Moments after the announcement, Baltimore Sun television critic David Zurawik said MSNBC president Phil Griffin is just as responsible as Bashir:
I believe Bashir had to go, and I weep not for his dismissal. What he did and said is Exhibit A for the way cable TV news has debased the conversation of democracy.
Griffin can save his "respected colleague" talk. He's as responsible as Bashir for this kind of hateful speech.
Under Griffin's leadership, MNSBC has become the leading proponent of such ideologically-charged, rabble-rousing rhetoric.
They don't do news at MSNBC any more. They just do propaganda. And you can only attack your ideological enemies so long before you find yourself in the realm of hate speech as Bashir did.
I hope this event will help Comcast come to understand how deeply Griffin and his cynical programming strategy have damaged the brand of NBC News and the network in general.
You can fire 10 Bashirs and issue 20 phony "respected colleagues" PR statements, and it won't start to repair the harm you've done to what NBC News once stood for.
For some background, Griffin called Bashir a "respected colleague" in his Wednesday statement regarding the resignation.
That said, we quite agree that Griffin is as responsible as Bashir for this kind of hateful speech, and that Griffin has indeed harmed NBC News with his decision to go down this vitriolic path.
The big question remaining is whether or not this is going to be a wakeup call for the folks at Comcast who certainly don't want to be associated with this detritus, or if Griffin is going to be allowed to further tarnish the Peacock Network.
(HT Johnny Dollar)