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Todd: Journalists at NBC News ‘Uncomfortable’ with Hiring of Ronna McDaniel

via NBC
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NBC political analyst Chuck Todd criticized the hiring of former RNC chair Ronna McDaniel as a paid NBC News contributor.

Todd said many journalists at the network were uncomfortable with the decision given NBC’s past difficult dealings with the RNC.

“I think our bosses owe you an apology for putting you in this situation. Because I don’t know what to believe. She is now a paid contributor by NBC news. I have no idea whether any answer she gave to you was because she didn’t want to mess up her contract. She wants us to believe that she was speaking for the RNC when the RNC was paying for it. So she has she has credibility issues that she still has to deal with. Is she speaking for herself or is she speaking on behalf of who’s paying her? Once at the RNC, she did say that. Hey, I’m speaking for the party. I get that that’s part of the job. So, what about here? I will say this, I think your interview, did a good job of exposing, I think, many of the contradictions,” political analyst Chuck Todd told Kristen Welker.

He questioned whether McDaniel’s answers in interviews could be influenced by her new contract and who she was truly representing.

While praising host Kristen Welker’s handling of an interview with McDaniel, Todd argued NBC should have better vetted McDaniel and clarified her role before announcing her hiring and placing Welker in an awkward position.

He added, “Look, there’s a reason why there’s a lot of journalists at NBC News uncomfortable with this. Because many of our professional dealings with the RNC over the last six years have been met with gaslighting, have been met with character assassination. When NBC made the decision to give her NBC News’ credibility, you got to ask yourself, what does she bring NBC News? And when we make deals like this, and I’ve been at this company a long time, you’re doing it for access.”

“Access to audience. Sometimes it’s access to an individual. And we can have a journalistic ethics debate about that. And I’m willing to have that debate. And if you told me we were hiring her as a technical adviser to the Republican convention, I think that would be certainly defensible. If you told me we’re we’re talking to her, but let’s see how she does in some interviews and maybe vet her with actual journalists inside the network to see if it’s a two-way, what she can bring the network,” he said.

Todd added, “So I do think, unfortunately, this interview was always going to be looked through the prism of who is she speaking for? I think you did everything you could do. You got put into an impossible situation booking this interview, and then all of a sudden, the rug pulled out from under you. You find out she’s being paid to show up. It’s unfortunate for this program. I am glad you did the best you could.”

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