NBC News staffers are angry and “troubled” by White House press secretary Jen Psaki’s TV deal with MSNBC, according to network competitor CNN.
Psaki’s tentative deal to stint as an opinion host on MSNBC has ‘disturbed staffers’ because Psaki has become a hot topic while continuing to lecture from the White House podium as press officer. Staffers are reportedly angered by a conflict of interest that violates NBC News’ so-called journalistic standards.
The fact that Psaki was cast in an opinion piece at MSNBC and not a “more typical post-White House role, such as a political analyst offering opinion and analysis on another person’s program,” sparked a stir. outrage from NBC News staffers.
On Friday, NBC News President Noah Oppenheim quickly tried to quell employee frustration by holding a phone conversation with those who feel the hiring of Psaki is “tarnishing” the NBC News brand.
Oppenheim told staffers that NBC News was not involved in hiring PSAki. Oppenheim also said MSNBC’s opinion arm should be blamed and that Psaki’s hiring had nothing to do with NBC News’ “journalism.”
“Here’s what he said: they have a program in perspective. This was done on the perspective programming side. None of which is reflected on NBC News,” one of the people explained during the call with Oppenheim.
“People wanted answers about NBC’s role in all of this and NBC News had no role in it,” the person continued. “This is MSNBC’s perspective programming.”
Psaki declined to comment on CNN’s report on Wednesday, but a White House staffer reportedly told CNN that Psaki had “recused” herself from conducting interviews on MSNBC or NBC News at this time.
PSAKI is a former CNN commentator who moved into politics for President Joe Biden. She is now looking to cash out her job at the White House and enter the private sector.
Outside of the PSAki drama, there seems to be some bad blood between NBC News and MSNBC. Because there is cross-pollination between the two networks, NBC News staffers resent being exposed to MSNBC’s opinion and radical content. Some NBC News talent fears that MSNBC’s point of view will end up reflecting on them.
NBC News and MSNBC are owned by NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast.
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