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Ronna Romney McDaniel: A 1/5th Scaramucci

Well, that was fast. After just 2 days and a grand total of one appearance on NBC's various news properties, former RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel was shown the door yesterday. Early in afternoon, as the news began to trickle out, she was threatening lawsuits. However, that talk quieted down by the early evening. We are guessing that means that NBC agreed to pay off her $300,000 contract. If so, her compensation for that one 16-minute Meet the Press appearance works out to a wage of $1.125 million/hour. Nice work, if you can get it.

There was much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments from commentators on the right (see here, here and here for examples). Mostly, these commentaries serve as a reminder that right-wing commentators either don't understand what censorship is and what the First Amendment does, or else they think their readers don't understand. We made our views on McDaniel's hiring pretty clear yesterday, but as a reminder, we see no useful purpose she could possibly have served. She has no fanbase, so she wasn't going to attract new viewers. And she's a liar and propagandist of the worst sort, so she wasn't going to provide insight that politics-followers could trust.

It's really quite remarkable that the higher-ups at NBC botched this so badly; this is what happens when you have non-journalists trying to manage a journalistic operation. (Or a company that makes large, state-of-the-art aircraft run by bean counters.) We spent some time yesterday trying to think of someone who would have been a worse hire from a journalistic integrity perspective, on either the left OR the right. We could not come up with many answers; maybe Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) or Matt Gaetz (R-FL).

That is not to say that we think that hiring these ex-politicians and these ex-operatives is a GOOD idea; it's just that the hires are generally less bad than the hire of McDaniel was. This stupid "embrace debate" programming, where Scott Jennings or Rick Santorum comes in to "debate" with Van Jones or Donna Brazile, offers little in the way of value. It's just a bunch of talking points. You could hire us to wear a Scott Jennings mask or a Van Jones mask, and we could easily fill in, because everything they say is entirely predictable. It's also insulting, since the real purpose of hiring these people isn't to enlighten the audience, it's to perform "balance."

Put another way, we agree with TalkingPointsMemo's David Kurtz that this coverage model needs to go. He doesn't think it actually WILL go, nor do we, but dare to dream. (Z)

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