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Comcast/MSNBC cave to pressure from Trump

A couple of weeks ago I noted that the folks on the right appeared to have a more expansive view of the First Amendment’s free speech guarantee when the person doing the speaking was a right winger. I noted at the time that no one has a right to a forum, and that denying them one was not a free speech violation. I also noted that a private employer, such as Stephen Colbert’s employer, had every right to fire an employee if they didn’t like what he or she said in the course of their employment.

Today we learn that Lawrence O’Donnell is likely going to be fired by MSNBC, despite his high ratings, in response to pressure from the White House:

Showbiz 411 reported, “My NBC sources say that O’Donnell’s tireless criticism of Donald Trump is the cause of the trouble. O’Donnell calls Trump a liar on TV almost every night. Says my observer: “Phil Griffin fought back Trump’s demands to Comcast chief Steve Burke that O’Donnell get fired for years. But now he’s president and now it’s Andy Lack’s decision and Andy has never run a single promo for O’Donnell and he wants access to Trump for Lester Holt interview and more.”

Vvia Politicus USA

We can expect deafening silence about this from the right. If, in fact, MSNBC is responding to pressure from the White House, then this situation does come close to an infringement of O’Donnell’s right to free speech, because there is state action involved in the firing. My guess is that it’s a close call, but it’s far closer to a free speech issue than the type of things about which the right typically complains. There is a petition at Americablog aiming to save O’Donnell’s job. I feel I’m being a bit fraudulent for signing it, since I don’t own a TV, but my wife and I do watch his show if we happen to be staying at an inn or hotel.

If this embed code works you may be able to sign the petition here:

I’m with Lawrence O’Donnell

Target: MSNBC

Sign This Petition

Not in the US?

United States


Action by: John Aravosis
Sponsored by: AMERICAblog

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