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Well, Cenk Uygur is out and Al Sharpton is in for the 6pm eastern time slot at MSNBC and Uygur explained on You Tube why he didn't take the deal MSNBC offered him for a weekend time slot with twice the money he was being paid for his weekday show instead.
Bottom line is that he felt some pressure not to be too hard on the Obama administration and they said they were having trouble booking guests because they thought he was being too aggressive with them and didn't like the tone of some of his interviews.
Cenk had nothing but praise for some of his fellow prime time hosts on MSNBC and expressed his gratitude for being given the opportunity to host during the time he had on the air there, and thanked his online viewers of his radio show for giving him that opportunity in the first place to even get a chance to host at MSNBC. That said, he didn't want to take a diminished role at the network even if it did mean more money and remain silent about why they were unhappy with his show, despite the fact that it was doing pretty well in the demo they all claim to care about, which is the adults 25-54 demo.
Personally, I'm sad to see Cenk leave MSNBC because I like him and have actually talked to him a few times when Video Cafe was first being added to the site here at C&L about featuring some of his Young Turks segments. He's a friend of John's and a very nice person and I'm sorry he's going to be losing that spotlight on MSNBC just as I would be about any liberal or progressive voice we've got out there in the corporate media whether I agree with everything that they say or not. We don't have nearly enough of them to counter all of the wingnut b.s. that makes up the majority of our "news" coverage.
That said, I think the Rev. Al Sharpton will continue to do a very good job as a wingnut slayer in his place over at MSNBC. I think the sad thing is, Cenk was never really allowed to do his own show at MSNBC. If he had his druthers, I believe there's no way in hell Michael Steele and Ed Rendell and a host of other guests he was probably forced to have on there would have been any regular contributors to his show.
I think he described it pretty well when he said that commenters said he looked like a lion on his radio show and a lion at the zoo on MSNBC. He talked about saying he didn't want to be constrained any more with how he responded to guests on his show and made a decision not to hold back with criticisms some time back, but that doesn't account for the fact that he probably had zero editorial control over who his guests were in the first place as he does on his radio/Internet show, The Young Turks.
I honestly think Cenk would be a better fit for Current TV and what Olbermann is trying to do with that network instead. I've read that Keith wants to turn them into a news network with more people hosting than himself and since that time, I've noticed MSNBC suddenly giving more liberals either guest spots or guest hosting spots or new contracts. We can add to that list Chris Hayes, who I read got a contract but have no idea what it entails, now Al Sharpton who's going to get Cenk's spot, and I've seen Ezra Klein filling in for Martin Bashir. It made me wonder if MSNBC was trying to get some potential liberal contributors on contract before Current TV has a chance to hire them.
I would not be shocked to see either Cenk Uygur or David Shuster who's already filled in for Keith Olbermann wind up with shows at Current TV and there's a long list of others that, if I had my druthers, I'd love to see hired there as well if they decided to turn Current TV into a 24/7 news network actually hosted by all liberals who don't have corporate America breathing down their neck and don't feel constrained to do the usual false equivalencies and we've got to represent both sides even if one side is insane and lying with who they book as guests and constraining them with what they say if they have criticisms of anyone in government.
UPDATE: Looks like Cenk is going to be one of Keith's guests on Countdown tonight.
Here's part two of Cenk's response on his decision to leave MSNBC rather than take the offer they made him.
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