MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Blasts NBC’s Ronna McDaniel Hiring as “Inexplicable”

Rachel Maddow, the biggest star on MSNBC, has weighed in on the controversial decision by NBC News to hire Ronna McDaniel as an on-air contributor.

Toward the tail end of an extended monologue about the history of American fascists from the 1930s and 1940s, Maddow ripped into the hiring as “inexplicable.”

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“I mean, you wouldn’t hire a wiseguy, you wouldn’t hire a made man like a mobster to work at a DA’s office, right?” Maddow continued. “You wouldn’t hire a pickpocket to work as a TSA screener. And so I find the decision to put her on the payroll, it’s inexplicable, and I hope they will reverse their decision.

“I want to associate myself with all my colleagues both at MSNBC and at NBC News,” Maddow added, “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. Someone who still is trying to convince Americans that this election stuff, it doesn’t really work.”

NBC News announced the hire of McDaniel on Friday, with executives touting her insider knowledge and connections. However, on the same show in which McDaniel made her NBC debut, Meet the Press, former moderator Chuck Todd ripped into the hire, calling it “unfortunate for the program.”

“And look, there’s a reason why there’s a lot of journalists at NBC News are uncomfortable with this, because many of our professional dealings with the RNC over the last six years have been met with gaslighting, had been met with character assassination,” he continued.

On Monday, Morning Joe hosts Joe Scarborough and Mike Brzezinski also took issue with the move: “To be clear, we believe NBC News should seek out conservative Republican voices to provide balance in their election coverage,” Brzezinski said. “But it should be conservative Republicans, not a person who used her position of power to be an anti-democracy election denier, and we hope NBC will reconsider its decision. It goes without saying that she will not be a guest on Morning Joe in her capacity as a paid contributor.”

But Maddow, as MSNBC’s biggest primetime star, carries a lot of sway at the channel.

Maddow said on her program that it would “go without saying” that McDaniel would not be appearing on the channel: “We were told this weekend in clear terms, Ronna McDaniel will not be on our air. Ronna McDaniel will not be on MSNBC,” Maddow said. “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.”

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