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MSNBC Hiring Jen Psaki While in Office Is “Irrespective of Awareness”

An associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism, Ryan Thomas stated that MSNBC hiring Jen Psaki is similar to what many see in sports media.

Eduardo Razo

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MSNBC will reportedly be welcoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki when she leaves her position in May. However, the network’s decision to bring her in isn’t without some criticism. 

Last week, a report revealed that NBC News staffers were upset over the hiring. Nonetheless, the information also disclosed that MSNBC decided to hire Psaki on the perspective programming side. 

In an interview with The Guardian, Ryan Thomas, an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism, stated that MSNBC hiring Psaki is similar to what many see in sports media. Networks often employ ex-players as commentators are a standard, where winning races is everything, and actual policy represents very little.

“The pipeline from the White House to news organizations makes it more difficult for news organizations to have sufficient distance or be perceived to be credibly scrutinizing government,” Thomas said.

“Partisans argue that people won’t care or won’t notice, but it is wrong irrespective of awareness. It’s like they are moving from formal to informal public relations apparatus that is unhealthy in its own terms, irrespective of its potential effects on press accountability.”

Journalism ethics professors voice uneasiness that this type of high-profile hiring to a high-profile cable news network hits the public while Psaki is still in a political position and risks becoming the default image of what the public harbors as standard practice for journalism.

“There’s a trickle-down effect from the irresponsibility of cable news organizations to local news journalists who get tarred with the same brush,” Thomas said.

As Americans of differing political parties are sharply split on how much they entrust the news reported by national media organizations, moves like the one MSNBC did for Psaki might do more harm than good. 

News Television

CNN Asks Florida Judge to Toss Out Donald Trump’s Defamation Suit

Trump filed the lawsuit against CNN because he accuses the network of defaming his character during the 2020 Presidential Election.

Eduardo Razo

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Former President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit against CNN in October; now, over a month later, the cable news channel is asking a judge in Florida to toss the case (h/t The Hill).

Trump filed the lawsuit against CNN because he accuses the network of defaming his character during the 2020 Presidential Election. Trump’s attorneys argued CNN “has sought to use its massive influence — purportedly as a ‘trusted’ news source.”

Additionally, Trump’s lawyer says that CNN attempted “to defame the Plaintiff in the minds of its viewers and readers for the purpose of defeating him politically, culminating in CNN claiming credit for ‘[getting] Trump out’ in the 2020 presidential election.”

CNN lawyers have pushed back against Trump’s claims saying that the former president “seeks to silence any criticism of Plaintiff’s debunked claim that the 2020 presidential election was ‘stolen.’”

“Any alleged association resulting therefrom are also ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ and ‘pure opinion’ under well-established principles of defamation law,” CNN’s lawyers added.

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News Television

Investor Cautions Over Possible Fox-News Corp. Merger

Irenic Capital, which owns about 2 percent of News Corp., has taken issue with its potential merger between Fox and News Corp.

Eduardo Razo

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Rumors have swirled over Fox and News Corp. possibly merging into one entity, but Irenic Capital, which owns about 2% of News Corp., has taken issue with its potential merger.

A merger would produce a more complicated company and turn off investors rather than increase the company’s lagging stock price, Irenic Capital stated in a letter to the News Corp. board.

“And even if such synergies do exist today, they would principally benefit Fox and reside in the News Media segment of News Corp,” Irenic Capital said (h/t Deadline). “For example, Fox Business may benefit from greater integration with The Wall Street Journal and some of Dow Jones’ other properties, but it is highly debatable whether the benefits from such an association flow both ways.

“Combining News Corp with Fox will result in a combined company that is obviously more complex than both companies left separate.” 

Irenic believes a unification would aid Fox far better than News Corp. and cautioned that the board has a fiduciary responsibility to investigate all possible routes to develop value beyond the one suggested by its primary shareholder.

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News Television

Fox News Lights All-American Christmas Tree

The event was hosted by Greg Gutfeld, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Dana Perino, Jessica Tarlov and Jesse Watters

Ryan Hedrick

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Fox News held its annual All-American Tree Lighting at FOX Square in New York, New York Monday during “The Five.” The event was hosted by Greg Gutfeld, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Dana Perino, Jessica Tarlov and Jesse Watters

In a release, the network said it partnered with the Police Athletic League (PAL) to host a toy drive benefiting New York City’s youth. The network also honored first responders by selecting representatives of the FDNY and NYPD to light this year’s tree.

Guests included FOX News personalities and their families along with first responders from the NYPD and FDNY, including members of NYPD Precinct 32, who lost Wilbert Mora and Jason Rivera this year, and members of EMS Station 49, who lost EMS captain Alison Russo earlier this year.

FOX’s All-American Christmas tree stands at 50 feet tall and is adorned by 12,000 ornaments and 340,000 lights. The tree has 500 branches, a star topper that is over six feet tall and more than four miles of cord wrapped throughout.  Made in America, the tree features a patriotic theme of red, white, and blue decorations.

“After a busy year in America, it’s nice to, let’s just take a step back and celebrate traditions like this and remember how important it is to come together and focus on what truly matters,” said co-host Dana Perino. “This tree is not just for us to enjoy. We want you watching at home to be able to come here and make Christmas memories with your family and friends and of course, your pets, too, of course, as you can imagine.”

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