A former MSNBC host claims she was told she needed to have the network president vet her commentary if it included any criticism of Hillary Clinton before she ran for president in 2016.
Krystal Ball, a former Democratic Party congressional candidate from Virginia, was a co-host of “The Cycle” from 2012 until 2015 for the left-leaning cable news channel owned by Comcast.
Ball, 41, recalled her MSNBC monolgue in 2014 when she urged then-Sen. Clinton (D-NY) to not seek the Democratic Party nomination for president.
“I did this whole thing that was like, ‘She sold out to Wall Street. People are gonna hate this lady. She’s like the terrible candidate for the moment. Please don’t run,’” Ball said during an appearance last week on Joe Rogan’s Spotify podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience.”
“I was allowed to say it,” she said, adding: “I deliver my thing. I did it exactly how I wanted to do it.”
But apparently, Ball’s advice to Clinton — who would go on to lose to Donald Trump — did not sit well with Phil Griffin, who was MSNBC’s president at the time.
“Afterwards, I get pulled into an office and you know [I was told], ‘Great monologue, everything’s fine. But next time you do any commentary on Hillary Clinton, it has to get approved by the president of the network,’” Ball said.
The Post has sought comment from MSNBC.
Ball had gained national infamy in 2010 while running for office after bloggers published leaked photos showing her posing with a sex toy while at a party when she was in her early 20s.
Since leaving MSNBC, the Democrat formed a PAC backing progressive candidates and and launched the podcast “Breaking Points” with Saagar Enjeti, with whom she appeared on Rogan’s show.
Ball told Rogan that while she did go on to make “further Hillary Clinton commentary, I would love to say that that didn’t affect me and that I was there to be a truth teller.”
“Listen, I’m a human being,” she added. “I’m sure I responded to the incentives of that system, like, ‘God, I don’t want to get in trouble with the boss.’”
“For sure,” Rogan said in response.
“That’s the way that it works [in cable news],” Ball continued. “Oftentimes, people [who work at the network] know where the boundaries are. They know what they’re allowed to say.”
“So they don’t need that direct intervention of censorship.”
Ball went on to say that most people who work in cable news “aren’t really there because they’re talented.”
“They’re there because they are reliable purveyors of whatever it is that that network wants to purvey,” Ball said.
“That’s ultimately why they get the job and they understand the parameters of the task.”
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