Politics

Petition Calls For An End To ‘White Conservative Hiring Spree’ At MSNBC

A petition on CREDO Action is calling on NBC executives to stop their initiative to make the news outlet more “centrist.”

“Tell NBC executives: Stop the white conservative hiring spree at MSNBC,” the petition demands.

The only executive specified in the petition is Andrew Lack, the chairman of NBC and MSNBC. It claims that Lack “has a history of replacing Black on-air personalities wherever he goes,” citing a Huffington Post article that strongly insinuates that Lack has a racist streak.

The HuffPo article captions a photo with Lack, Brian Williams and Matt Lauer: “Not pictured: non-white people.” The story discusses Lack’s relationship with the MSNBC staff because of the “perception that Lack has eviscerated nonwhite talent.”

“This past spring, Lack reportedly asked a black senior producer if she could connect him with the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates,” the article reads.

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“It was like Trump asking April Ryan to hook him up with the [Congressional Black Caucus],” one employee told HuffPost.

As for the petition, it identifies Nicole Wallace, George Will, Hugh Hewitt, Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren as “hard-line extreme conservatives,” and notes that Melissa Harris Perry, Alex Wagner, Touré Neblett, Dorian Warren, Michael Eric Dyson, Adam Howard, Jamil Smith, Jose Diaz-Balart and Tamron Hall have left the network.

It claims that “with Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, and Lawrence O’Donnell in the lead, MSNBC is beating FOX News in the ratings for the first time.”

Now for what ratings, the petition doesn’t specify. TV Newser provides a daily update on where outlets like Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and HLN rank on various different things, and the statistics change from day to day.

The scoreboard released on Tuesday show that Fox News had the most viewers for the entire day. As for the entire week of June 5, Fox News still had the most prime time viewership with 2,384,00. MSNBC fell behind with 1,862,000 viewers.

“Fox News was the most-watched basic cable network in total day for the 23rd consecutive week, and the most-watched basic cable network in prime time for the 3rd consecutive week, per Nielsen.”

But MSNBC has shown significant improvements in viewership, according to data collected from the first quarter of 2017, and it has topped cable news in the news demographic at various times recently.

“Fox News finished far and above its competition in the ratings for the first quarter of 2017, with the network putting up the highest-rated quarter ever in cable news history in the total day viewership measure… [and] despite finishing third, MSNBC definitely has reason to celebrate. The network grew its viewership by 55 percent in total day viewers and 40 percent in the key demo compared to quarter one of 2016.”

So the petition claim that MSNBC is beating Fox News in the ratings isn’t necessarily accurate.

The petition concludes “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.”

It has received 178,047 of the requested 200,000 signatures, in addition to advertising assistance from actor Mark Ruffalo.