MSNBC Ariana Pekary, a seven-year veteran producer is leaving the network. She said the network is a “cancer” because it “blocks diversity of thought” and “amplifies fringe voices.”
Pekary posted her letter online after leaving the network. Over her seven-year tenure, she worked as a producer on shows with Alex Baldwin and with Lawrence O’Donnell.
She complained over how the network “stokes national division, even in the middle of a civil rights crisis.”
Peccary lamented that MSNBC spends too much time attacking President Trump.
The primary focus quickly became what Donald Trump was doing (poorly) to address the crisis, rather than the science itself. As new details have become available about antibodies, a vaccine, or how COVID actually spreads, producers still want to focus on the politics. Important facts or studies get buried.
This cancer risks our democracy, even in the middle of a presidential election. Any discussion about the election usually focuses on Donald Trump, not Joe Biden, a repeat offense from 2016 (Trump smothers out all other coverage). Also important is to ensure citizens can vote by mail this year, but I’ve watched that topic get ignored or ‘killed’ numerous times.
Context and factual data are often considered too cumbersome for the audience. There may be some truth to that (our education system really should improve the critical thinking skills of Americans) – but another hard truth is that it is the job of journalists to teach and inform, which means they might need to figure out a better way to do that. They could contemplate more creative methods for captivating an audience. Just about anything would improve the current process, which can be pretty rudimentary (think basing today’s content on whatever rated well yesterday, or look to see what’s trending online today.)
She even admitted that industry leaders understand they are tearing the country apart:
But behind closed doors, industry leaders will admit the damage that’s being done. “We are a cancer and there is no cure,’ a successful and insightful TV veteran said to me. ‘But if you could find a cure, it would change the world.”
You can read her entire letter here:
Some personal news: why I’m now leaving MSNBC
It’s not the optimal time for change but the time doesn’t feel optional, anymore.https://t.co/HbZo0weiUs
— Ariana Pekary (@arianapekary) August 3, 2020