Fire Chris Hayes? Some liberals want MSNBC host gone for ... covering Tara Reade's allegations

Am I right that he’s the first MSNBC anchor to devote meaningful time to this story?

He’s an opinion host. Doesn’t that network have a news bureau?


Wanting a guy fired for displaying a modicum of intellectual integrity is extremely on-brand for 2020. Hayes stands accused of the crime of believing that #MeToo allegations against a powerful politician are newsworthy even when that politician’s not a Republican. He looks guilty to me.

MSNBC host Chris Hayes sparked backlash from the left when he became the first primetime host on the network to cover a former aide’s sexual assault allegations against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, with the hashtag #FireChrisHayes trending on Twitter.

The “All-In” host welcomed New York magazine’s Rebecca Traister to his program Wednesday night after she penned an essay, titled “The Biden Trap,” that critical of the former vice president for not addressing Tara Reade’s allegations in any interviews, thereby leaving Democratic women supporting his candidacy to answer questions about the allegations for him…

“What this is creating is a kind of a perfect storm where the women who are being asked to support his opponent are now being asked to answer for these charges,” Traister told Hayes. “In part because of the vacuum created by Joe Biden who is not yet really directly answering these questions, and certainly, not doing what I wish he would, which is to say: ‘Please direct your questions about these allegations to me, and not the women that are out there offering their support to my candidacy.’”


The thrust of the segment was simply to relate the allegations, make the pedestrian observation that Reade’s claims seem more credible now that they’ve received some contemporaneous corroboration, and marvel at the predicament in which Biden’s all-women VP shortlisters now find themselves. Because Biden won’t forthrightly address Reade’s charges reporters have taken to asking his veep contenders for comment, knowing how awkward it is for a progressive feminist woman to play attack dog against another woman accusing a man of sexual assault. But that’s the role that Biden’s running mate (and to a lesser extent all Democratic pols, especially women) will be tasked with, especially if he won’t step up and take the heat himself. Some will do it eagerly, because they’re just that desperate for power. Others less so.

And yet, merely noticing this apparently amounts to an ideological sin worthy of its very own hashtag-shaming on Twitter.

Funny thing. The Times reports today that, with one predictable exception, Reade isn’t seeing a lot of interest from cable news networks for interviews. Despite the potentially game-changing effect of her claims on a presidential election, she’s a subject of low media interest.

Ms. Reade told me Wednesday that the only offers she’s had to appear on television have come from Fox News, including a call from the prime time host Sean Hannity. She has so far turned them down.

“I’ve been trying to just kind of wait to get someone in the middle,” she said in a phone interview. “I don’t want to be pigeonholed as a progressive, I don’t want to be pigeonholed as a Trump supporter.”

CNN and MSNBC, whose DNA — even in a pandemic — is politics, have covered her on their websites but haven’t put her on camera.

“They’re not offering to put me on TV — they’re just doing stories,” Ms. Reade told me. “No anchors, no nothing like that.” She’d most like to tell her story to a network television anchor she admires — CBS’s Gayle King is one, she said — but they haven’t called.


They haven’t called. Apparently she’s planning to sit down soon with Chris Wallace or some other news-oriented host at Fox, which is smart. If she turns up on “Hannity,” she’s a propaganda prop whom the left will dismiss. If she shows up on a news program and faces challenging questions, that makes her more credible. She’s harder to ignore.

Another funny thing. Despite our best efforts, Ed and I weren’t able to find a single full-length video of the segment from Hayes’s show online this morning. MSNBC is normally generous with uploading its clips; three other segments from Hayes’s show are available on their website right now, as well as on YouTube. But not this one. Maybe there’s only so much the network is willing to do to promote the fact that one of its hosts is unwilling to overlook a possible case of sexual assault for the sake of victory this fall.

Fortunately for Democrats, plenty of other prominent people are:

As well as some much less prominent people:


Here’s the best I can do for you to provide a clip. Some guy recorded the segment off of his TV screen using his phone and then uploaded it piece by piece. It’s like a samizdat. Exit quotation from Newsbusters: “[A]s of Tuesday morning, the whole MSNBC network only had accumulated 4 minutes and 39 seconds.”


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