Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks blasted MSNBC for hiring conservative commentator George Will as a contributor for the network, which has been described as an effort to develop a more centrist approach to news.
“MSNBC used to be a progressive network,” Uygur started, before noting the network has former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough on Morning Joe “while they pretend to be progressive throughout.”
“But now they’re intentions have become clear,” Uygur said, referring to the hiring of Will as a contributor. “If you’re a right-winger, MSNBC would love to have you.”
Will, a columnist for The Washington Post, is formerly a contributor to Fox News. That adds him to the growing pile of talent NBC has poached from the conservative network, including Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren. Will maintained a public profile during the 2016 election as a vocal opponent of President Donald Trump’s campaign.
Uygur blames “deeply right-wing” Comcast — NBC and MSNBC’s parent company — as well as new head of NBC News Andy Lack for the spate of hirings of conservative voices. He also noted a number of progressive commentators have been recently flushed out of the two networks.
Uygur previously served as a contributor and anchor for MSNBC, filling Keith Olbermann’s time slot as well as his mold as a progressive firebrand. He left the network after less than a year, when he declined an offer to move his show to a weekend slot. Uygur claimed at the time that the decision to move him to the weekend was the result of MSNBC bowing to political pressure.
Nonetheless, Uygur maintained that MSNBC is a crucial voice providing “some sort of counter-balance to Fox News.”
“Hang in there, Hayes, Maddow, and O’Donnell,” he added.
[image via screengrab]
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