‘Pretentious Bull****’: NewsNation Takes on NBC Journos Attacking New GOP Hire

Hours before news broke that NBC News may be firing their newly hired Republican political analyst, former RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, NewsNation stuck it to their cable news rival. During Monday night’s Cuomo, correspondent at-large Geraldo Rivera called out their “pretentious bullshit,” and host Chris Cuomo proclaimed that “the hypocrisy reeks” at the network.

Cuomo led into the segment by calling out his former morning show rivals (when he co-hosted CNN’s New Day) for their rank “hypocrisy” in calling for McDaniel’s ouster when they benefitted from being pals with Donald Trump before he got elected:

Look, I have no beef. But it was okay for you, Mika [Brzezinski] and Joe [Scarborough], to have Trump on all the time to talk to him about what questions to ask, right? When it was working for you when he was running, right? When you guys are all pals, that was ok, right? You have any problem with that, right? Just because you went bad on him when it became convenient because you work at a lefty outlet. This is okay now you can be high-minded about it, right? The hypocrisy reeks!

When asked for his take, the first words out of Rivera’s mouth were “Screw them!”

“I mean, the whole idea is that they were hiring her to be the ultimate insider. And here she gets washed or she gets drowned by this tsunami of pretensions bullshit,” he added. “Really, all of these people that have a stick up there behind, how dare they.”

Rivera took on McDaniel’s most prominent naysayers: Brzezinski and Chuck Todd: “When did she become management? When did she become, you know, the arbiter of who got hired and who doesn’t get hired? And Chuck Todd, I don’t remember his years, his nine years at Meet The Press as being exactly triumphant.”

Continuing to focus on the Morning Joe crew, Cuomo pointed out “the bias at play” in how their friends in the liberal media didn’t have an issue with their buddy-buddy relationship with Trump during the 2016 election cycle:

I was against them in the morning at CNN and I still beat them twice even with them having Trump on all the time. And you remember the tape that came out, Geraldo, of them in break asking Trump about what questions to ask next and how they were going to do their next segment of the town hall. And nobody got upset about it. It was there and gone because all the reporters want to be on their show iin the morning. But now they have standards about what’s right and what’s wrong. It’s all advantage. It’s all hypocrisy.

Following a recounting from Rivera about a similar protest against him at ABC (you can check that out in the transcript below), he defended McDaniel as “a perfect hire 8 months before the election. Who knows more about the mechanics of the Republican Party than she does?”

Cuomo agreed: “Alright, she’s coming on. I guarantee you she would have exposed things, she would explain things in a way that would be satisfying to that audience. You make such a huge mistake when you limit who you talk to to be the people who already agree with you.”

As they were nearing the end of the segment, Cuomo told the NBCers that they needed to “get out of the silos,” but warned that “their talent has come out and shown you what they’re about. They are not as tolerant on voices.”

“But you guys did the wrong thing with Trump when it and now you’ve gotten religion on it,” he scolded Scarborough and Brzezinski. “But remember what you did, you’re lucky to get thrown out on your ass because of it. Now, you not affording the same sympathies going forward. I just think it’s a hypocrisy thing.”

Seeming almost prophetic in hindsight, Rivera’s final advice for McDaniel was to wait it out and maybe have a nice payday in court: “My thought is that I hope she tells them all to screw it, she’s sticking around, forces them to fire her and then sues them for millions because that they have humiliated her in a very, very unjust way.”

Perhaps NewsNation saw the writing on the wall and were making an on-air play to appeal to McDaniel if/when NBC gave her the boot.

The transcript is below. Click “expand” to read:

NewsNation’s Cuomo
March 25, 2024
8:39:29 p.m. Eastern

(…)

CHRIS CUOMO: NBC hires her. I’m sure other people we’re trying to get her. But now everybody’s mad. Now, this happens in the media. Somebody hire somebody that other people would have hired as well, but they attacked the place that hired her. But this is coming in-house; big shots inside NBC like Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski. She said this.

[Cuts to video]

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: And we hope NBC will reconsider its decision. It goes without saying that she will not be a guest on Morning Joe in her capacity as a paid contributor.

[Cuts back to live]

CUOMO: Look, I have no beef. But it was okay for you, Mika and Joe, to have Trump on all the time to talk to him about what questions to ask, right? When it was working for you when he was running, right? When you guys are all pals, that was ok, right? You have any problem with that, right? Just because you went bad on him when it became convenient because you work at a lefty outlet. This is okay now you can be high-minded about it, right? The hypocrisy reeks!  

