Tuesday, April 23

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow slams ‘inexplicable’ Ronna McDaniel hire, hopes NBC ‘will reverse their decision’

MSNBC star Rachel Maddow addressed the elephant in the NBC greenroom by joining her colleagues in denouncing the network’s “inexplicable” hiring of former RNC chair Ronna McDaniel.

Maddow began her show by calling out McDaniel’s role in aiding former President Trump, outlining her alleged actions behind the scenes in rejecting President Biden’s election victory in 2020.

“I want to associate myself with all my colleagues both at MSNBC and NBC News who have voiced loud and principled objections to our company putting on the payroll someone who hasn’t just attacked us as journalists but someone who is part of an ongoing project to get rid of our system of government,” Maddow told viewers Monday. “Someone who is still is trying to convince Americans that this election stuff- it doesn’t really work, that this last election, it wasn’t a real result, that American elections are fraudulent.”

She suggested Trump has gone much further than any “fascist” in American history who had failed to seize power through the political system.

“”[Trump] would have been as forgotten as all the rest of them had he not been able to attach himself to an institution like the Republican Party, and had the leader of that party in his time not decided that she wouldn’t just abide him- she would help. She would help with the worst of it,” Maddow said.

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Maddow confirmed speculation that MSNBC president Rashida Jones did not object to NBC’s hiring of McDaniel but stressed she changed her tune when MSNBC staff “essentially unanimously and instantly expressed outrage” over the decision. 

“Ronna McDaniel will not be on our air. Ronna McDaniel will not be on MSNBC,” Maddow declared. “And I say that and give you that level of detail because there has been an effort since by other parts of the company to muddy that up in the press and make it seem like that’s not what happened at MSNBC. I can assure you that is what happened at MSNBC. Ronna McDaniel will not appear on MSNBC, so says our boss since Saturday, and it has never been anything other than clear.”

She continued, “The fact that Ms. McDaniel is on the payroll at NBC News- to me that is inexplicable. I mean you wouldn’t hire a wise guy, you wouldn’t hire a made man, like a mobster to work at a D.A.’s office, right? You wouldn’t hire a pickpocket to work as a TSA screener. And so I find the decision to put her on the payroll inexplicable, and I hope they will reverse their decision.”

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The MSNBC host assured viewers it wasn’t just about “right versus left” or McDaniel’s past hostility towards the media or even about “lying.” 

“It’s about our system of government and undermining elections and going after democracy as an ongoing project,” Maddow said. “And this is a difficult time for us as a country. And I think that means we need to be clear-eyed about the implications of it. Difficult times make for difficult decisions. We are contending with something we’ve never had to contend with before. In the news business, yes, we are covering an election, which we do all the time, but we’re also covering bad actors trying to use the rights and privileges of a democracy to end democracy!” 

“The chief threat among them now, it’s not the rioters and the kooks but the slick political professionals who are turning their considerable talents to laundering violently revolutionary claims that America’s elections aren’t real, that election results aren’t real and that they shouldn’t be respected. We are contending with this now not from William Dudley Pelley’s brown-shirt militias, right, but from the multibillion-dollar massive political operation of one of the two governing parties of the United States of America. And that’s new,” Maddow said. 

“And with our country up against something that daunting and that’s scary and that dangerous for the country, I think that decisions will inevitably happen, mistakes will be made. But part of our resilience as a democracy is going to be us recognizing when decisions are bad ones and reversing those bad decisions. Hearing legitimate criticism, responding to it, and correcting course, not digging in, not blaming others.”

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In a direct plea to her NBC bosses, Maddow added, “Take a minute, acknowledge that maybe it wasn’t the right call. It is a sign of strength, not weakness, to acknowledge when you are wrong. It is a sign of strength. And our country needs us to be strong right now.”

Maddow joins a slew of MSNBC stars including Chuck Todd, Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, Nicolle Wallace, Joy Reid and Jen Psaki, all who condemned McDaniel’s hiring as an NBC political analyst announced by the network on Friday.

Fox News’ Lindsay Kornick contributed to this report. 

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