Fire and Replace Andy Lack as Chairman of MSNBC
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Last night we learned that MSNBC Chairman Andy Lack did not renew Joan Walsh's contract. Joan Walsh, who has appeared as a correspondent on the network for twelve years, is a trusted political voice for women and the Resistance. Her firing is the latest in a string of MSNBC decisions to prioritize the voices of conservative pundits and men over liberal women, particularly women of color. In 2016, Melissa Harris-Perry was fired over a memo criticizing the network; and in 2017, Tamron Hall left after being passed over for a promotion in favor of Megyn Kelly. Joy Reid, one of the network's most popular daytime hosts, still does not have her own primetime show. The treatment of these four women is a clear message from MSNBC about the voices they value and the audience they want to reach.
Lack's detestation of liberalism extends to men who preach its virtues as well. In May, the press caught wind that he was not going to renew Lawrence O'Donnell's contract, despite his program, The Last Word, receiving some of the network's highest ratings. Thanks to a social media campaign, Lack caved under pressure, and kept O'Donnell on the network.
What's more, Lack's track record regarding sexual harassment in his organization is appalling. He was responsible for boosting the careers of Matt Lauer and Mark Halperin, both of whom were fired for sexual harassment this fall; and, along with NBC News President Noah Oppenheim, he axed Ronan Farrow's bombshell reporting on Harvey Weinstein. Farrow's piece found a home in The New Yorker soon after and became an important story this year.
We in the Resistance must say enough is enough. At a time where the #MeToo movement is exposing how men accused of sexual harassment shaped the political narrative during the 2016 election, we need to make sure that women's voices are prioritized and encouraged in the political landscape. Silencing women at this moment will ensure that the misogyny of the 2016 election is repeated and the #MeToo moment weakened. It is imperative that he be fired as chairman and replaced by someone willing to embrace liberalism and the people who need it.
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