MSNBC's Hall: I'm Not Afraid of Different Opinions; Last Year She Cut Conservative Guest's Mic for Espousing Different Opinion

January 23rd, 2013 5:40 PM

In a January 23 interview at MediaBistro, MSNBC NewsNation host Tamron Hall addressed the (accurate) perception that her program is not exactly objective journalism. Asked by MediaBistro about whether CNN's attempt to be "objective" was dragging it down in the ratings or if the left-leaning MSNBC was simply a better news network, Hall insisted that the primetime news coverage was definitely opinion based but that "That's not what we do on NewsNation.... [F]or me, our show is not an opinion show, but it's not a show that's afraid of opinions." [h/t TV Newser]

Hall is unafraid of divergent opinions? That's a good one. Someone should tell conservative columnist Tim Carney, whom Hall chewed out on air on her May 11, 2012 program, ultimately cutting off his microphone for daring to challenge the network's liberal bias. As my colleague Scott Whitlock reported at the time (emphasis his):

Conservative columnist Tim Carney appeared on MSNBC, Friday, to slam MSNBC's "ridiculous" coverage of Mitt Romney's supposed teenage bullying, berating the liberal network's "absurd premise." MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall became so irritated at having her world view challenged that she cut Carney's mic off.

Regarding the cable outlet's coverage, Carney asserted, "I think that the focus that has come on it from the media, from MSNBC, in particular, has been absurd." He dismissed, "But trying to make an issue out of Mitt Romney bullying somebody nearly 50 years ago is ridiculous and it is a big part of the reason most of America doesn't trust the mainstream media."

Carney then explained just how non-stories are played up: "But, what you're doing here is a typical media trick. You hype up a story and then you justify the second day coverage of the story by saying, 'Oh, people are talking about it. Here's how Romney responded to it.'"

An angry Hall sputtered, "You not going to come on and insult me. You're not going to come on and insult the network when you knew what you were going to talk about. Done."

She then cut his mic off.

Earlier, Carney angered Hall when he dismissed the network's "silly" war on women talking point.

Hall didn't like this, either. She complained, "I don't think it's a silly idea. I think a lot of women will take issue with that."

The Washington Examiner columnist tweeted about the experience, joking, "Welcome to all my new followers. Thankfully, Tamron can't shut down my Twitter feed like she cut off my mic."

While Hall hinted she was an objective news anchor, not a "pundit" like evening host Rachel Maddow, the MSNBC anchor made perfectly clear that the sort of "obvious questions" she thinks need asking fall into a liberal rubric (emphasis mine):

I don't have the same role on MSNBC as Rachel. I discuss obvious questions. Right now, we have gun control debate. Why does someone need a gun clip with 20 rounds? That's not right or left. That's an obvious question. Now, upon me asking that question, you will have some people who will say, "Oh, she's a lefty" or "That's MSNBC's left-leaning perspective." No, it's not. It's a logical question. So, for me, our show is not an opinion show, but it's not a show that's afraid of opinions.

Of course, not once during the "war on women" meme last year did Hall ever ask a feminist an "obvious question" or "logical question" like "Why do you expect taxpayers or your employer to provide your contraception? Can't you just buy it yourself?" or "Isn't it absurd to say your right to contraception is at risk just because someone wants to take away government subsidies for it?"

To be fair, Hall has actually practiced balanced journalism from time to time, like when she made sure to ask Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) tough questions about an illegal immigrant intern at his office who had been arrested by the FBI. That said, as we've documented, Hall generally falls in lock-step with the network's liberal narratives.

It's ludicrous and self-deceiving for her to pretend otherwise.