News & Politics

Revolving Door: Obama Staffers Who Joined NBC, MSNBC, and CNN, Now Headed to Biden Admin

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

At least seven of the key figures Joe Biden has tapped for his likely (though still contested) incoming administration worked as paid staff for NBC News, MSNBC, and CNN.

Five of these figures worked for NBC News and/or MSNBC.

Biden tapped Barbara McQuade, a former U.S. attorney in Michigan (appointed by former President Barack Obama) and legal analyst on NBC News and MSNBC, to serve on the Department of Justice review team for the Biden-Harris transition.

Richard Stengel, Obama’s under secretary of State for public diplomacy and public affairs from 2014 to 2016 and now an NBC News and MSNBC political analyst, joined the Biden transition as “Team Lead” for the U.S. Agency for Global Media.

Jon Meacham, a presidential historian, contributing editor to The New York Times Book Review, a contributing editor to Time magazine, and an MSNBC contributor, failed to disclose to MSNBC that he has been writing speeches for Joe Biden, including the Democrat’s victory speech, The New York Times reported. Meacham had been “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.”

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, an architect of Obamacare who wrote that life wasn’t worth living after 75, served as an NBC News medical contributor and has joined Biden’s coronavirus task force. He is the brother of Rahm Emanuel, former Chicago mayor and chief of staff to then-president Obama.

Karine Jean-Pierre, a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, left her post to serve on the Biden campaign in May and became chief of staff to Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris in August. Before her NBC News gig, Jean-Pierre worked with the Obama campaign in 2008, served as regional political director for the White House Office of Political Affairs, and worked as National Deputy Battleground States Director for Obama’s reelection campaign.

Two of Biden’s transition leaders worked for CNN.

CNN commentator Jen Psaki left the network’s payroll to serve as a senior advisor to the Biden-Harris transition team. Before her CNN gig, Psaki served as a press secretary for both Obama campaigns, deputy communications director in the Obama White House, and spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State under John Kerry.

Tony Blinken served as a global affairs analyst for CNN. Biden is reportedly considering nominating Blinken to become secretary of State. During the Obama administration, Blinken served as deputy national security advisor from 2013 to 2015 and as deputy secretary of State from 2015 to 2017.

While CNN, NBC News, and MSNBC can hire whomever they want, this Obama-legacy media-Biden revolving door presents a damning picture of the legacy media’s bias.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

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