A few weeks ago, I wrote an open letter to traditionally progressive network MSNBC in order to get them to stop their lurch to the right under the leadership of Andrew Lack. This has been going on for some time now; after all, they have given primetime plum spots to conservative hosts like former George W. Bush official Nicolle Wallace and former Fox “News” host Greta Van Susteren. At the same time, important progressive voices like Joy Reid and Reverend Al Sharpton are relegated to weekend mornings. Now, they have gone even further and given right-wing Trump shill Hugh Hewitt his own half-hour show on Saturday mornings at 8:00 AM EST.
MSNBC really does not seem to know who their viewers are. It’s not that we don’t listen to the other side; we’re not Fox viewers after all. I often watch CNN and even will give Fox and Friends the occasional peek, just to see what the other side is saying. I read mainstream, respected media like the Washington Post, the New York Times, and even the right-leaning Wall Street Journal. However, I do not tune in to a supposedly progressive network like MSNBC in order to hear people lying and shilling for the likes of Donald Trump as Hugh Hewitt does on a regular basis.
MSNBC, you came to be a legitimate, prominent network via ratings provided to you by your left-wing viewers. Your lurch to the right is disturbing. You have been doing this slowly, but surely, for the last couple of years. First, you ditched progressive shows during the day in favor of straight news shows. These anchors are lovely, to be sure, but remember – that’s not why your core viewership watches your network. Then, you turned Morning Joe, hosted by former GOP Congressman Joe Scarborough, into a three-hour show every weekday, all the while relegating important progressive voices to weekend slots you know no one will watch. That way, you’ll have an excuse to eventually can the hosts because of low ratings.
This seems to be a strategic move by Andrew Lack, but it is one that makes no sense. Here in the era of Trump, MSNBC’s progressives, like Joy Reid, Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, and Lawrence O’Donnell are ratings rock stars, while their conservative voices are ratings stinkers.
Get your act together, MSNBC. A network is nothing without its core viewership. Learn who we are, or lose us forever. In the meantime, progressives – boycott these right-wing shills, and maybe they’ll get the message. And make sure to support AM Joy, The Rachel Maddow Show, All In With Chris Hayes, Politics Nation with Al Sharpton, and The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.
Money and ratings talk. Maybe if we make our voices heard, this right-wing madness on MSNBC will stop.
Featured image via Kirk Irwin/Getty Images for SiriusXM