Liberal viewers are calling for a boycott of progressive cable news channel MSNBC over their decision to interview a controversial guest.
"Ratings over the health of our democracy"
Ari Melber announced that MSNBC would welcome Steve Bannon, former White House aide, on Friday for an interview. This occasioned angry responses from viewers and others.
MSNBC was criticized by Simon Maloy of the left-wing organization Media Matters for the interview in an article entitled, "Stop interviewing Steve Bannon." Maloy had been tracking Bannon's interviews, and calculates that he's done 22 in the last six months.
Actor and U.S. Navy veteran Bruno Amato led the charge for a boycott.
"Please Boycott @TheLastWord tonight with @AriMelber," Amato tweeted Friday. "MSNBC is giving their airwaves to Racist Drunk Nazi, America hater, Trump propogandist Steve Bannon."
"Stop normalizing this scum," he added, "this is why we are where we are with a traitor as president."
Trump critic and actress Rosie O'Donnell said she agreed with a tweet criticizing the interview. "Bannon having MSM platform Again to try to make his comeback and spew his hate filled rhetoric is not ok," the tweet read. "Disappointed in @AriMelber interviewing Bannon. Ratings are not worth handing him a mike [sic]"
Charlotte Clymer of the Human Rights Commission also criticized the appearance.
"Steve Bannon is a vicious white supremacist who has nothing credible to add to the national dialogue," she tweeted.
Steve Bannon is a vicious white supremacist who has nothing credible to add to the national dialogue. I feel ashame… https://t.co/B45Va3wl3X— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈) 1534559020.0
"I feel ashamed for news producers who prioritize what they believe will grab ratings over the health of our democracy," she added.
David Pepper, the chair of the Ohio Democrats, agreed:
Dear @MSNBC - please air a second hour of Brennan and don't run one moment of Bannon's toxic garbage.— David Pepper (@David Pepper) 1534555354.0
Many others indicated that they would be boycotting the progressive channel over the interview, but it's unclear if the boycott was organized or just a momentary expression of frustration.