Accuracy in Media

Actor Mark Ruffalo tweeted out a link to a petition calling on executives and NBC News and MSNBC to stop their white conservative hiring spree which it claims has come at the expense of black and brown liberals.

From the petition.

After President Obama won in 2008, FOX News did not hire dozens of progressive, female, Black and Brown, young TV personalities in order to speak to the Obama coalition.

So why on earth is MSNBC pushing out Black and Brown voices and filling its network with hard-line extreme conservatives?1

NBC had troubling ties to Trump during the presidential campaign and gave the racist sexual predator a national platform.2 Now MSNBC, too, is tilting to the right. We need to let NBC executives know that there will be a sharp backlash if MSNBC becomes another platform for right-wing hate.

Tell NBC executives: Stop the white conservative hiring spree at MSNBC.

The man in charge of MSNBC has made it clear that he wants to make the network whiter and more conservative – even though the ratings of progressive shows are skyrocketing. He is, in the words of reporter Ryan Grim, “resisting the resistance.”3

Andrew Lack, the chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, aims to make them more “centrist,” by which he means bringing in conservative voices. Just look at the recent hires:4,5,6

  • Nicole Wallace, a former spokesperson for President George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain, will get her own show.
  • George Will, the conservative columnist, climate denier and campus rape apologist, signed a lucrative contributor contract.
  • Hugh Hewitt, the right-wing talk radio host who recently defended Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, will get his own show.
  • Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren, both conservative former FOX News hosts, have been given daytime TV shows.

In the process, Lack has pushed out Black and Brown talent including Melissa Harris Perry, Alex Wagner, Touré Neblett, Dorian Warren, Michael Eric Dyson, Adam Howard, Jamil Smith, Jose Diaz-Balart and Tamron Hall. In fact, Lack has a history of replacing Black on-air personalities wherever he goes.7America needs voices like these now more than ever, and we need to make it clear to Lack that we are paying attention and there will be consequences.

Tell NBC executives: Stop the white conservative hiring spree at MSNBC.

The utterly absurd part of all of this is that the ratings of progressive shows are skyrocketing. With Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, and Lawrence O’Donnell in the lead, MSNBC is beating FOX News in the ratings for the first time. And it has nothing to do with Lack – his hand-picked shows are tanking while progressives soar, a fact that, according to reports, “makes him furious.”8

It has not yet changed his strategy – he kicked Joy Reid and Al Sharpton to weekends and replaced them with beltway hacks, and Nicole Wallace is replacing Maddow protege Steve Kornacki.9 But the clear evidence of powerhouse ratings for progressives combined with sharp public pressure could make Lack reconsider his conservative approach, so we must speak out.

Tell NBC executives: Stop the white conservative hiring spree at MSNBC.

Thank you for speaking out.


The petition as most left-wing ideas is off-base.  Nicolle Wallace a conservative? Perish the thought!  Also the charge that a liberal network is pushing out black and brown voices to add more white conservatives is ridiculous.  In general MSNBC and NBC News prefer to hire moderates or weak-kneed conservatives to provide a so-called conservative viewpoint so that the networks appear balanced.  As for those that have been pushed out, there are a couple of factors at work here.  First are ratings–for those had had hosted shows, the ratings were generally poor.  For the others who served as contributors, networks adjust their roster all the time based on changing news trends and other internal factors.  The last thing MSNBC and NBC are trying to to is become more conservative.

Leave it to the left to make a spurious charge and for a clueless Hollywood actor to promote it.

Photo by GabboT

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