NewsNation correspondent at-large Geraldo Rivera. Look, I get making the decision not to hire McDaniel, but the idea that NBC News, Chuck Todd, or Mika Brzezinski, or Joe Scarborough are offended. What do you make of it?

GERALDO RIVER: Screw them! I mean, I like everyone you just named. I don’t know Chuck Todd, but Mike and Joe and I heard Nicolle Wallace said something bad against the Ronna McDaniel. I mean, the whole idea is that they were hiring her to be the ultimate insider. And here she gets washed or she gets drowned by this tsunami of pretensions bullshit. Really, all of these people that have a stick up there behind, how dare they.

And for Mika to say NBC shouldn’t hire them. When did she become management? When did she become you know, the – the – the – the arbiter of who got hired and who doesn’t get hired. And Chuck Todd, I don’t remember his years, his nine years at Meet The Press as being exactly triumphant.

You know, she is the ultimate insider and to say that they don’t want to hire her now because of election denialism. Well, then you don’t want half the country to watch your network because half country is Republican more or less. And they – they believe a lot of them or at least they’ve convinced themselves about election being a, you know, fraudulent or whatever it is.

Now, I think that she’s wrong. I think that the Republican Party is going off the cliff. But the fact is they hired her to be who she is, who she was and for them now, these other talent, you know, some of past their prime to – to go after her and then they won’t have her. I think that’s – that’s baloney.

CUOMO: I mean, look, I like it on one level. Okay? One is Ronna McDaniel and all the Trumpers beyond the pale from what they’re used to see? Yes, they advanced things that go beyond questions of fact, unarguable questions? However, now you see the bias at play, especially when it comes to Mika and Joe.

I was against them in the morning at CNN and I still beat them twice even with them having Trump on all the time. And you remember the tape that came out, Geraldo, of them in break asking Trump about what questions to ask next and how they were going to do their next segment of the town hall. And nobody got upset about it. It was there and gone because all the reporters want to be on their show iin the morning. But now they have standards about what’s right and what’s wrong. It’s all advantage. It’s all hypocrisy.

RIVERA: It’s also pretension and – and a bogus I’m holier than thou. I remember way in 1977. Go way back to very brief story.

I was on Good Morning America and I had a show called Good Night America. Roone Arledge, the legendary boss of ABC got the big gig. He says to me, “I want you on the evening news.” It was the Son of Sam. Son of Sam was happening. “No one knows New York better than you Geraldo. I want you on it.”

Ted Koppel and a bunch of guys from the Washington bureau of ABC. Ted Kopple tells this story Arledge’s eulogy. Now they want to Roone Arledge and said, “You can’t hire Geraldo, he’s not one of us. He’s not professional. He’s done all this crazy stuff. And we’re going to resign.” Roone Arledge said, “Okay. Put your resignation on the desk.”

And I went on and I stayed on and screw them. And since then I all of these, you know, that holier than thou, lecturey, pompous, I’m going to be Walter Cronkite – You know, so many anchors have said to me or said to others, “He’s a he’s not fit for—“ And 54 years later, I’m still I’m still here, after I started because the American people have made a decision about me. Television’s a lie detector. You look right through it.

She’s a perfect hire 8 months before the election. Who knows more about the mechanics of the Republican Party than she does? You know, and if you’re going to find Republicans who except the 2020 results as legit, you know, good luck to you and your search.

CUOMO: Look, I just think that you’ve got to get out of the silos. At least MSNBC. Their talent has come out and shown you what they’re about. They are not as tolerant on voices. Now, you can say, “No, these people lie.” A lot of people lie. Alright, she’s coming on. I guarantee you she would have exposed things, she would explain things in a way that would be satisfying to that audience. You make such a huge mistake when you limit who you talk to to be the people who already agree with you.

And they’re making that mistake. But at least they let you know. And I know they’re going to come back at me. It’s not done with animus. I wish them well. I think Mika Brzezinski cares about what she does. I think that’s basically true about Joe Scarborough too. But you guys did the wrong thing with Trump when it and now you’ve gotten religion on it. But remember what you did, you’re lucky to get thrown out on your ass because of it. Now, you not affording the same sympathies going forward. I just think it’s a hypocrisy thing.

I got to jump. Do you have a last button?

RIVERA: My thought is that I hope she tells them all to screw it, she’s sticking around, forces them to fire her and then sues them for millions because that they have humiliated her in a very, very unjust way.

CUOMO: And also from management. I never got to decide who comes on my show and who doesn’t. That was always the bosses.

RIVERA: Exactly. Exactly.

CUOMO: You know, and it is now too, by the way. And look, I’m at different level of the game, but if they say they want somebody on, they say they want me to go somewhere. I go. That’s what being an employee is all about.

(…)

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