May 24, 2022

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki could leave White House to replace Rachel Maddow at MSNBC

It’s undeniable that there is a direct career pipeline between Washington, D.C., and the mainstream media. Now, it’s quite possible the next beneficiary will be White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

MSNBC could tap Psaki to replace Rachel Maddow, who is on hiatus until April, the Washington Examiner reported. Psaki has not signed any deal but has said she is ready to leave the White House sometime in 2022.

Psaki had promised she would leave her post this year when it was “time for somebody else to have this job.” Maybe that’s why in early February, MSNBC President Rashida Jones and NBC News Chairman Cesar Conde joined Psaki in the nation’s capital hoping to persuade her to the networks.

Other networks have been courting Psaki at the same time, however. In early February, Psaki took meetings with both interim CNN co-president Amy Entelis and Rebecca Kutler, CNN+ programming lead.

There’s no word on which network, if any, Psaki would choose to join. However, CNN has been tarnished with several scandals lately that could dissuade Psaki.

Former host Chris Cuomo resigned over allegations that he was advising his politician brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, from his privileged vantage point in the media. Later, former network president Jeff Zucker and his paramour Allison Gollust were both forced to resign for failing to disclose their long-term affair.

For that reason, MSNBC seems like a more likely choice also considering Maddow’s hiatus from her nightly time slot. “There may eventually be another hiatus again sometime in my future, but for now, we are just taking it one step at a time,” Maddow said, promising to return in April.

Though it isn’t exactly unethical for former White House officials to end up employed by a television network, the optics suggest a friendlier rapport between the press and Democratic administrations than there should be. A free press is supposed to hold politicians’ feet to the fire, so it’s an odd choice to hire their cast-offs when they’re done in Washington.

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