Ben Johnson, The White House Watch
(Was Cenk Uygur purged at the White House’s request?)
After years of mutual courtship, the White House may have consummated its marriage to MSNBC by canceling the program of the network’s most critical host. This unprecedented invasion of journalistic autonomy comes after years of MSNBC’s fawning coverage, promotion of the administration’s objectives, and receiving on-air prompts to guide its coverage to Obama’s greatest benefit.
Now that MSNBC has canceled his short-lived 6 p.m. program, Cenk Uygur is speaking out. Uygur, who continues to host The Young Turks program elsewhere, says the network chief told him in no uncertain terms he had to tailor his program to please “people in Washington.” The executive added MSNBC is composed of “insiders” and plays a vital role in “the Establishment.”
Uygur says at the beginning of his tenure at 6 p.m. — where he replaced Ed Schultz — Uygur “got pulled in” by “the head of MSNBC”:
He said, “I was just in Washington, and people in Washington tell me they’re concerned about your tone.”
…Then he gives me the second part of the speech. He said, “Hey listen, Cenk…I’d love to be an outsider. Outsiders are cool. But we’re not. We’re insiders. We are the Establishment.”
Uygur says the executive concluded by telling….