MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace was quick to jump on the anti-Trump Lincoln Project bandwagon, featuring its co-founders often on her show, but she had apparently ignored the burgeoning scandals involving the organization.
Wallace, a former Republican who served as a senior adviser to the late Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential bid and as White House director of communications during President George W. Bush’s administration, has also made several conspiratorial comments and allegations in recent weeks regarding the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, former President Donald Trump, and Trump’s supporters.
However, her silence regarding the Lincoln Project has once again put her in the spotlight of critics who are accusing her of journalistic double standards.
“Given Wallace’s background as a onetime Republican and current GOP critic, it made sense that her afternoon program ‘Deadline: White House’ would become a regular stop for Lincoln Project co-founders like Steve Schmidt and Rick Wilson, who became media stars for bolting the GOP over disgust with” Trump, Fox News senior editor David Rutz noted Wednesday.
Between Jan. 11 and Feb. 8, Wilson, Schmidt, and Lincoln Project consultants Tara Setmayer and Kurt Bardella made at least nine appearances on Wallace’s program – but she didn’t ask any of them about the sexual allegations against another co-founder, John Weaver, who has been accused of harassing gay, young men including a boy as young as 14. The story was first broken by Ryan Girdusky on Jan. 11.
Following those allegations, the Lincoln Project has also come under intense scrutiny as well for its spending habits and reportedly hostile working environment.
At present, Rutz noted, only two of the original eight founders remain with the organization. George Conway, who left last year amid family controversy, and Bardella have both said the Lincoln Project should dissolve.
As for MSNBC, the network has largely ignored the scandals and fallout. In mid-January, “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough talked about the Capitol riot and other topics during a segment with Schmidt but didn’t ask him about the allegations involving Weaver which exploded just a few days before.
By early February, according to an analysis, none of the network’s hosts asked any Lincoln Project co-founder about Weaver’s allegations over roughly 17 interviews.
The only exception came on Feb. 1 when “Morning Joe” co-host, Mika Brzezinski, asked Conway about the allegations. He responded that he “didn’t know” Weaver very well.
As for Wallace, she and Schmidt have a history of friendship; he also worked on McCain’s failed 2008 presidential campaign. Both of them were chastised by McCain officials for leaking problems within the campaign to the media. Neither was asked to attend McCain’s funeral in 2018.
Wallace’s show gained popularity for bashing former President Trump, as did Schmidt whom she frequently had on her program over the years.
Rutz’s critique of Wallace and MSNBC is not the first time the network has been called out for its dearth of coverage regarding the Lincoln Project’s scandals. Fox News host Tucker Carlson blasted the so-called ‘mainstream media’ in general for ignoring much of the Weaver story in a recent segment.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 13, 2021
“It’s an awful story, but here’s the worst part: The Lincoln Project clearly had a pretty good idea what John Weaver was up to. For decades, political consultants whispered rumors that John Weaver had tried to molest little boys. Karl Rove, to his credit, once said that out loud and was promptly attacked by the Atlantic magazine,” Carlson said.
“Weaver’s colleagues at the Lincoln Project knew all this, but they hid the truth from the public and from law enforcement. Inside the organization, they made it clear they understood what was happening,” he added.
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