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Former RNC chairman Michael Steele ‘annoyed’ by employer MSNBC’s racism charges at the GOP

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Caroline May
Political Reporter

TAMPA, Fla. — Michael Steele, an MSNBC contributor and former chairman of the RNC, told The Daily Caller on Wednesday that the frequent allegations of Republican racism by his MSNBC colleagues are “annoying.”

“It’s annoying sometimes, because I don’t think it’s true,” Steele said of the racism charge that his sometimes leveled by MSNBC hosts like Chris Matthews. “Everybody looks at these things through a different set of lenses.”

Steele said that one of the reasons MSNBC bought him on as a contributor is so he can a present a different point of view than that of the network’s predominantly liberal hosts and pundits.

“One of the reasons why I am there — and I really love the opportunity and [MSNBC president] Phil Griffin and the team have been great in allowing me to have the opportunity — is to push back, is to present the other side, to show where the reasoning may be wrong, where the logic is a little bit off, ‘no, I understand why you nuanced it that way, but that’s not factually correct,’” he told TheDC. “So it is part of the discussion and it is important to be in the room to have that discussion — just don’t let it go into a vacuum.”

When asked about reports that MSNBC cut away from its coverage Tuesday night when ethnic minority speakers were featured, Steele pointed out that he has no influence on programming.

“I don’t have an opinion on that because I don’t do programming,” Steele said when TheDC asked about the lack of coverage for convention speakers such as Utah congressional candidate Mia Love, Texas Senatorial candidate Ted Cruz, and former Democrat Artur Davis.

“I was doing something else at the time that was taking place,” he added. “I am just now beginning to hear that that is kind of a buzz that everyone is upset about, or talking about. But knowing folks there as I do, I don’t think there was a strategic, or plan, reason to do that. I think it has to do with the program they had going on at the time and when those speakers spoke. I mean I don’t know that is all I can say.”

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