• frontpage-logo
  • NYI-homepage-mobile-logo

  • Former RNC head Ronna McDaniel was hired and fired at NBC amid a political firestorm. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

    The suits at NBCUniversal must be politically deaf, dumb and blind. — and not in a good way.

    Even if it makes sense to add a conservative voice to its NBC/MSNBC lineup, it makes no sense for that voice to be Ronna McDaniel’s.

    The former head of the Republican National Committee (RNC) is way too deep into Donald Trump‘s lies and conspiracy theories to ever be considered a credible commentator.

    When all is said and done, that’s what this is about — credibility.

    Donald Trump has hit historic low. (Photo: Getty)
    Trump’s big lie has plagued the GOP

    You would think NBCUniversal News Group Chairman Cesar Conde would understand this. But it’s not suprising he doesn’t — he has no journalism experience.

    He has always been in the front office, and he’s totally corporate. He sits on the boards of Walmart and PepsiCo. (What kind of conflict of interest is that?)

    He also served in George W. Bush’s White House as a fellow under Secretary of State Colin Powell from 2002 to 2003, in the middle of the infamous Gulf War.

    His experience at Powell’s side should have taught him a stern lesson about the destructive power of disinformation. Apprarently, it didn’t.

    Related: Trump’s Big Lie: The Media Isn’t Part of the Problem; It Is the Problem

    The great divide in the news media these days isn’t between liberals and conservatives. It’s between truth and lies, information and disinformation.

    Crediblity is the one common denominator by which to judge the media, and McDaniel clearly has none.

    How deep was McDaniel into the MAGA universe? When she took the RNC job, she dropped her family name — Romney — from her on-air name because Trump didn’t like her father Mitt Romney.

    Liz Chaney on Ronna McDaniel

    When Trump crossed the line into illegality, immorality and unethical behavior, she crossed with him, backing him every step of the way.

     “Ronna facilitated Trump’s corrupt fake elector plot [and] his effort to pressure [Michigan] officials not to certify the legitimate election outcome. She spread his lies & called Jan. 6 ‘legitimate political discourse,’” wrote Liz Cheney on “X,” formerly Twitter.

    “That’s not ‘taking one for the team.’ It’s enabling criminality and depravity,” Cheney added.

    Related: Trump Whines Because ‘Fake’ News Media Ignores His Rallies

    MSNBC talking heads like Rachel Maddow, Mika Brzezinski, Joe Scarborough and Nicolle Wallace among others were right to speak out. NBC’s Chuck Todd, never known to be a heavyweight during his time on “Meet the Press,” also rose to the occasion.

    Within four days of the uproar, Conde told staff that he had listened to “the legitimate concerns” and withdrew McDaniel’s contract. How he’ll survive this is anyone’s guess.

    But as the dust begins to settle on what will, no doubt, go down as one of the most galactically obtuse moves in the history of journalism, the question needs to be asked:

    What motivated NBCUniversal to pay a $300,000 salary to a voracious election denier — given where we are, given how fragile the public trust is in its news media at this crucial moment?

    When you thought it couldn’t get any worse, more disturbing news surfaced.

    Both Conde and “Meet the Press” Senior Vice President Carrie Budoff Brown reportedly coordinated with a GOP operative to throw MSNBC contributor Jen Psaki under the bus to save McDaniel, according to Puck News.

    In his latest podcast. Keith Olberman reported that NBC News actively worked with the former RNC chief of staff to try to stir up a social media groundswell to save McDaniel.

    As if on cue, Fox News began deflecting with reports attacking Psaki’s background as a political operative and White House spokesperson. At least she had a stint at CNN as a commentator.

    Should the McDaniel hiring have been allowed to move forward, NBC News would’ve positioned itself as the journalistic “Argentina.”

    It would have sent message to every lying, democracy-destroying sycophant out there that the Peacock Network would have a home for them — no matter what. 

    Defend an insurrection? No problem.

    Get caught on the phone pressuring state officials to submit fake electors?  We got your back. 

    Spend every waking moment for the past six years working to undermine the truth for political advantage?  Reach out, anytime. We love gaslighters! 

    Hiring McDaniel to provide a “diverse viewpoint,” is like hiring Hannibal Lecter to create your wedding menu.

    Not to play on the Nazi angle too much, which is so easy to do these days, the problem with politics, today, boils down to one thing — the “Big Lie.”

    Hitler proselytized about it in “Mein Kampf,” and his propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, put it into practice in Nazi Germany. Repeat the big lie often enough, and soon people will start to believe it.

    That’s been Trump’s modus operendi from the get go.

    His repeated false claims about a stolen 2020 election have been debunked so many times it’s like black ooze seeping up from a Manhattan sidewalk on a hot summer day.

    Step in it, and you just can’t get it off your shoes. Yet, he persists, and so do MAGA Republicans. They have spent mountains of sweat, toil and treasure trying to prop up Trump’s “big lie.”

    While Hitler’s thoughts on the big lie are often quoted, another passage in his book isn’t quoted eough. He also wrote that “truth is the mortal enemy of the big lie.”

    Today, journalists must be mortal enemies of the big lie.

    While it’s great to see NBC reverse course and admit their mistake; the damage has been done. Firing McDaniel after you’re outed, is like a thief putting the money back after he’s caught.

    What this situation does is make you wonder what’s going on at CBS, ABC, Yahoo News, and other supposed trusted sources for facts in the age of Orwellian propaganda?

    CNN’s Chris Licht was recently eviscerated and shown the door for giving Trump an ‘open mic’ platform on its network to spew his unchecked lies

    Yahoo News continues to post Fox News disinformation its front page, unchecked. Even after its top executives admitted lying to their viewers about pretty much everything.

    This recent scandal at NBC does nothing to change the opinion of those of us who believe the media isn’t just part of the problem, it is the problem.

    This should not over.

    The buck clearly stops with Conde, but we also need to know the roles played by NBC News President Rebecca Blumenstein, and Brown.

    Brown may have made offer but she surely wasn’t acting in a vacuum. It would help the network with its expurgation of this fiasco, if it demonstrated transparency and discussed its decision-making, maybe on “Meet the Press.”

    In the film The Insider, the semi-fictional account of whistleblower, Jeffrey Wigand‘s battle with big tobacco, the producers of CBS’s “60 Minutes” are accused of betraying the legacy of legendary TV journalist Edward R. Murrow.

    You can add NBC News to that list of betrayal.

    They betrayed their viewership, as well as their staff. The late Tim Russert is most likely projectile vomiting in his grave just knowing the network he called home for so long even considered pulling such a stentorianly ignorant stunt.

    But they’ve also struck another blow against public trust in the media.

    Who’s next, NBC? My Pillow man Mike Lindell as CEO? Jim Jordan as Head of PR?

    At the end of the day, NBC News executives can no longer be trusted. You can’t put the horses back in the barn.

    Images on this page are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.