MSNBC Drops Pulitzer Prize-Winning Jon Meacham Reportedly For Not Disclosing His Work on Biden Speech

By Alexander Watson | November 12, 2020 | 3:34pm EST
Historian and liberal commentator Jon Meacham.  (Getty Images)
Historian and liberal/left commentator Jon Meacham. (Getty Images)

Presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Jon Meacham, who famously referred to Trump supporters as the “lizard brain in this country,” reportedly has been let go from his paid contributor gig at MSNBC for failing to disclose his work on the Biden campaign before going on-air and praising Biden’s speeches, which he had helped to write.

MSNBC has, according to multiple news sources, let Meacham go as a paid contributor for violating the rules of journalism by not disclosing his work for Joe Biden during the campaign, and simultaneously offering “commentary” on the former vice president’s speeches.

“MSNBC announced on Monday that, ‘per network policy,’ presidential historian Jon Meacham would no longer be serving as a MSNBC contributor,” reported The Washington Post. “’He will be welcome as a guest with full disclosure of his involvement with President-elect Joe Biden’s team,’ noted a network spokesperson.”

Meacham, a longtime friend of former Vice President Joe Biden, was involved in crafting both Biden’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention and Biden’s premature victory speech presented on Nov. 7, in Wilmington, Delaware.

According to the New York Times, “Mr. Biden’s speech-writing process is run by Mike Donilon, his longtime adviser. But behind the scenes, Mr. Meacham has been playing a larger role than was previously known, writing drafts of speeches and offering edits on others, including one Mr. Biden gave in Gettysburg, Pa., last month and his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in August.” 

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Meacham, who also appeared at the Democratic National Convention to endorse Joe Biden, stated in his speech that he was endorsing Biden because Trump was “more interested in himself than the rest of us,” and that Biden would enable Americans to “save their souls.”

“During the Trump years, Mr. Meacham had also been a regular presence on MSNBC and NBC News broadcasts,” according to the New York Times. “But as of Monday, he was not a paid contributor at the network, according to two people familiar with the decision. Mr. Meacham was expected to return to NBC as an unpaid guest and could resume his paid role next year, possibly after the inauguration, the people said. NBC declined to comment.”

Jon Meacham has not publicly commented on The Times report.

Meacham appeared on MSNBC’s post-presidential debate panel on Oct. 22 and stated that President Donald Trump is the product of “the anguished, nervous white guy’s lizard brain.”

“Well, it was remarkable to watch it in person,” said Meacham, a former Newsweek editor-in-chief. “I had never seen a general election debate actually in the room, and one man was running for president of the United States, and the other man was auditioning for a show on Fox.”

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