Very interesting…NBC’s Today show this morning had a “Today’s Professionals” segment where one of the subjects was Chris Hayes’ “Heroes” gaffe. NewsBusters’ Kyle Drennan writes about it here…
During a panel on Tuesday’s NBC Today, liberal pundits Star Jones, Donny Deutsch and Nancy Snyderman condemned left-wing MSNBC host Chris Hayes for suggesting fallen U.S. troops are not heroes. Deutsch was the strongest in denouncing Hayes: “I hope that he doesn’t get more viewers as a result of this…this guy is like a – if you’ve seen him…he looks like a weenie.” [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Jones was clearly appalled by the offensive comments: “…the person that he [Hayes] was talking to was the officer whose job it was to call the families of fallen soldiers. Could you be more inappropriate on Memorial Day?” Snyderman voiced her disgust as well: “To criticize the young men and women who put themselves in harm’s way to protect us and then cheapen it…”
Co-host Matt Lauer actually attempted to defend Hayes: “I’m not sure he was criticizing those young men and women. He was just saying that the word is overused.” The panelists would have none of it. Snyderman declared: “But he’s wrong….Because you know what? The four of us aren’t fighting those wars. So these people are heroes to me.” Jones added: “When it’s a dead soldier, it’s not overused.”
After Lauer quoted Hayes’s apology for the remarks, Snyderman responded: “Where was that eloquence on the front hand?” Jones reiterated: “You don’t say this on Memorial Day.”
The news here isn’t that the panelists ripped Hayes. At this point it would be expected almost. The news is that NBC allowed this segment on the air in the first place. Snydermann is an NBC News employee. Deutsch is an NBC brass favorite. And they just threw one of their own under the bus. Today staffers had to have known, or at the very least guessed, that the segment would go in this direction. Was this a subtle signal from NBC trying to distance itself from Hayes?
One could make that argument. If NBC didn’t want this issue addressed the word would have come down from the execs to Today EP Jim Bell and the word would have been “hands off”. If we add the fact that Hayes himself basically did a complete 180 going from putting out two different tweets (via J$); neither of which could be remotely considered apologetic, to suddenly issuing a full on contrition filled apology roughly 24 hours later, and you seriously wonder if you’re witnessing the invisible hand of NBC News at work.
Such a scenario would probably have gone down like this: NBC forced Hayes to do a full on mea culpa. Then to further distance NBC from Hayes, Today puts on a segment regarding Hayes where people say just how wrong he was. This approaches tinfoil hat territory but I don’t think we can dismiss the possibility out of hand. It’s just too coincidental.