A former journalist-turned-presidential historian is no longer a paid MSNBC contributor following his failure to disclose his role in crafting the former vice president’s campaign speeches.
Presidential historian Jon Meacham appeared twice on MSNBC Saturday to address Joe Biden’s victory speech in Delaware. On both occasions, the former Newsweek editor, who worked specifically on the former vice president’s Delaware speech, failed to disclose his role in shaping the address.
Prior to the speech, Meacham, who endorsed Biden in March, praised the Democratic nominee’s overall campaign message Saturday during an interview with MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace.
“You know, Vice President Biden,” said Meacham, “I think, represents a kind of tonic for a toxic politics. He’s not perfect. There are vices, but there are a lot of virtues, too.”
Later, after the address, MSNBC host Brian Williams addressed Meacham, saying, “I’m not the historian that you are, and I don’t have the Pulitzer that you do, but do you concur that is the way we are used to hearing from our presidents?”
“Absolutely,” the historian responded — failing to disclose his own role in writing the damned thing!
“Tonight marks the entire election results,” Meacham continued. “A renewal of an American conversation where we’re struggling imperfectly to realize the full implications of the Jeffersonian promise of equality that has taken us too long, our work has been bloody and tragic and painful and difficult, and Lord knows it is unfinished.”
He added, referencing portions of the speech he helped write, “But at our best, we try, and at our best, we are … the president-elect quoted Martin Luther King tonight, who quoted, Theodore Parker, a 19th-century abolitionist, talking about the arc of a universe being long, but it bends toward justice.”
It goes on in that vein for quite a bit. You get the idea. These guys tend to talk like this.
On Monday, the New York Times published a report that must have come as a shock to the people at NBC News and MSNBC, where Meacham has appeared frequently during the Trump years as a paid contributor, offering commentary as a supposedly bipartisan authority on presidential history and politics.
“Jon Meacham,” the report’s opening lines read, “the presidential historian and biographer, has been helping to craft President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s speeches, according to multiple sources involved, including helping to write the acceptance speech that Mr. Biden delivered Saturday night from Wilmington, Del.”
It adds that “behind the scenes, Mr. Meacham has been playing a larger role than was previously known, both writing drafts of speeches and offering edits on many of Mr. Biden’s big addresses, including one he gave at Gettysburg last month and his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention.”
Following news of Meacham’s undisclosed role in crafting Biden’s 2020 speeches, MSNBC confirmed that he is still welcome to appear on its airwaves, though not as a paid contributor.
It probably goes without saying, but there is some irony about the fact that the guy who helped create Biden’s campaign message about restoring honor and ethics just lost his paid contributorship spot on MSNBC for behaving dishonorably and unethically.
Author: Becket Adams
Source: Washington Examiner: Historian who helped craft Biden’s 2020 message about honor loses paid MSNBC gig for acting dishonorably