People of color are making strides not only in politics but in fields all round. At least two Black women have made media moves this week including Symone Sanders, who formerly served as chief spokesperson and senior adviser for Vice President Kamala Harris. Sanders left that position last month and will be joining MSNBC as a weekend host, the network announced Monday.
She will have a program on MSNBC’s streaming channel The Choice, an extension of MSNBC on NBCUniversal’s digital service, which is called Peacock. Her program will begin in the spring and air on Saturdays and Sundays. Her hiring is seen as the first big programming move by MSNBC President Rashida Jones, who began her role in February, The New York Times reported.
Sanders also confirmed the news on Monday, Jan. 10, on her Twitter account: “Well I guess I have some news to share this morning. I am excited to join @MSNBC and @TheChoice!” She added, “I look forward to working with some of the most talented and amazing people in news. There is a lot to learn, but I’m ready to get to work!”
According to The Washington Post, additional details of the show have not yet been released.
Sanders was recognized as one of the highest-ranking Black women in the Biden White House. Prior to her work with Harris, the 32-year-old was known nationwide as chief spokesperson for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, according to the Atlanta Black Star.
When asked about her plans for the show, Sanders said she wanted “to bring my whole self to this show.”
“I’m a young woman, a young Black woman from the Midwest,” Sanders, according to the Times. “Yes, I do politics, but I’m also a consumer of pop culture. I watch the news, I check Twitter, but I’m also into ‘Real Housewives.’ I’m interested in reaching what I call the nonpolitical group chats, the discussions that are penetrating outside of Washington.”
In addition to Sanders, another Black woman made headlines this week for her media move: NPR’s star host of All Things Considered, Audie Cornish, left her position Friday to serve as anchor and correspondent for CNN+.
“I am very excited to join CNN and the CNN+ team,” Cornish said in a statement. “There are fresh stories to be told and new ways to tell them. CNN has a dynamic system of reporters and storytelling channels. I am thrilled to be a part of it.”
According to The New York Times, Cornish had worked with NPR for more than 17 years. Her new role will have her hosting a weekly show for CNN+, as well as contributing to the streaming service’s slate of live programming, the network announced on Monday. CNN+ is scheduled to debut in the spring.
These recent moves follow other departures across the nation, including anchor Chris Wallace leaving Fox News last month to join CNN+ as well.
But that’s not the only update with Fox News: On Monday the network announced that Jesse Watters, the right-wing talk show host who has been no stranger to controversy, will be the network’s new 7 PM host. It seems Fox News is moving to amplify its agenda of less news and more right-wing commentary.
Watters currently co-host’s the channel’s popular roundtable talk show The Five. The new 7 PM show will be named Jesse Watters Primetime and will officially launch on Jan. 24.
“Jesse’s versatility and hosting acumen has grown exponentially over the last five years, and he has developed a deep connection to the audience through two hit shows The Five and Watters’ World,” Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott said in a statement. “We look forward to watching him expand his connection even further through this new solo weeknight hour.”
His promotion comes less than a month after he used language to encourage violence against infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, CNN reported.
“Now you go in for the kill shot. The kill shot? With an ambush? Deadly. Because he doesn’t see it coming,” Watters told attendees of a conference.
Of course the network defended his comments, claiming it was “more than clear” that Watters was “using a metaphor for asking hard-hitting questions” and his “words have been twisted completely out of context.”
But Watters has been a part of several controversies, including stereotyping and offending minority communities with his ignorant comments. His blatant racism has encouraged called for his firing multiple times, including after one 2016 incident in which he racially stereotyped Asian people. While he issued a nonapology for the incident—more than five years later—on Wednesday, it was clear he was only apologizing in an attempt to lessen the backlash.
“My man-on-the-street interviews are meant to be taken as tongue-in-cheek and I regret if anyone found offense,” he wrote in the nonapology. “As a political humorist, the Chinatown segment was intended to be a light piece, as all Watters World segments are.”
At the time, during what was meant to be a segment on what people think of the 2016 election, he asked random passersby in Chinatown, New York, racist questions like: “Is it the year of the dragon … rabbit?” and, “Do they call Chinese food in China just food?”
Fox is clearly setting itself apart from other outlets by promoting those it should be firing. After downplaying the virus for the past two years and piggybacking on claims that the election was stolen, are we really surprised?
Watters is the prime example of why people dislike networks like Fox. They are upholding the idea that they are racist by amplifying the voices of such individuals. Do you think Watters was a fitting host for them to choose?
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