Petitions are delivered to my email inbox every day. The organizations that send them my way know I’m a Democrat, a liberal, and in my own moderate way, an activist. I usually agree with and care about the issue(s) these organizations want me to sign onto. Not always, but often, I do sign the petition.
Yesterday, I had an unusual experience. My take on the petition I was being asked to sign differed from the one expected of me. Credo Action and Democrats.Com Unity want me to rail at NBC for their recent hires, and I think those hires are, at least potentially, a good move on NBC’s part. Here is the Petition to NBC executives: “Stop hiring extreme right TV personalities and pushing out progressive and Black and Brown voices.”
The part of this petition I agree with is that MSNBC , under the leadership of Andrew Lack, has sidelined people of color—Joy Reid and Al Sharpton were moved to weekend spots. Lack also pushed out Melissa Harris Perry and Alex Wagner. These are personalities I enjoy, with viewpoints I appreciate hearing. They are people I want to see more, not less.
But included in the list of “extreme right TV personalities” are Nicole Wallace, George Will, Greta Van Susteren, and Megyn Kelly. These are all smart people. I’ve mostly disagreed with George Will over the years; he’s often seemed insufferable. And there are times when he’s really pissed me off. But every time he’s sounded off about Donald Trump, George and I have found common ground.I first got to know Nicole Wallace because Rachel Maddow often had her on TRMS—Rachel excels at exchanging views with people who may have a different, or opposite, perspective. Watching her back and forth with Rachel, I found I liked Nicole Wallace. I was sorry when The View let her go, and I was always glad to see her at the table with Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, and Lawrence O’Donnell during the 2016 campaign. I’m not that familiar with Greta Van Susteren, but Rachel gave her a big welcome to MSNBC, and the Maddow stamp of approval is good enough for me.
I keep hearing that we have to learn how to hear the other side; we have to learn to talk to each other. I’m in favor of hearing the viewpoints of intelligent people—left, right, and center. And if there’s conservative and Republican talent on MSNBC, they will undoubtedly pull in conservative viewers, and those conservative viewers might start tuning in to people like Maddow, Matthews, and O’Donnell. This is a good thing, people. We liberals and conservatives might start finding issues we agree on, ways of meeting in the middle, ways of moving forward once more to an America of shared values, instead of this morass we’re in with DJT.
I think bringing conservatives into the fold at MSNBC is a good thing. What do you think?