When MSNBC political analyst Joan Walsh announced on Saturday that, after a dozen years, the network would not be renewing her contract, there was instant uproar. The hashtag #KeepJoanWalsh began trending in New York as Twitter users expressed outrage that MSNBC, which acknowledged that Walsh had been a “key voice” in its political coverage, would let go of one of its most progressive feminist correspondents on the eve of the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s election.
Walsh’s fellow MSNBC employees, including AM Joy host Joy Ann Reid and All In host Chris Hayes, chimed in as well.
Walsh said that she had learned of the network’s decision the night before it was announced. “I’ve given my heart and soul to the network, from the George W. Bush years through today,” she tweeted on Saturday. “I’m proud of the work I did.” In a statement, MSNBC said that Walsh would still be involved with the network: “Every year we review our paid contributors list across the ideological spectrum. Unfortunately we couldn’t renew Joan, but she and her distinct perspective will still be invited on our shows.” But just a few hours later, Walsh announced that she’d accepted an offer to become CNN contributor.
In her tweet announcing the move, Walsh implied that the flood of tweets on her behalf had influenced CNN’s decision to snap her up. “I am overwhelmed by the support I’ve received today from all of you. And I’m thrilled to tell you I’ll be heading to @CNN in the new year,” she tweeted on Saturday night. “Thanks to everyone who made this happen. A Christmas miracle.”
Earlier this month MSNBC was roundly criticized for firing Sam Seder, another contributor and the host of The Majority Report, after right-wing personality Mike Cernovich publicized a tweet Seder had posted in 2009 about Roman Polanski. The network ultimately reversed its decision, electing to renew Seder’s contract.
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