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Fox News: NBC’s Chuck Todd explodes on network bosses on the air for hiring Ronna McDaniel as analyst, calls for apology ‘Meet The Press’ host Kristen Welker forced to assure viewers she had nothing to do with McDaniel hiring ahead of interview of ex-RNC chair

  |   By Polling+ Staff

(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

NBC’s Chuck Todd explodes on network bosses on the air for hiring Ronna McDaniel as analyst, calls for apology

‘Meet The Press’ host Kristen Welker forced to assure viewers she had nothing to do with McDaniel hiring ahead of interview of ex-RNC chair

Ronna McDaniel causing a stir at MSNBC.

So NBC hires the former RNC chair, and the staff at MSNBC goes crazy. Fox News reports:

“The internal backlash to NBC News’ hiring of former Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel as an analyst continued on Sunday in stunning fashion, as Chuck Todd castigated network bosses on the air for the decision during an appearance on its flagship program “Meet The Press.”

Todd, the former host of “Meet The Press,” was furious after current host Kristen Welker conducted a tense interview with McDaniel a segment earlier about her past election rhetoric, claims about Democrats and other issues. The interview had already been set before Friday’s announcement that she was now a paid contributor to NBC News and its platforms; McDaniel resigned as RNC chair earlier this month.

“Let me deal with the elephant in the room,” Todd said. “I think our bosses owe you an apology for putting you in this situation, because I don’t know what to believe.” 

Todd said she had no idea whether any answer McDaniel gave to Welker was because she didn’t want to “mess up” her new contract. “She has credibility issues that she still has to deal with,” Todd said. “Is she speaking for herself or is she speaking on behalf of who’s paying her?… I will say this. I think your interview did a good job of exposing many of the contradictions.”

Todd said many of the network’s dealings with the RNC under McDaniel’s leadership “had been met with gaslighting” “and “character assassination,” and he referred to the internal tumult by journalists at NBC News who are apoplectic over McDaniel’s hiring.

“When NBC made the decision to get her… 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,” he said.

Todd went on, suggesting it was not a defensible decision and said Welker had been put in an “impossible situation.”

“Booking this interview and then all of the sudden, the rug’s pulled out from under you, you find out she’s being paid to show up? That’s unfortunate for this program, but I am glad you did the best that you could,” Todd said. 

NBC News currently employs former top Biden White House staffers Jen Psaki and Symone Sanders, two MSNBC hosts whom Todd did not mention in his diatribe. It also has on its roster ex-RNC chair Michael Steele and former George W. Bush aide Nicolle Wallace, who are now committed Democratic Party supporters and also host MSNBC shows. 

The other panelists on “Meet The Press” also ripped McDaniel for being worse than a typical partisan spinner getting a plum network job.

“This is a Washington operative who I don’t think is going to bring the network what they think it wants to bring to the network,” Todd said. “I understand the motivation, but this execution, I think, was poor.”

McDaniel was tapped on Friday to join NBC News as analyst, setting off an uproar among liberal journalists both inside and outside NBC and MSNBC. Fox News Digital confirmed that McDaniel would not appear on MSNBC, NBC’s left-leaning cable arm, after staffers at the progressive outlet exploded at the idea of having the Donald Trump acolyte on their airwaves. 

That led to Sunday, where Welker was placed in the unusual spot of harshly interrogating someone who was now technically a network colleague. She asked McDaniel whether she could be trusted and if she owed the American people an apology, among other contentious exchanges.

In a remarkable moment before the interview, Welker was forced to assure viewers that she had nothing to do with McDaniel’s hiring and the conversation with her had been booked weeks earlier, underscoring the awkwardness of how much NBC may have alienated liberal watchers. 

“This will be a news interview, and I was not involved in her hiring,” Welker said.

MSNBC’s Symone Sanders cheered it on from social media. 

McDaniel resigned from the RNC after a tenure that included disappointing Republican election results in 2018, 2020 and 2022. Her association with Trump’s efforts to overturn 2020 and her rhetoric that President Biden’s 2020 election victory was unfair have made her a pariah among liberal journalists. 

One MSNBC insider told Fox News Digital it was “mind-boggling that anyone thought this hire was appropriate.”

What’s really mind-boggling is the lack of self-awareness here. NBC is a liberal playground, no conservatives or serious Republicans allowed. Nicole Wallace and Michael Steele long ago abandoned their one-time GOP beliefs to fit in and keep to MSNBC.