“I am not going to do a show where I have to pretend most of the politicians in Washington are honorable gentlemen.”
In the following video Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, explains why he just left MSNBC to return to his internet show after being offered more money and a smaller role. To paraphrase, Cenk’s explanation is basically, “Management wouldn’t let me tell the truth.” Cenk had just beat FOX News and destroyed CNN in the ratings after grilling politicians and accurately reporting about the Obama Administration.
This would not be the first time MSNBC has removed a host for opposing authority while dominating the ratings. When Phil Donahue’s MSNBC show, Donahue, was cancelled in 2003, “he was actually attracting more viewers than any other show on MSNBC.” Said Donahue “We were the only antiwar voice that had a show, and that, I think, made them very nervous. I mean, from the top down, they were just terrified.”
Jesse Ventura was bought out out of his MSNBC contract after less than four months, despite generating 39% higher ratings in the Saturday slot he was shunted into. “I was basically silenced.” said Ventura. “When I came out of office, I was the hottest commodity out there. There was a bidding war between CNN, Fox and MSNBC to get my services. MSNBC ultimately won. I was being groomed for a five day-a-week TV show by them. Then, all of a sudden, weird phone calls started happening: ‘Is it true Jesse doesn’t support the war in Iraq?’”
“My contract said I couldn’t do any other cable TV or any news shows, and they honored and paid it for the duration of it. So in essence I had my silence purchased. Why do you think you didn’t hear from me for three years? I was under contract. They wouldn’t even use me as a consultant!”
To explain this strange situation, where top-rated guests are fired seemingly against good business sense, here is Dan Rather, speaking about the conglomeration of “mainstream” news entities.Published in