The International Business Times’ Brendan James does a deep dive profile of Chris Hayes…
The atmosphere is dire, a bit like when a radio station gets a new format. No one is safe. After his daytime colleagues were taken out, Hayes was naturally viewed as the next to go.
“Look,” he said when asked about the vibe, “one notices what is happening in one’s workplace.”
“What I do think is true: It’s been pretty clear since I started this job that, when the story that’s driving people’s attention is politics, we do well as a network,” he said. “And when it’s not politics, we do less well.”
Despite the directive from up top to shed the channel’s identity as the supposed liberal counterweight to Fox News, Hayes said he hasn’t felt any pressure to change. “It has not affected the show in any direct way. There’s certainly not been, like, ‘Don’t do any liberal stuff.’ We are what we are; I am what I am.”
Many TV viewers only discovered what he is, and who is he is, in 2011, when Hayes got his first MSNBC show on Saturday and Sunday mornings, “Up With Chris Hayes.” He was raised in the Bronx by an Italian-American mother and an Irish Catholic, onetime seminarian father who organized in the style of radical activist and conservative bogeyman Saul Alinsky. His career was born in Chicago’s alt weeklies, first as a reporter, then as a commentator and essayist. In 2006 he became a fellow at the Nation magazine, an elder statesman of the American liberal press, where he later became Washington, D.C., editor.
What makes this notable is the executive who chimes in with the obligatory “Hayes is great” commentary isn’t from either NBC or MSNBC. It’s The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel. Nobody from the network vouched said a word. No Phil Griffin saying, “He’s our guy.” or any other kind of public affirmation. I do find that noteworthy though its significance will only be determined over time.