The co-presenter of NBC’s early-morning news show ‘Morning Joe’ revealed live on air that NBC was contacted by members of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign after she accused them of arrogance, warning that it could cost them the election. Mika Brzezinski claimed that someone associated with the campaign contacted her bosses, presumably to try and either silence her or as she believes, try to pull her off the air.
“I was concerned the [Clinton] campaign was not understanding that perhaps there was an arrogance, they needed to sort of get off their high horse and understand that this isn’t over,” Brzezinski said. “I’ll just say it,” she went on, realising it would be a controversial reveal, “NBC got a call from the campaign. Like I had done something that was journalistically inappropriate or something and needed to be pulled off the air.”
“I mean, think about that. That’s just – shooting the wrong messenger.”
Brzezinski’s concerns about the Clinton campaign turned out to be true of course after Donald Trump was elected as President, and stories have since surfaced alleging the campaign ignored people who were warning them of incoming danger. Bill Clinton strongly advised that the campaign spend more time in the rust-belt states, particularly Michigan, but the leadership ignored his warnings of a potential upset among blue-collar workers and tried to court Republican-leaning voters in other states instead.
Co-host Joe Scarborough then reminded the panel of the internal denial in the Clinton camp. “There were also people surrounding the campaign who tried to tell the campaign it was in trouble,” he noted. “Those people were shut out.”
These developments are a concern but not a surprise, after the Podesta emails famously revealed that the Clinton campaign was deeply intertwined within the mainstream news media. Current DNC interim-chair Donna Brazille was embroiled in scandal when emails were leaked that showed she shared debate questions with the Clinton camp before CNN, the channel she was a contributor for, hosted one of the few Democratic Primary debates.
This again shows how politicians and media companies can become very cozy, especially when many media companies donate large sums of money to campaign super-pacs or to a candidate’s charitable foundation. Some credit has to go to NBC+MSNBC who seemed to not buckle under the pressure from Clinton’s team, which may be in part due to how relatively little NBC gave to Clinton, estimated to be around $5-10k. But stories like this do highlight how the mainstream news media is fast becoming a mouthpiece for Washington, rather than the watchdogs that real journalists are supposed to be in order to make politicians accountable for their actions.