'Handmaid Of Fascism': Ronna McDaniel's New NBC Gig Provokes Fury

Ronna Romney McDaniel

Ronna Romney McDaniel

Exactly two weeks after her Trump-engineered exit as chair of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel has been hired by NBC News and MSNBC as a political commentator, fomenting fury among journalists, press watchers, and ordinary Americans.

Declaring that the network has a “crucial mission,” which it “performs like no other,” NBC News senior vice president of politics Carrie Budoff Brown announced McDaniel’s hiring to employees in a memo Friday, which ws published by The Hollywood Reporter.

“It couldn’t be a more important moment to have a voice like Ronna’s on the team,” Brown wrote. “As chair of the Republican National Committee, she spent nearly eight years at the highest levels of American politics before stepping down earlier this year. As we gear up for the longest general election season in recent memory, she will support our leading coverage by providing an insider’s perspective on national politics and on the future of the Republican Party — which she led through some of the most turbulent and challenging moments in political history. And as a longtime Michigan resident, she’ll be an important voice from one of this year’s key battlegrounds.”

Critics shared a different version of McDaniels’ résumé – and NBC News’ responsibilities.

“NBC is and must be, first and foremost, in the credibility business. She will compromise that every time she appears on air. She cannot be trusted,” wrote David Rothkopf, a journalist, author, and foreign policy, national security and political affairs analyst and commentator. Rothkopf is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He also called it “a terrible decision” and McDaniel “a proven serial liar.”

Media Matters ran this headline: “NBC News hires Ronna McDaniel, who played a key role in Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, according to NBC News.”

The sub-head: “Even participating in an attempted coup can’t disrupt the politics-to-pundit pipeline.”

“Prosecutors argued that, as NBC News characterized it, McDaniel has ‘unique knowledge’ about ‘the conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election,'” writes Media Matters’ John Knefel. “NBC News executives can perhaps be forgiven for these repeated oversights, though. After all, the network laid off dozens of its news staffers in January, so maybe there aren’t enough researchers around to dig into the network’s own coverage of its newest contributor.”

Others also pointed to McDaniel’s credibility and alleged actions to undermine democracy and overturn the 2020 election.

“McDaniel lied about the 2020 election result, was involved in a pressure campaign to get Michigan officials not to certify the vote, and has accused MSNBC of ‘spreading lies’ and employing ‘primetime propagandists,'” declared former MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan, now editor-in-chief of Zeteo News.

Political strategist Rachel Bitecofer, talking about McDaniel’s work during the 2020 election, wrote: “Ronna McDaniel was balls deep in the coup plot. She flew to swing states to encourage Republican state legislators and Republican election officials to submit fraudulent electors to steal the election from Joe Biden. If I was an @NBCNews employee I’d be pissed.”

The Daily Beast’s senior media reporter Justin Baragona dug up a social media post by McDaniel that disparages the network she will now be working for.

Attorney and MediasTouch.com editor-in-chief Ron Filipkowski posted video of McDaniel “saying she hopes the US defaults on its debt because that will help Republicans.”

Former Chicago Tribune editor Mark Jacob served NBC News this dire warning: “A MAGA dictatorship would crush legitimate news organizations and embrace propaganda outfits. By hiring a fascist liar Ronna McDaniel, NBC has shown which one it wants to be.”

“Carrie Budoff Brown is a traitor to democracy,” continued Jacob, who writes the Stop the Presses newsletter. He added: “This is what media complicity with fascism looks like. NBC is paying a co-conspirator in the Jan. 6 insurrection to keep deceiving the American people.”

Current MSNBC columnist Marisa Kabas wrote Brown a letter in which she says, “As we approach the 2024 election, it has never been more important for viewers and readers to have trust in their news outlets. Rehabilitating the reputation of an enabler of a government coup will completely undermine that trust.”

“As RNC Chairwoman,” Kabas continued, “McDaniel was quite literally on a phone call with former President Trump when he pressured two local Michigan officials not to sign the certification of the 2020 presidential election. McDaniel told the officials, ‘If you can go home tonight and do not sign it… We will get you attorneys.’ She also called for an erroneous investigation into another Michigan county’s voting procedures which was so riddled with false claims, the Michigan Department of State issued a statement saying her claims had ‘no merit.'”

Dash Dobrofsky, who writes The Gen Z Perspective, posted: “MSNBC just hired Ronna McDaniel — an election-denying, racist, pro-fascist, homophobic pathological liar — as their latest political contributor/commentator. In other words, they will pay her to lie for Trump during an election year. MSNBC is not a legitimate news organization.”

From McDaniel’s home state, Craig Mauger of The Detroit Newswrites: “Here’s our reporting from December about her involvement in a call to pressure the Wayne County canvassers not to sign the 2020 election certification,” as he points to this story that reads in part:

“On a Nov. 17, 2020, phone call, which also involved Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, Trump told Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, the two GOP Wayne County canvassers, they’d look ‘terrible’ if they signed the documents after they first voted in opposition and then later in the same meeting voted to approve certification of the county’s election results, according to the recordings.”

Puck News founding partner and Washington correspondent Julia Ioffe summed it up:

“Real journalists are losing their jobs, but the handmaids of American fascism are getting plum spots in legacy American media organizations. Shame on you, @NBCNews.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

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