Openly gay MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts wore his bias on his sleeve on Wednesday during a segment in which a conservative guest, Maggie Gallagher, failed to show up to defend the National Organization for Marriage in a segment entitled "Anti-Equality Agenda Exposed." "Documents expose ugly anti-LGBT marriage plot," blared the on-screen graphic. Roberts groused about Gallagher's no-show, showing viewers her empty chair in the Seattle studio. "As you can see, she is missing in action, although we did confirm an hour ago that she was supposed to be in that studio. I would say, 'Hi, Maggie,' but you're not there," Roberts snarked.
Closing that interview, Roberts again showed the empty chair and complained that "Maggie Gallagher... decided not to show up for this interview." But today, in a debate segment on the same issue, Roberts informed us, Gallagher's no-show was a simple booking error. Roberts acknowledged the mix-up but failed to stipulate it was MSNBC's error, not Gallagher's. What's more, Roberts failed to apologize for trying to shame Gallagher two days earlier on the presumption that it was she who backed out. [MP3 audio here; video embedded below page break]
"Maggie, we had a mix-up with our booking on this topic Wednesday. Maggie graciously agreed to return for our segment today, so our thanks to you on that one, Maggie," Roberts noted at the opening of today's segment. That admission, you'll notice, hinted at but did not implicate MSNBC's booking department for the error, although Roberts explicitly admitted that his network's bookers goofed in a extended tweet via Whosay on March 28 [screencap below]:
MYSTERY solved... @maggiemarriage was in a studio ready for our #nom interview it was just the wrong studio booked improperly on @msnbc_booking IT WAS OUR MISTAKE and she has an open invite for the show. Our sincerest apologies.
Gallagher deserved an apology for Roberts's unprofessional antics and baseless accusations. She didn't get one and perhaps is one to let the slights roll off her back. That's her prerogative, but we reserve the right to call Roberts on the carpet for his breach of journalistic integrity.