Monday, April 12, 2010

My letter to MSNBC's Phil Griffin: "David Shuster"

Dear Mr. Griffin,

I've been predominantly watching your network for the better part of decade now. I wish I could report to you that my viewership was more than just a byproduct of me lazily retreating to a default position based on the paltry cable news landscape, but I can't in clear conscience. I know that the previous sentence comes off as a slight, but some rather good things have come from "settling": I was my prom date's 5th choice but I still ended up having a good time with premature ejaculate on her rented prom dress as proof. Phil, there is nothing wrong with being the Khloe Kardashian in my cable news watching scenario - with FOX making me projectile vomit and CNN having more mixed nuts than a Tiger Woods mistress.

But despite my petty complaints I'm still a viewer, and as a viewer I've got to say that your treatment of David Shuster as of late has been pretty eyebrow raising. I mean, I'll never be the president of any David Shuster fanclubs mind you - but compared to your other daytime talent who routinely subscribe to right wing frames and let republican politicians get away with murder - he clearly was someone who took the lost art of news journalism seriously. So yes, his indefinite suspension was a loss to all of us weirdos who like people occasionally held accountable - but I truly can't take issue with you letting him go for filming a pilot for CNN. I can see why that would be a firing offense. It was just your post-Shuster suspension rhetoric that I personally found rather rich:

"[Shuster] was not moral, ethical or professional and that is not fair to the 500 people who work at [MSNBC]."

I said all along that this was about loyalty and looking out for this network and not our competition

With all do respect Mr. Griffin, concerning the first quote - how can the word "moral" even dare escape your mandible when you have someone in your employ who thinks that blacks benefited from slavery? There are tons of racist Pat Buchanan quotes on youtube that make "Birth of a Nation" look like "Soul Train" for Christs sake. How can you talk about David Shuster's professionalism when the host of your morning program routinely takes thinly veiled shots at one of his colleagues, some not so thinly veiled. Did you happen to see the DNA sharing that was Dylan Ratigan's interview of Andrew Breitbart? There is nothing professional about a complimentary reach around posing as news journalism. Here is some more Dylan Ratigan "professionalism" to tide you over.

Concerning the last quote about "loyalty", what is so loyal about grabbing every stray derelict off the street and giving them a show over David Shuster?(And no, "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" doesn't count. 1) He replaced David Gregory and 2)That show was all about the run-up to the election, not a true Shuster vehicle) So, why did David Shuster get in trouble for that tweet to Jame O'keefe again? O'keefe is a criminal who doctored those ACORN tapes that FOX News loved so much, when did MSNBC get in the business of siding with unrepentant pieces of shit? No disrespect Mr. Griffin, but it takes some set of balls to talk about "ethics" and "professionalism" based on what you've let go on at your network. On one hand I really hope that you see the logical pretzel you've bended yourself into and keep David Shuster on, but on the other hand I can totally see why he would want to get the fuck out of dodge.

P.S Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow rock!



Rebkah H. said...

Please tell me you actually emailed this to him or I shall be sorely disappointed... Do you freelance your services to write complaint letters for others? Because next time someone pisses me off + I can't seem to find the right words, I plan to hit you up. Bravo.

The Humanity Critic said...

@Rebkah: Don't worry, I actually sent this letter to him. :) To answer your question, "yes", if you need an extra snarky complaint letter - I'm your man! lol

physiologyprof said...

David has been very loyal to MSNBC on Twitter. He has calmed us down when we scream about those damn doc blocks - paraphrase David - they subsidize the news so we can give you a better product. When we moaned about a Fox producer coming to MSNBC, David said he was talented and a good guy. Watch - we will like the changes. Sure seems like a team player to me.

Beth said...

Oh thank you for sending this off to Phil - and thanks for posting his picture - I knew him 20 years ago when he was spewing the same kind of crap at USA Today on TV - he hasn't aged well.

Inspector Clouseau said...

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Tara Thralls said...

I don't know if you are aware that there is a "Punish David Shuster with his own Show" ( Facebook Group, and a Petition to Bring Back David Shuster ( that has gathered close to 1000 signatures, with comments. The petition plus 12 pages of comments was sent to Griffin (who unexpected REFUSED it!!), as well as several heads at NBC, CNN & Comcast, who is likely buying NBC pretty soon. CNN, leaked the story about Shuster filming a pilot with them (a pilot, by the way, which never aired, and therefore was not breaking Shuster's contract with MSNBC). Shuster, in expectation of possibly losing his job, when his contract comes up for renewal in December, was merely trying to line up another job, if need be. Griffin, however was personally affronted, and thought of it as a betrayal, and suspended Shuster indefinitely. To read more, I wrote a few blog posts about it: "David Shuster: Off the Air-but not Forgotten!" (

I agree, Shuster has made some gaffes, and been a bit too "truthful" on camera, and in his Tweets for his own good, as a representative of a news organization, however, in my opinion, Griffin seems to be acting more like a non-professional than Shuster!!

nilesapup said...

I always wondered what happened to David Shuster, I really enjoyed his comments. Blunt and to the point kind of guy, always calls a spade a spade. Know where he can be reached?

Tara Thralls said...

David is on Facebook, and will accept your friend request, I'm sure.

: )