Ex-Fox News Anchor Greta Van Susteren’s Failing MSNBC Show is Abruptly Canceled

Score one for the free market. Six months ago MSNBC hired Greta Van Susteren to host an early evening hour program. It was a peculiar choice considering the network’s success with their more progressive personalities in primetime. There was never a good case to be made for a former Fox News host succeeding on MSNBC. Their existing audience surely wasn’t clamoring for more Fox-style news analysis. And no one who watches Fox would be caught dead tuning in to MSNBC.

Greta Van Susteren

Nevertheless, the network’s management took the plunge. An apt metaphor considering how deep the ratings for Van Susteren’s show sank. The show was virtual sinkhole in the schedule. Both its lead-in and lead-out had more viewers and better ratings. People were clearly changing the channel when Van Susteren’s show started.

Van Susteren’s weakness occurred while the rest of the network’s program’s were soaring to record highs. Rachel Maddow has frequently beaten her Fox News competition and landed at the top of all cable news programming. The same is true for her colleague Lawrence O’Donnell. Van Sustern wasn’t even performing as well as Maddow’s and O’Donnell’s repeats.

So after six months, MSNBC management has seen the light and diplomatically announced a parting of the ways. Network president Phil Griffin said:

“MSNBC and Greta Van Susteren have decided to part ways. Greta is a well-regarded television veteran and one of only a few broadcasters who can say they’ve hosted shows at all three major cable news networks. We are grateful to her and wish her the best.”

Griffin also revealed that Van Susteren’s time slot will be filled by Ari Melber. Melber is the network’s legal analyst and host of the weekend show The Point. He has also been a frequent fill-in host for several of the network’s programs. He should be a capable, if not exciting, addition to the schedule. On the down side, he’s just another cable news white guy. Weekend anchor Joy Reid would have been a better, and more stimulating, choice.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

It remains to be seen if MSNBC has realized the folly of their ways. They recently hired or promoted other right-wingers like Hugh Hewitt, Bret Stephens, Charlie Sykes, and George Will. And their big get, Fox News star Megyn Kelly, is already off to a disastrous start. Her NBC Sunday Night show premiered to abysmal ratings and went down from there. NBC execs are already somewhat frantic that she will kill the Today Show when she debuts in September. Time will tell.

Trump Press Secretary’s Response to His Gross Tweets About Mika Makes Things Even Worse

It’s mid-morning on Thursday and by now most of the country has heard about Donald Trump’s latest expression of his abhorrent character (or lack thereof). For those who haven’t, he tweeted a grotesque insult aimed at MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski. It was fairly typical of his misogynistic tendencies. For some reason, his most vile comments are usually saved for women.

Huckabee Sanders Trump

Trump’s tweets, as usual, were as riddled with lies as with loathing. For the record, this what he wrote:

Let’s set aside the horrific remarks about Mika Brzezinski. They have been appropriately covered and condemned elsewhere. And not just by Democrats and liberals. Below are some of the responses from prominent Republicans.

However, it also needs to be noted that the parts of Trump’s tweets that weren’t nauseating and childish were untrue. Morning Joe has been enjoying record ratings and nine straight quarters of growth. Trump couldn’t possibly know what Mika’s IQ is, and given his raging ignorance, he’s certainly in no position to talk. At the New Year’s Eve party at Mar-a-Lago he did not say “no” to Mika and Joe. They were photographed socializing. And, of course, there was no sign of bleeding or recent surgery. Finally, how does he always know what’s on Morning Joe if he never watches it?

Trump’s tweets were received with both disgust and disbelief. Except, that is, from within his own camp. Deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders rushed over to Fox News to try to address the erupting crisis. Her efforts were pathetic and even viewed skeptically by host Bill Hemmer. Her position was that Trump is the victim and he was merely defending himself:

“I don’t think that the president’s ever been someone who gets attacked and doesn’t push back. There have been an outrageous number of personal attacks, not just to him, but to frankly everyone around him.

“People on that show have personally attacked me many times. This is a president who fights fire with fire. And certainly will not be allowed to be bullied by a liberal media and the liberal elites within the media or Hollywood or anywhere else.”

This prompted Hemmer to ask “Look, I get it. But is that necessary?’ Sanders just robotically repeated her prearranged talking points. What she apparently doesn’t understand is that, even if the program was critical of Trump, there’s a big difference. They are television pundits. He’s the President of the United States. And for him to lash out in such an infantile manner is disgraceful and embarrassing to the nation. Whenever he launches these odious tweetstorms he is avoiding his duty as president. The fact that he took the time to compose and post these tweets means that he wasn’t working on healthcare, North Korea, the economy, or terrorism. Well, that may actually be good news considering the harm he would likely cause.

Here is a collection of responses from Republicans who were rightfully disturbed by Trump’s hateful messaging:

And for good measure, here is the response from First Lady Melania Trump. Recall that she was going to make a campaign against cyberbullying her White House project.

No one should really be all that surprised by any of this. This is who a minority of the country elected. And he let us all know the rancidness of his character throughout his campaign. He’s a misogynist, racist, ignorant, bullying, narcissistic, pussy-grabbing, wannabe dictator. He’s also a corrupt, anti-constitution, Russian collaborating traitor. And for all of these substantive criticisms that warrant his immediate impeachment, he would likely only reply that I’m a goofy nobody with bad hair.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.