For the third time in a month, a major news figure has abruptly departed an organization, citing the media’s flailing culture. This time it was MSNBC producer Ariana Pekary, who decried the news industry for becoming a “cancer” that “stokes national division.”
Pekary on Monday tweeted out news of her departure from MSNBC, where she has produced host Lawrence O’Donnell’s show, and directed followers to a personal Web site where she described her reasoning.
Some personal news: why I'm now leaving MSNBC
It's not the optimal time for change but the time doesn't feel optional, anymore.t.co/HbZo0weiUs
— Ariana Pekary (@arianapekary) August 3, 2020
“July 24th was my last day at MSNBC. I don’t know what I’m going to do next exactly but I simply couldn’t stay there anymore,” Pekary wrote. “My colleagues are very smart people with good intentions. The problem is the job itself. It forces skilled journalists to make bad decisions on a daily basis.
You may not watch MSNBC but just know that this problem still affects you, too. All the commercial networks function the same – and no doubt that content seeps into your social media feed, one way or the other,” she added.
Pekary decried a culture in network news obsessed with ratings at the expense of quality, balanced news.
“The longer I was at MSNBC, the more I saw such choices — it’s practically baked in to the editorial process – and those decisions affect news content every day,” she wrote. “Likewise, it’s taboo to discuss how the ratings scheme distorts content, or it’s simply taken for granted, because everyone in the commercial broadcast news industry is doing the exact same thing.”
Fox News just posted its best July ratings ever and both @TuckerCarlson & @seanhannity had more viewers head-to-head for their programs than the return of MLB & the NBA. That’s staggering: t.co/FCvuWxFLRQ
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) August 3, 2020