RESTON, VA – Media Research Center President Brent Bozell issued the following statement after it was announced that NBCUniversal is shaking up its news division in the wake of a string of embarrassing scandals that have culminated in its suspension of Brian Williams, anchor of NBC Nightly News. For several years, NBC News has been plagued with controversy and ineptitude. Because of this, it was announced that former NBC News president Andrew Lack is returning to the network, replacing Pat Fili-Krushel as chairman of NBC News and MSNBC.
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell reacts:
“Under the direction of Pat Fili-Krushel, NBC News has taken a nosedive into irrelevance with one journalistic scandal after another. Will bringing back Andrew Lack help restore some semblance of honesty and integrity to NBC News? It’s too early to tell but the task ahead is daunting.
“Comcast will deny it, of course, but it knows it has a huge problem on its hands. With scandal after scandal crippling its credibility, it’s long past time for a shakeup. But will Comcast’s brass demand accountability and the highest journalistic standards by those it entrusts to lead NBC News? While NBC News has, from time to time, apologized for its on-air failures, its parent company, Comcast, has failed to take public responsibility for its network’s ongoing offensive behavior. I'm not holding my breath.
“NBC News’ reckless reporting has been astonishingly irresponsible. Comcast's lack of response -- which is to say, it's refusal to do anything -- about most of these outrages has been even worse. Hopefully there will be changes at both NBC and Comcast."
NBC News has been embroiled in turmoil for years. In just the last three years, under the leadership of Fili-Krushel since 2012, NBC News has faced numerous scandals and on-air mishaps contributing to the continued degradation of its news division:
- August 2012: Touré of The Cycle on MSNBC apologizes for suggesting Mitt Romney engaged in "Niggerization" of Obama.
- November 2012: MSNBC’s Chris Matthews apologizes for the “terrible” remarks he made on election night expressing his gratitude for Superstorm Sandy potentially giving Obama’s numbers a boost.
- November 2013: MSNBC host Martin Bashir suggests someone should defecate in Sarah Palin’s mouth.
- December 2013: Nineteen days after his outrageous Sarah Palin comment, MSNBC host Martin Bashir resigns. MSNBC President Phil Griffin calls Bashir “a good man and respected colleague.”
- December 2013: CNBC apologizes for airing rap song that included the n-word.
- December 2013: MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry apologizes for leading a panel in mocking Mitt Romney’s adopted black grandchild.
- January 2014: MSNBC apologizes for tweeting that “Maybe the right-wing will hate” a Cheerios ad featuring a biracial family and fires staffer they say was responsible.
- May 2014: Touré of The Cycle on MSNBC apologizes for tweeting that Holocaust survivors were able to succeed because of their “whiteness.”
- May 2014: MSNBC apologizes for “ill-advised” Cinco de Mayo segment featuring Louis Burgdorf in a sombrero and host Thomas Roberts dancing with a maraca in one hand with margarita glasses and bottles of "tequila" on his anchor desk.
- October 2014: NBC News chief medical correspondent Nancy Snyderman taken off the air for two months after violating her Ebola quarantine by going out for soup.
- December 2014: MSNBC host Ed Schultz apologizes for suggesting Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus was misleading people regarding his whereabouts. MSNBC showed a year-old photo of him in New Jersey when the RNC said Priebus was in D.C.
- January 2015: NBC guest Arsalan Iftikhar of Islamic Monthly magazine said that when discussing “no-go” zones in Europe, Bobby Jindal was trying to “scrub some of the brown off of his skin as he runs to the right.” Spokesperson for NBC said the next day, “We found this guest's comments offensive and unacceptable and we don't plan on inviting him back.”
- January 2015: NBC Middle East correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin calls “American Sniper” Chris Kyle a “racist” whose military missions were “killing sprees.”
- February 2015: Brian Williams apologizes on-air for falsely claiming he was shot at in Iraq. Brian Williams removed from the air for several days, then NBC announces he is suspended for 6 months without pay.
The Media Research Center, America’s leading media watchdog, has been instrumental in holding the liberal media accountable for their actions. Regarding NBC News specifically, the MRC has generated significant pressure on NBC and its parent company, Comcast, to reprimand its on-air personalities and demand fair and accurate reporting.
- In 2014, MRC delivered over 187,267 signatures to NBC demanding they "Tell The Truth!" about Benghazi, Obama's IRS scandal, and the failed rollout of healthcare.gov.
- MRC delivered over 21,782 calls totaling 33,630 minutes to NBC for refusing to apologize for their reporter Ayman Mohyeldin suggesting that Chris Kyle, aka the real "American Sniper," was a "racist" who went on “killing sprees” while in the military.
- In February 2015, MRC launched a petition that received 14,946 signers demanding from Comcast/NBC that Brian Williams step down and Ayman Mohyeldin apologize.
- When Brian Williams blatantly lied on air, the MRC drove 7,800 calls totaling 15,610 minutes to NBC demanding Williams step down. Additionally, we reached over 5 million people with our message on social media within 48 hours of the controversy erupting.