Conservative Commentators Condemn Uproar at NBC

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The decision by NBC News to hire Ronna McDaniel, the former chair of the Republican National Committee, as a political commentator set off a round of sharp criticism from her new colleagues in recent days. Leading on-air figures at NBC and its cable cousin, MSNBC, including Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow, took the unusual step of condemning their bosses’ decision in public.

Those internal critics have said that by hiring Ms. McDaniel, the network was authorizing election denialism. In the days after the 2020 election, Ms. McDaniel promoted some false theories pushed by then-President Donald J. Trump, including that votes had been miscounted in key battleground states, and she helped pressure election officials in one Michigan county to hold off from certifying the results. She has since tried to downplay her role in questioning the integrity of the election, and on Sunday, she said on “Meet The Press” that President Biden had defeated Mr. Trump “fair and square.”

Many mainstream news organizations have focused on the internal tensions at NBC. But the uproar at the network has played out differently among many conservative commentators, who have argued that it shows how the journalists at NBC News are overwhelmingly liberal and intolerant of conservative views.

In one segment, after playing clips in which Mr. Todd and the MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski described their opposition to Ms. McDaniel’s hire on the air, panelists on the Fox News show “America’s Newsroom” expressed incredulity at the backlash.

“If somebody said this at Fox News, they’d be walked out the door,” said Bill Hemmer, an anchor of the show.

“I was really disappointed to hear Chuck Todd, someone who is a journalist, comment on this in that fashion,” said Kayleigh McEnany, a co-host of the Fox show “Outnumbered” who was a White House press secretary under Mr. Trump. “Who at your network, NBC or MSNBC, represents the 46.7 percent of the country that tells the RealClearPolitics average, when you look at the polls, that they support Trump?”

“The liberal media can’t stand the idea of having a different point of view on their air,” said Jeanine Pirro, a host of “The Five” on Fox. Ms. Pirro went on to point out that MSNBC and NBC commentators did not object to the network’s hiring of Michael Steele, another former R.N.C. chair, in 2011.

Speaking on NewsNation Monday, the former Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly said that Ms. McDaniel had “made a huge mistake” when she tried to convince electors in Michigan to not certify the results of the 2020 election.

But he said she was still unfairly paying for that decision, and that her comments on Sunday, that Mr. Biden did win the 2020 election, should have been enough for the network’s talent to accept her hire.

“That’s not good enough for NBC,” Mr. O’Reilly said. “She has to be canceled. She has to be vaporized, she has to vanish.”

Newsmax, an outlet that promoted false theories about the 2020 election, covered the response to Ms. McDaniel’s hire in a news article that described MSNBC’s hosts as going “scorched earth” on the former R.N.C. chair.

Breitbart, a conservative news site, focused on Ms. Maddow’s response to the hiring of Ms. McDaniel, referring to the host’s monologue about Ms. McDaniel as a “tirade.”

The National Review, a conservative magazine that has sometimes expressed opposition to Mr. Trump, pointed out that MSNBC employed multiple hosts who had held prominent positions in the Biden administration.

“No such outrage existed when MSNBC brought on former White House press secretary Jen Psaki and former Kamala Harris communications staffer Symone Sanders,” one story said.

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