MSNBC’s Anti-War Censorship: A Reminder

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, doing press for his new TV show on “conspiracy theories,” made got some attention from (among others) Eric Roper at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Roper alludes toa “curious comment Ventura made in the Los Angeles Times this weekend”– that MSNBC canceled his short-lived show when they found out that he opposed the Iraq War:

I was basically silenced. When I came out of office, I was the hottest commodity out there. There was a bidding war between CNN, Fox and MSNBC to get my services. MSNBC ultimately won. I was being groomed for a five-day-a-week TV show by them. Then, all of asudden, weird phone calls started happening: “Is it true Jesse doesn’t support the war in Iraq?”

Roper writes that MSNBC‘s decision would be an “odd one since they are considered liberal.” Except for the fact that the same cable channel canceledits highest-rated program for the same reason, as FAIR noted in 2003:

MSNBC canceled Phil Donahue’s talkshow after an internal memo (leaked to the All Your TV website, 2/25/03) argued that he would be a “difficult public face for NBC in a time of war…. He seems to delight in presenting guests who are anti-war, anti-Bush and skeptical of the administration’s motives.” The report warned that the Donahue show could be “a home for the liberal anti-war agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity.”

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.