MSNBC President Phil Griffin Claims Station Has No Ideology

MSNBC President Phil Griffin Claims Station Has No Ideology

In a recent interview, 57-year-old Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC, said that the network “has never had an ideology.”

The former NBC researcher, who prefers jogging suits to business suits and is beset with constant nervous twitching, insisted that the network stays “true to the facts.” Griffin maintained that if a Democrat has problems, MSNBC anchors are not going to bail them out. He claimed, “If you’re a Democrat in trouble, we’re not a place where we’re going to rehabilitate you. You’re not going to get a free ride if you did wrong.”

Furthermore, the 30-year NBC operative stated the network has been very hard on Obama’s drone program in Afghanistan and Pakistan and that political nightly news host Ed Schultz often condemns U.S. trade policies under President Obama. Griffin told political writer Lloyd Grove of The Daily Beast that he hires broadcasters who fit in with his “sensibility.” 

Some viewers may raise eyebrows as to Griffin’s assertion that he doesn’t run a biased network. In 2013, MSNBC hired former Obama presidential adviser David Axelrod and former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs to provide political commentary across the network’s programming. Media critic Howard Kurtz admitted that he is very troubled by having two Obama loyalists as network advocates.

On Thursday afternoon, MSNBC came under fire for releasing a tweet which claimed “the rightwing will hate” a new Cheerios commercial featuring a biracial family. Griffin later apologized after a threat from RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to boycott the network. “The tweet last night was outrageous and unacceptable,” he wrote in a statement that was read on the air by The Cycle co-host Ari Melber. “We immediately acknowledged that it was offensive and wrong, apologized, and deleted it. We have dismissed the person responsible for the tweet.”

MSNBC’s current line-up begins with Morning Joe from 6 to 9 AM and continues with news oriented programs from 9 AM to noon. From there, he pointed out that the afternoon programs are more opinion oriented shows like the panel show The Cycle and Now With Alex Wagner. “Then you have the big voices of Ed Schultz, Rev [Al Sharpton], and Chris [Matthews],” Griffin added, “and then the big deeper thinkers of Chris Hayes, Rachel [Maddow], and Lawrence [O’Donnell].” 

“In other words,” Grove jokingly asked Griffin, “if MSNBC’s day becomes increasingly Commie?”  

“I prefer not to describe it that way,” Griffin said with a laugh. “We get more analytical as the day goes on.”

Griffin says that Fox News, which draws more viewers than MSNBC, CNN, and HLN combined, has a definite ideology. “I think they do have an ideology,” Griffin said, “because every Republican who’s in trouble goes on that network to be taken care of… They’re owned by News Corp., which is Rupert Murdoch. Roger Ailes runs it, and he comes out of the Republican Party.” 

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