The chief of NBC News has a message for President Donald Trump: We’re not going to be intimidated.
NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack said on Tuesday that the president’s attacks on some media outlets won’t deter his organization from doing its job.
Actually, Trump was trying to encourage news organizations to do their jobs, not deter them. I think the more salient point is that Trump–unlike George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and John McCain–isn’t going to be intimidated by the media, either. Perhaps that is Lack’s real complaint.
“We’re not the opposition party and we’re not in a popularity contest with this administration or any other administration,” said Lack, who supervises NBC’s broadcast news and digital properties, including MSNBC.
That’s the question, isn’t it? I doubt that anyone at MSNBC (with the exception of Hugh Hewitt) would deny that they are part of the opposition to President Trump, and proud of it. And in recent years, NBC has become notorious as a proponent of the Democratic Party line.
As for popularity, Mr. Lack had better hope he isn’t in a contest. Most Americans view the news media with disdain.
NBC News is trying to absorb the results of an election that the network, like many other news organizations, got wrong, he said. The network “relied too much on polls” and is evaluating how to use them in the future, he said.
That is, I think, disingenuous. NBC isn’t trying to recover from predicting the election wrong, it is trying to recover from the fact that its candidate lost. The sickness at NBC and other liberal outlets has nothing to do with over-reliance on polls.
Lack said NBC needs more reporters along the likes of Hallie Jackson, Katy Tur, Kasie Hunt and Kristen Welker working in the states where Trump won, and promised the network would be able to afford them.
The implication is that NBC needs to learn more about, and devote more coverage to, the pro-Trump states. That is interesting, since Trump carried 30 out of 50 states. I don’t know whether reporters like Jackson, Tur, Hunt and Welker are up to the task or not. My sense is that if they were deployed to the red states, they would need a compass and safari gear.
Here is the good news:
MSNBC’s ratings have been soaring since the election, along with other cable news networks, defying a general trend where viewership usually drops after a presidential election. It illustrates an intense interest in politics stronger than at any point since 2000, Lack said.
We are seeing the same thing on Power Line. Rather than experiencing a post-election drop-off, our traffic is the highest it has ever been. Why is interest in politics more intense than it has been in a long time? I think because people on both sides of the divide think that there is a possibility of real change in Washington.