NBC won’t pay election liar Ronna McDaniel to lie on air after all

Well, she’s out. Just a day after NBC and MSNBC hosts publicly blasted the company’s hiring of Donald Trump-allied former Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel, the network’s executives reversed course. 

NBCUniversal News Group Chairman Cesar Conde on Tuesday sent company employees a memo confirming the decision:

There is no doubt that the last several days have been difficult for the News Group. After listening to the legitimate concerns of many of you, I have decided that Ronna McDaniel will not be an NBC News contributor.

No organization, particularly a newsroom, can succeed unless it is cohesive and aligned. Over the last few days, it has become clear that this appointment undermines that goal.

I want to personally apologize to our team members who felt we let them down. While this was a collective recommendation by some members of our leadership team, I approved it and take full responsibility for it.

Our initial decision was made because of our deep commitment to presenting our audiences with a widely diverse set of viewpoints and experiences, particularly during these consequential times. We continue to be committed to the principle that we must have diverse viewpoints on our programs, and to that end, we will redouble our efforts to seek voices that represent different parts of the political spectrum.

While the memo offers up a personal apology and nods toward unspecified “legitimate concerns” about McDaniel’s now-aborted hiring, it’s still not clear Conde understands the scope of NBC’s bungle here. 

McDaniel isn’t just someone representing a “diverse set of viewpoints and experiences.” As MSNBC host Rachel Maddow pointed out in scathing terms Monday night, McDaniel was an active participant in a hoax-based propaganda campaign intended to discredit the nation’s democracy and justify a would-be coup:

The person who is the head of the Republican Party during Donald Trump’s time in office and during his effort to throw out the election result and stay in power any way, and during his effort to run for election again after having done that, is Ronna Romney McDaniel. And she pitched in and helped. She helped set in motion the part of the plot that involved sending fake Trump electors to Congress from states that Trump did not win so Republicans in Washington could use those fake, fraudulent elector slates to contend that maybe Trump did win those states, even though he didn’t.

And don’t believe me on that. There she is on page 23 and page 27 of the federal indictment charging Donald Trump with conspiring to defraud the United States. There is her personal appearance in this scene of the crime as alleged by the U.S. Justice Department in this ongoing criminal case. In Michigan, where the fake electors are themselves now on trial, she told the state of Michigan in writing explicitly, do not certify the election results. The Detroit News has reported that with Donald Trump on the phone with her, she directed Michigan election officials to not certify the vote. She told them, quote, “Do not sign it. We will get you lawyers.”

Propagating hoaxes meant to undermine democracy is not a “diverse viewpoint.” An attempted toppling of the United States government by promoting fake electors to be substituted for the real ones in a brazenly unconstitutional act is not a legitimate part of the “political spectrum.”

It is a criminal act, and one that Trump and other Republican conspirators have now been indicted for, even if McDaniel herself has not been—though as Maddow notes, McDaniel is mentioned in the Trump indictment, making a “personal appearance in this scene of the crime.”

In suggesting that the company erred only in being too eager to bring on “diverse” viewpoints, Conde again appears to legitimize hoaxes, fraud, and sedition as valid voices in the newsroom.

That cannot happen. It is corrupt, and NBC executives attempted to embrace that corruption in the hopes that another in a long line of political stunt hires would liven up their airwaves and improve their ratings—apparently indifferent to the horrific harm McDaniel and those like her have already done, and continue to do.

McDaniel, in the meantime, is reportedly “exploring legal options” against NBC for rescinding her offer. That means she’s expecting a fat paycheck for going away after being humiliated yet again. She’ll probably get it, too.


Watch Maddow’s scathing takedown of NBC News for hiring Ronna McDaniel

‘Our journalism is tarnished’: Former RNC chair joining NBC News sparks revolt

Ex-RNC head gets new gig: Propping up Republican lies for NBC News

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