Petition With 175,000 Signers Threatens ‘Backlash’ If MSNBC Hires More White Conservatives

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By Joe Simonson | 3:29 pm, June 13, 2017
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Progressives aren’t happy with MSNBC’s recent programming changes— and they’re not afraid to speak out.

In the midst of a number of new hires and an apparent shift to the center right, some of MSNBC’s most diehard liberal fans are circulating petitions demanding the cable news network go back to its progressive roots.

The latest petition, hosted on Credo Action, urges network executives “Stop the white conservative hiring spree at MSNBC.”

“NBC had troubling ties to Trump during the presidential campaign and gave the racist sexual predator a national platform.2 Now MSNBC, too, is tilting to the right. We need to let NBC executives know that there will be a sharp backlash if MSNBC becomes another platform for right-wing hate,” the petition reads.

So far, 175,128 people have signed out of the 200,000 goal.

The writer of the petition expresses frustration that in the light of “progressive shows…skyrocketing” in ratings, conservatives, or those with a history on right-leaning networks such as Fox News, like Nicole Wallace, George Will, Hugh Hewitt, and Greta Van Susteren have received contributor positions or their own shows.

Lawrence O’Donnell

Back in May, a protest was scheduled to march on NBC headquarters after reports that progressive host Lawrence O’Donnell’s contract might not get extended. A petition on Change.org to save O’Donnell’s job received 16,000 signatures before the network announced earlier this month that he would be keeping his show.

Rumors also circulated last month that MSNBC president Phil Griffin, the man responsible for building up the channel’s successful prime time line up, would be getting the boot in June. According to reports, he signed a multi-year contract at the end of May.

MSNBC President Phil Griffin.

Although Griffin maintains his position as president of the network, the new petition sets its sight on NBC President Andy Lack, who has been reportedly behind the programming changes.

“…Lack has pushed out Black and Brown talent including Melissa Harris Perry, Alex Wagner, Touré Neblett, Dorian Warren, Michael Eric Dyson, Adam Howard, Jamil Smith, Jose Diaz-Balart and Tamron Hall. In fact, Lack has a history of replacing Black on-air personalities wherever he goes,” the petition’s author alleges.

Viewers aren’t the only ones perplexed by Lack’s decisions.  Former Huffington Post reporter Ryan Griffin wrote a long exposé in May reporting on  frustrations by MSNBC producers and employees over Lack’s vision for future of the company.

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