Bad Day At 30 Rock…
Having a day job sometimes prevents me from blogging when all hell is breaking loose at a cable news network. Today was one of those days. The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple writes about The Tweet Heard Round The Internet (Copyright 2014, TM, Patent pending)…
Recent flare-ups come from just about everywhere except the people helming MSNBC’s regular prime-time lineup. Bashir was marooned at the 4:00 p.m. hour, in the midst of what BuzzFeed’s Dorsey Shaw calls “a super-dead zone.” Alec Baldwin was doing a weekly Friday night show when he said allegedly hateful things to a paparazzo. Melissa Harris-Perry’s misfiring discussion on Mitt Romney’s family occurred on her weekend show. And this latest firestorm surges not from prime time; not from non-prime time; but from the network’s Twitter feed. All that should be enough to enrage an expressive guy like Griffin.
And it has, according to two sources at the network. Griffin, says one of the sources, is as “angry” as his colleagues have seen him. In a meeting, he warned of serious and immediate repercussions and ripped the staff about the recent bout of stupid actions, according to the sources.
Lauren Skowronski, a spokeswoman for the network, e-mailed this statement: “What you’re hearing is an exaggeration but obviously this is a serious matter that’s being handled internally. Phil has spoken to his team to make it clear that these incidents are unacceptable.”
UPDATE: Griffin has put his name behind an apology that reads as follows:
“The tweet last night was outrageous and unacceptable. We immediately acknowledged that it was offensive and wrong, apologized, and deleted it. We have dismissed the person responsible for the tweet.
I personally apologize to Mr. Priebus and to everyone offended.
At MSNBC, we believe in passionate, strong debate about the issues and we invite voices from all sides to participate. That will never change. “
What a coup for Priebus and the RNC: By acting quickly and forcefully, they managed to get Griffin to include Priebus by name in the official MSNBC apology. Had only Griffin stamped his name to an apology early this morning, such a concession never would have been necessary.
Probably true. But at the same time I wonder if we have become more easily indignant over everything that we immediately go postal and demand scalps and networks are much much quicker to acquiesce to said scalp hunts than things used to be. Would Carl Cameron have survived at FNC if he had penned his imaginary John Kerry article today?
Fox News quickly retracted the article, saying in an editor’s note on its Web site that the article “was written in jest and should not have been posted or broadcast.” It said, “We regret the error, which occurred because of fatigue and bad judgment, not malice.”
Did Cameron survive ten years ago because we were more forgiving back then? Or did Cameron survive because the DNC didn’t go postal like the RNC did? Or did Cameron survive because FNC wasn’t willing to fire a key asset for what could be argued was a fireable offense while MSNBC was willing to fire some anonymous staffer because they were replaceable and would it have still fired the Tweeter if it had been some name like Ed Schultz?
I don’t know the answer to any of those questions but the questions are worth pondering…