NBC Staffers Fear Jen Psaki Will Taint Their Credibility

Journalists at NBC News fear that White House press secretary Jen Psaki will tarnish their credibility when she signs with MSNBC later this year.

According to CNN, a number of staffers sent NBC News president Noah Oppenheim a slew of angry emails over the hire, which neither NBC nor Psaki has made official.

The staffer outrage prompted Oppenheim to phone journalists on Friday, telling them that Psaki will work exclusively with MSNBC, not NBC News.

“Here’s what he was saying: They have perspective programming. This was done on the perspective programming side. Not anything that reflects on NBC News,” a staffer on the call told CNN. “People wanted answers on what NBC’s role was in this and NBC News had no role in this. This is MSNBC’s perspective programming."

NBC can say that Psaki works for MSNBC and not NBC News all it wants, but the two entities come from the same company. In fact, Chuck Todd, the face of NBC News, hosts a daily program on MSNBC, Meet the Press Daily. Andrea Mitchell, Hallie Jackson and several others also work in both divisions.

A news division complaining about its opinion counterpart is nothing new. News bureaus at MSNBC and CNN have expressed similar concerns lately as well. Those networks increased their opinion programming during Donald Trump's presidency, and that was a smart business decision from 2016 to 2020. But now, not a single program on MSNBC and CNN ranks among the 10 rated shows on cable news. So news bureaus at both companies have to wonder whether the opinionated journalism has been worth it.

Now, CNN plans to claw back some of that liberal opinion programming under new head Chris Licht. We wish him luck. However, MSNBC is doubling down on opinion.

Per to Variety, NBC has instructed MSNBC to "cut back on hard news" in favor of commentary. MSNBC is therefore extending Morning Joe to four hours a day and essentially canceling its traditional 9 am news hour.

So as long as NBC and MSNBC are under the same umbrella, NBC News journalists will share a reputation with MSNBC pundits. So they are right to be concerned that Psaki will soon be on board.

By the way, Psaki isn't going to hurt the reputation of NBC. That's already fractured and has been for years. NBC News has had to deal with Joy Reid, Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow. Psaki can't be any worse than those three, especially not Reid, a bigoted racist.

The NBC journalists are the ones who run the greatest risk with this move since they still have their individual reputations to protect.

Yet NBC will side with Psaki over them, if it must choose. The network won a bidding war for her services over CNN, and thus will probably pay her more than all the angry journalists combined.

These emails will have no impact. No need to circle back.

Written by
Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics.. Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.