MSNBC is reportedly considering giving the Rev. Al Sharpton his own 6 p.m. show, hoping that he'll fill the star-power void created by the January ousting of Keith Olbermann. MSNBC would retain Cenk Uygur, who occupies the slot now, but move him into another spot. Though Sharpton is a controversial and high-profile civil rights leader, not a broadcaster, he has been subbing for Uygur for two weeks with better-than-average ratings success. Could he click as an MSNBC regular?
Hiring Sharpton would be smart: This makes sense in many ways, says Colby Hall at Mediaite. "Sharpton is a known, if controversial, quantity, who's not shy of confrontation." Uygur got this MSNBC gig because he fronted a popular YouTube show, Young Turks, "and while he certainly enjoyed some nice moments hosting the 6 p.m. show, he never made the impact that MSNBC executives were likely hoping for."
"MSNBC looking to replace Cenk Uygur at 6PM — possibly with Al Sharpton?"
Actually, this would shred MSNBC's remaining credibility: It's hardly surprising that the liberal news channel's bosses are sweet on agitator-turned-media-darling Sharpton, says Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters. "His kind of hate-filled left-wing propaganda will fit in just fine at MSNBC." But even if Uygur is "tremendously unqualified," MSNBC would be tainting its reputation to replace him with "a far-left race-baiting huckster like Sharpton."
"Is Al Sharpton replacing Cenk Uygur on MSNBC?"
And hiring Sharpton might backfire: Sharpton "would, at the very least, generate plenty of ink for MSNBC," says Michael Starr at the New York Post, due to his "outspoken and often inflammatory nature." But that's no guarantee that people will watch. "CNN tried much the same thing when it hired disgraced 'Love Guv' Eliot Spitzer last fall," but that experiment quickly flopped.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- How science is accelerating our search for alien life
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 6 tiny scientific mistakes that created huge disasters
- Inside Turkey's shadow war with ISIS
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1: 10 major differences between the book and the movie
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- 10 things you need to know today: November 22, 2014
- Don't change a thing: 8 inventions that never needed updating
Subscribe to the Week