Just 6 months ago liberal media icon Rachel Maddow, a star of MSNBC’s evening line-up, praised Greta Van Susteren enthusiastically, just a few days before the debut of her old friend’s MSNBC program.
Despite this whole-hearted endorsement by a network super star, Van Susteren’s show failed to thrive. This Thursday it was suddenly cancelled. The veteran journalist, who sports a law degree, and decades of experience on cable news (at both CNN and Fox) was pulled from the air abruptly, without even a chance to say goodbye to her TV audience.
It’s a sad day for television journalism. Van Susteren is a skilled professional with an effective, cogent interview style, which we need more of in this age of extreme partisanship and factional bickering. Greta tells it like it is, no matter who she’s dealing with—-liberal or conservative, policy wonk or partisan hack. And though she spent 14 years at Fox News, which isn’t known for it’s political neutrality, she’s far from a political ideologue. In fact, she doesn’t even identify as a conservative.
The center-right journalism she practiced at Fox was an honest attempt to elucidate the political and social trends of our times, with intelligence and insight that’s increasingly hard to fine these days, particularly on Fox News. But it should come as no surprise that the current climate is dominated by liberal anger, spurred on, often justly, by fears and concerns with President Donald Trump’s extreme, sometimes bizarre, behaviors and policies.
Her tenure, and dismissal, at MSNBC runs parallel to the drama surrounding Megyn Kelly at NBC News, who was also hired by the network after leaving Fox, and who has struggled with audience expectations and concerns over her interview choices, which included conspiracy theorist and right wing extremist Alex Jones.
Van Susteren had two main challenges. Just the fact that she hailed from Fox News, the network liberals love to hate, was enough to put off many MSNBC viewers, who typically lean at least a little to the left. In addition, and perhaps more problematic, her continued support of the late Roger Ailes, the former, embattled Fox News Chairman, during the height of his sexual harassment troubles, alienated many potential fans. Van Susteren eventually did apologize for her public support, but it was too little, too late.
Now Van Susteren is gone. MSNBC will be poorer, less diverse, less interesting, and weaker as a news gathering entity, for her loss.
Learn more about Greta Van Susteren’s ouster from MSNBC (Huffington Post)