Phil Griffin Interview

The Hollywood Reporter’s Marissa Guthrie interviews Phil Griffin. Mega minus points to Guthrie for getting Griffin’s MSNBC tenure wrong (he was off MSNBC for a time working over at NBC and Today and had nothing to do with the network. This was during the period prior to the dumping of Rick Kaplan and the hiring of Dan Abrams as GM with Griffin as overseer)

THR: There are people, including some at your own company, who have asserted that cable news is responsible for debasing the political dialogue in this country.

Griffin: Yeah, my little hairs go up when people criticize cable news with a broad brush. That criticism comes from people who don’t actually watch us. They dismiss us when in fact we are doing real, thoughtful, informative segments, whether it’s having a war correspondent talk for an hour about what’s going on in Afghanistan, or the voter ID issue, which we’ve done across the board at MSNBC. Chris Hayes did two hours on Foxconn [the Chinese iPhone factory where harsh working conditions have led to riots]. It was said you can’t do really thoughtful, smart pieces and get an audience and make it popular. I think we’ve done that.

THR: Have you watched Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom?

Griffin: I will watch it, and I’m sure I’ll love it because everybody says I’d love it. But I want to watch Breaking Bad, and I don’t have time to. But with Newsroom, it’s like this is what we do and I’ll be judgmental, and I don’t want to be that jerk who says, “Oh, it sucks.”

THR: Is there an on-air personality on another network that you would like to have?

Griffin: Yes. I don’t know if I should say this. [Fox News anchor] Shep Smith. I just like his way. I like everything about him.

THR: Former CNN president Jon Klein occasionally used to have lunch with Fox News chairman Roger Ailes. Have you ever had a meal with Roger?

Griffin: No. I would love to.


One Response to “Phil Griffin Interview”

  1. savefarris Says:

    But I want to watch Breaking Bad.

    So say we all.

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