It’s already been shot down by MSNBC itself but I’m going to pile on. National Review Online’s Eliana Johnson has a silly little article about how Rachel Maddow is essentially part of the crew running things at NBC News.
Even if this article was even partially grounded in reality, which it isn’t, the idea that the story would break via NRO automatically raises multiple red flags. There are still enough media reporters out there (though not as many as there used to be) with connections deep enough to have broken this story well before it fell in Johnson’s lap.
Even more damning is the article itself which posits the idea that Maddow has mega input but fails to even offer one supporting piece of evidence to buttress the claim.
There are no anecdotes of Maddow orchestrating editorial control. There are no anecdotes of Maddow making personnel decisions. All there is are a few disconnected quotes that Johnson strung together to paint a picture of implied influence without any evidence of direct influence.
Then there’s Johnson’s “news” of some new script review processs that MSNBC has implemented as a result of the Bashir, Baldwin, and Melissa Harris-Perry incidents. First of all, Baldwin’s incident didn’t involve a script and didn’t occur on MSNBC’s air. MHP’s incident is too recent to have any influence on anything MSNBC may or may not have done. That just leaves us with Bashir’s. I have no doubt that emails flew after the Bashir incident and there may have been some remedial editorial instruction as a result. But one incident hardly a pattern makes.
MSNBC called this “…a story with more anonymous, uninformed sources than you’d ever find on the gossip pages”. That’s actually wrong. This is precisely the amount of uninformed sources you’d find in the gossip pages. But their veracity is just as questionable.