Donald Trump are not going to watch NBC News,” he said.

Kaylee McEnany, a Fox anchor who worked for McDaniel for two years before serving as Trump’s White House press secretary, criticized the MSNBC hosts for “taking a victory lap to silence a conservative.”

“They do have some Republicans at NBC,” McEnany noted, referring to experts such as former RNC Chairman Michael Steele and Mark Short, former chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence. “But Rona got as close as she could to every voice on the network who supported the current candidate of the party that represents half the country.”

In a memo to employees announcing the decision to terminate McDaniel’s agreement, NBCUniversal News Group chairman Cesar Conde wrote that her hiring was initially “made because of our deep commitment to bringing to our audiences a widely diverse set of perspectives and experiences, particularly during these successive times.”

Conservative critics see NBC’s reversal as a direct contradiction of that promise and a stifling of viewpoints sympathetic to Trump and those of his supporters in general.

“No one is allowed to represent the voice [of Trump] on NBC,” popular Fox News host Jesse Waters exclaimed hours after news of McDaniel’s possible removal first broke. “And now we hear that the inmates are running the asylum. This just tells me that NBC is not a business but a political operation.

On cable news channel NewsNation, pundit Geraldo Rivera called the outrage over MSNBC’s talent that ultimately led to McDaniel’s ouster a “tsunami of pretentious nonsense.”

Rachel Maddow, one of MSNBC’s longest-serving and best-known hosts, who earlier in the evening called for the former RNC chief to be fired, said her opposition to McDaniel joining the Peacock family was not about politics.

“It’s not even about hiring someone who has ties to Trump. This was a very specific case because of Ms. McDaniel’s involvement in election interference,” Maddow said late Tuesday after McDaniel was removed. “And I’m grateful that our leadership was able to do the brave, strong and enduring thing.”

While much of the criticism of McDaniel’s hiring came from progressive pundits at MSNBC, the decision to remove her could have negative consequences for journalists working behind the scenes at NBC.

Online media outlet Semafor reported late Tuesday that several NBC reporters had been forwarded complaints about the McDaniel saga by Republican sources, with some saying the decision confirms what they say is the network’s bias against conservatives.

“Those are the ones I feel the worst about because they’re getting screwed over by their left-wing activist bosses,” one national Republican strategist told The Hill on Wednesday. “They know as much as anyone, it makes the whole company look in the tank for Democrats.”

NBC did not respond to a request for comment, but Conde reiterated in his memo to employees that the company will continue to work to expand the range of viewpoints it airs.

“We remain committed to the principle that we should have diverse perspectives on our agendas, and to that end we will redouble our efforts to seek out voices that represent different parts of the political spectrum,” he said.

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