Greta Puts CNN, MSNBC On Notice Over Election Coverage: Where Are The Ladies And The Minorities?

Betsy Rothstein | Reporter

In case CNN and MSNBC need a spanking, Greta Van Susteren is available.

The ex-Fox News host took a paddle to two of the three main cable news networks for their upcoming election night coverage plans. She had no criticism for Fox News — a place she said didn’t feel like home during the last few years she worked there.

Van Susteren complained about CNN for having three men — Wolf Blitzer, Jake Tapper and Anderson Cooper (as he has put it, “pigment challenged) — as the leading anchors Tuesday night. The press statement says that “joining them” will be Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash, CNN Political Reporter Nia-Malika Henderson (who is black) and John King (very white) at his ubiquitous Magic Wall. It also says that Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon (who is black) will be leading the late-night coverage.

She wasn’t done.

She continued bashing CNN, including the network’s president, Jeff Zucker. She even put herself in his shoes and offered a boilerplate game plan for how she’d run things if she was boss.

“If I ran @CNN I would want a woman of @DanaBashCNN experience, whether I agree w/ her or not, being an anchor on election night and not just instead have 3 men – especially when the women’s vote is critical to the results; Zucker and CNN are just tone deaf.”

She continued, “CNN has a problem … because their action is that they don’t have a woman or minority doing the ‘heavy lifting’ of election coverage.”

Meanwhile, over at MSNBC, the two leading roles for election night go to Brian Williams and Rachel Maddow. Van Susteren’s complaint about MSNBC is that no minorities landed the top spots.

“I don’t agree w/ networks like @CNN excluding women from lead roles or @MSNBC not having African Americans on election night,” Van Susteren wrote.

When a Twitter follower questioned whether the networks were simply choosing journalists who were best suited to lead the coverage, she argued, “There is no ‘best for the job’ — there are many capable of doing it.”

Strangely, Van Susteren had minor, if any, real critiques for Fox News.

The network’s leading anchors for the evening are Bret Baier and Martha McCallum, both of whom are white. The network has an extensive network of correspondents who will be fanned out across the country. They include Juan Williams (who is black), White House correspondent Kevin Corke (also black)  and Guy Benson (who is openly gay).

When a follower said Fox News has some strong female leaders, Van Susteren concurred, writing, “Agree … and I would add @HARRISFAULKNER and @MariaBartiromo.”

Perhaps she didn’t see the FNC lineup, but Harris Faulker (black and female) will be in the mix of election night coverage heading up the “Key Race Tracker.”

Van Susteren and Fox News parted ways in 2016 after a 14-year stint at the network. Before she left, she defended then-Fox News President Roger Ailes from a sexual harassment claim brought against him by Gretchen Carlson.

After leaving, she apologized to Carlson, who won a $20 million lawsuit against the network and its parent company. In a Facebook post, she wrote, “I read Geraldo’s FB post in which he said he regretted not believing Gretchen Carlson’s claim of sexual harassment. We all regret it.”

In January of 2017, Van Susteren went to work for MSNBC. But her show was short-lived. Six months later, she was out.

For the past year, Van Susteren has been volunteering at Voice of America.

It’s hard to explain Van Susteren’s sudden harsh critiques for CNN and MSNBC. But this might offer a clue.

Just last week, she crowdsourced medical attention for her trigger thumb.

“If anyone following me on twitter is an orthopedic doctor … one of my pets accidentally knocked me down 10 weeks ago and my thumb still is very painful (trigger thumb I think) … any suggestions?”

PR reps for CNN and MSNBC had no comment on the matter.

Tags : greta van susteren jeff zucker roger ailes
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