An MSNBC producer released a scathing open letter after quitting her job — accusing the network of becoming a “cancer” that “blocks diversity of thought” and “amplifies fringe voices.”
Ariana Pekary, who worked on “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell,” shared the letter on her personal site Monday, accusing the network of letting ratings dictate content.
“This cancer risks human lives, even in the middle of a pandemic,” she wrote, adding that its coverage also had negative implications on the Black Lives Matter movement and the presidential election.
She said it was clear when she resigned on July 24 that ratings were impacting election coverage, with the network focusing on President Trump and less so on former Vice President Joe Biden.
“Any discussion about the election usually focuses on Donald Trump, not Joe Biden, a repeat offense from 2016 (Trump smothers out all other coverage),” she wrote. “Also important is to ensure citizens can vote by mail this year, but I’ve watched that topic get ignored or ‘killed’ numerous times.”
Pekary, who joined the network seven years ago with “Up Late with Alec Baldwin,” said the current approach has forced “skilled journalists to make bad decisions on a daily basis.”
“The model blocks diversity of thought and content because the networks have incentive to amplify fringe voices and events, at the expense of others,” Pekary also wrote. “All because it pumps up the ratings.”
Pekary said she had received support from others, including Baldwin, to quit when she expressed concern about how the network tackled issues.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do next exactly but I simply couldn’t stay there anymore,” she wrote.
MSNBC didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.