Tell MSBNC: Rehire Joan Walsh!

Andrew Lack, MSNBC and NBCUniversal

Joan_walsh

This week MSNBC took a step closer to the dark side by canceling without any warning the contract for the knowledgable and widely popular MSNBC political analyst Joan Walsh. Walsh has been a regular contributor for more than 12 years (since 2005), six of them under contract. As the former editor-in-chief of Salon and a widely respected journalist, Walsh has provided smart, incisive, and thoughtful political analysis based on her own in-depth reporting, wide reading, and examination of facts.

MSNBC is best known for several programs—such as the Rachel Maddow Show, The Beat with Ari Melber, AM Joy with Joy Ann Reid, and All In with Chris Hayes, Velshi and Ruhle among them—each of which provides insightful and fair fact-based journalism and commentary. They do what journalists are supposed to do, which is speak truth to power, no matter who holds it. On the basis of these and other fact-based programs, MSNBC has been realizing rapid growth in ratings and audiences this year, breaking it’s own records in year over year comparisons and inching closer to the top of cable networks overall.

You might expect that the corporate leaders overseeing programs known for fact-based journalism and experiencing rapid growth in a highly competitive market would ask how they could further strengthen their brand. Instead, as the New Republic has noted, MSNBC is clearly becoming "white and more conservative," stifling the voices of progressive women and people of color and replacing them with Trump syncophants.

Canceling Walsh’s contract would seem by all objective measures to be a bad business decision given the deep well of respect and popularity she garners from millions of viewers, and evident if only by virtue of the fact that within hours of the news becoming public, the hashtag #KeepJoanWalsh started trending on Twitter.

Tell MSNBC to #KeepJoanWalsh

Petition by
Jodi Jacobson
Silver Spring, Maryland

To: Andrew Lack, MSNBC and NBCUniversal
From: [Your Name]

Dear Mr. Lack,

The decision to fire Joan Walsh, a thoughtful, fact-based, and talented contributor to many MSNBC programs is mystifying. I can't accept the excuse that this is due to "budget issues," since you've found the money to pay the likes of Hugh Hewitt and Megyn Kelly, and your parent company, Comcast, just got two windfalls--the tax breaks from the GOP tax bill and the death of net neutrality--that will cost average income earners millions.

Democracy depends on good journalism, and Joan Walsh is one of the best and most popular journalists out there.

We demand that you reinstate her contract immediately.