Larry Elder: MSNBC: One Man’s ‘Election Denier’ Is Another Man’s TV Host

The perspectives and thoughts expressed in this op-ed are the exclusive purview of the author.

MSNBC, the “news” outfit on which the Rev. Al Sharpton has a show, briefly hired former Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, at $300,000 per year, to serve as an on-air pundit. Why did the rabidly anti-Trump, anti-Republican Sharpton make her the offer?

MSNBC likely did so because 2024 is an election year; McDaniel was available, having been pressured into leaving her post by former President Donald Trump, the inside story of which MSNBC viewers would salivate over; her ouster from the RNC suggests bad blood between her and Trump and therefore, from MSNBC’s point of view, a welcome willingness for a high-profile Republican to dish some anti-Trump dirt; or because McDaniel could bring a different perspective to MSNBC’s lineup of hosts and guests who unanimously parrot the narrative that Trump is a “racist” and “election denier” who, on Jan. 6, 2021, committed “insurrection.” “Why,” likely went MSNBC’s thinking, “we are, after all, a ‘news’ organization — and maybe McDaniel could increase ratings by attracting some non-Trump-hating viewers.”

The better question is why McDaniel accepted the offer. While Trump wanted her out, she cheered him on during his presidency, supported Trump’s claim of 2020 election fraud and characterized what happened on Jan. 6 as “legitimate political discourse.” How will that sit with an MSNBC lineup that routinely compares Trump to Hitler and deems Trump an existential threat to the republic?

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Immediately after McDaniel’s hiring, former NBC “Meet the Press” moderator and current NBC chief political analyst Chuck Todd said, “There’s a reason a lot of journalists at NBC News are uncomfortable with this.” Todd proceeded to accuse McDaniel of “gaslighting” journalists and engaging in anti-media “character assassination.”

In what turned out to be McDaniel’s first and only on-air interview as a pundit, MSNBC host Kristen Welker asked McDaniel, “Why should people trust what you’re saying right now?” Welker also asked, “Did you not have a responsibility as the RNC chair to say before Jan. 6, ‘The election is not rigged’?”

Days later, MSNBC terminated McDaniel. To the MSNBC hosts who rioted, the McDaniel hiring crossed the line.

But isn’t this the same MSNBC that hired Sharpton, American’s preeminent race card hustler, to host a show? Sharpton is the Tawana Brawley-lying, Crown Heights riot/Freddy’s Fashion Mart incendiary, tax deadbeat and would-be cocaine dealer who has made anti-white and antisemitic slurs.

After McDaniel’s hiring, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said he and his “Morning Joe” co-host would not allow McDaniel to appear as a guest. But Sharpton, Scarborough’s colleague, regularly appears on the show. In 2000, when Scarborough served as a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives, he proposed a resolution called “Condemning the racist and anti-Semitic views of the Reverend Al Sharpton.” It read in part:

“Whereas the Congress strongly rejects the racist and incendiary actions of the Reverend Al Sharpton;

“Whereas the Reverend Al Sharpton has referred to members of the Jewish faith as ‘bloodsucking [J]ews’, and ‘Jew bastards’;

“Whereas the Reverend Al Sharpton has referred to members of the Jewish faith as ‘white interlopers’ and ‘diamond merchants’;

“Whereas the Reverend Al Sharpton was found guilty of defamation by a jury in a New York court arising from the false accusation that former Assistant District Attorney Steven Pagones, who is white, raped and assaulted a fifteen year-old black girl; …

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“Whereas the Reverend Al Sharpton’s vicious verbal anti-Semitic attacks directed at members of the Jewish faith, and in particular, a Jewish landlord, arising from a simple landlord-tenant dispute with a black tenant, incited widespread violence, riots, and the murder of five innocent people; …

“Whereas the Reverend Al Sharpton led a protest in the Crown Heights neighborhood and marched next to a protester with a sign that read, ‘The White Man is the Devil …'”

Apparently, all is forgiven.

Sharpton is also, to use MSNBC’s parlance, an “election denier,” and an egregious one at that. About the 2016 election, Sharpton said: “There’s no question that the process that elected (Trump) was not legitimate. When you look at now the evidence from the intelligence agencies that there was the influence from the Russians …”

So, McDaniel out, Sharpton in. One man’s “election denier” is another man’s MSNBC host.

Larry Elder is a bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an “Elderado,” visit Follow Larry on Twitter @larryelder. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at



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