I’d forgotten that Phil Donahue was fired from MSNBC in 2003 for his anti-Iraq views. If you haven’t watched Juan Gonzlez interview Donahue on Democracy Now, you really should. It’s a good reminder of the complicity of the media in the march to war and that there were a brave few that wouldn’t shut up.
In 2003, the legendary television host Phil Donahue was fired from his prime-time MSNBC talk show during the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The problem was not Donahue’s ratings, but rather his views: An internal MSNBC memo warned Donahue was a “difficult public face for NBC in a time of war,” providing “a home for the liberal antiwar agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity.” Donahue joins us to look back on his firing 10 years later. “They were terrified of the antiwar voice,” Donahue says.
You definitely need to read the transcript at least to catch the exchange between Amy Goodman and Chris Matthews who always acts like his bathroom never smells when he’s in it. He reminds me a lot of Schultzie in the old TV sitcom Hogan’s Heros. “I know nothing, nothing!”
AMY GOODMAN: I want to congratulate you, Chris, on 10 years of MSNBC, but I wish standing with you was Phil Donahue. He shouldn’t have been fired for expressing an antiwar point of view on the eve of the election. His point of view and the people brought on were also important.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: I don’t know what the reasons were, but I doubt it was that.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, we have the MS—the NBC memo, that was a secret memo—
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Oh, OK, good.
Just a great reminder of the fake meme of liberal bias in our media. Also, more hubris by the press who refuses to admit they really could’ve done something other than be mouthpieces of propaganda.