Phil Donahue on His 2003 Firing from MSNBC, When Liberal Network Couldn’t Tolerate Antiwar Voices
In 2003, the legendary television host Phil Donahue was fired from his prime-time MSNBC talk show during the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The problem was not Donahue’s ratings, but rather his views: An internal MSNBC memo warned Donahue was a “difficult public face for NBC in a time of war,” providing “a home for the liberal antiwar agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity.”
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Former MSNBC host Ed Schultz revealed that he was told what to cover and what not to cover at MSNBC, saying that the President of MSNBC Phil Griffin was a “watchdog.” An example he gives is when he wanted to cover Bernie Sanders announcing his run for president, and Phil Griffin calls him telling him to report on something else.
MSNBC canceled Ed Schultz’s show and removed him entirely from MSNBC. Schultz was informed of this July 2015.
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In a biting resignation letter published in full by CNN on Wednesday, longtime NBC News reporter, commentator, and military analyst William “Bill” Arkin blasted the corporate media network for embracing U.S. “national security leaders and generals” while “ignoring the empirical truth of what they have wrought: There is not one country in the Middle East that is safer today than it was 18 years ago. Indeed the world becomes ever more polarized and dangerous.”
“I find it disheartening that we do not report the failures of the generals and national security leaders. I find it shocking that we essentially condone continued American bumbling in the Middle East and now Africa through our ho-hum reporting.” —William Arkin, former NBC News commentator
Cenk Uygur, like him or hate him, also had some things to say about MSNBC.
He left, he said, because the “head of MSNBC” – who is MSNBC President Phil Griffin – told him that “people in Washington tell me that they are concerned about your tone.”
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During a conversation on Morning Joe today, co-host Mika Brzezinski made an on-air claim that during the election, Hillary Clinton’s campaign wanted her take off television for being overly critical of their candidate.
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