The Elephant in the Room

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At what point did NBC News approach Ronna McDaniel – or vice versa – and decide “yes, we need her to be part of our team.” And how dark was it at the time?

The former chair of the Republican National Committee debuted as an NBC political analyst this weekend and immediately faced heavy criticism on air and off. Many remember that for most of the Trump administration and in the three years since, McDaniel – who used to be known as Ronna “Romney” McDaniel – defended and colluded with former President Trump when it came to election lies, January 6th denials, and criticism of the news media. Some might even say she lied on behalf of Trump and the Republican Party on a regular basis.

The NBC News platforms are filled with former Democratic and Republican operatives and elected officials serving as analysts, anchors, and hosts, but for many at NBC and in the practice of journalism the McDaniel hire(reportedly at a $300,000 per year salary) goes too far.

As of this writing NBC News is standing by the decision.

Former Hartford Courant reporter Carrie Budoff Brown, now in charge of NBC’s political coverage, was quoted by the New York Times seeming to be taking direction from the Trump/McDaniel “alternative facts” playbook when she defended the hire:

“It couldn’t be a more important moment to have a voice like Ronna’s on the team,” …Budoff Brown…wrote in a memo, adding that Ms. McDaniel would provide “an insider’s perspective on national politics and the future of the Republican Party.”

Fact check: Wrong!

During her tenure as RNC chair, McDaniel took part in conversations about preventing the peaceful transfer of power between Trump and Biden. She minimized the violence of January 6th and she did nothing to stop the re-nomination of Trump as the Republican Party nominee for president in 2024 even though he is under indictment in four jurisdictions and has been found liable in civil trials of sexual assault, defamation, and business fraud.

There are hundreds of competent Republican political insiders who could share an “insider’s perspective,” without McDaniel’s baggage.

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