Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of American telecommunications conglomerate Comcast, which owns MSNBC, recently released a message that seems to be a response to concerns over Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang‘s treatment by the network.
“At Comcast, diversity has always been — and continues to be — an important part of our culture,” the letter begins before Roberts claims that the company has been committed to “promoting and increasing diversity” in its workforce, leadership, programming, purchasing decisions, and community investment since its inception.
“Diversity and inclusion is not an initiative or program with an expiration date. It’s the right thing to do and also a core principle for the way we do business.”
The clash between Yang’s camp and MSNBC over the network’s coverage of the candidates’ campaign shows no signs of slowing down. Following Yang’s refusal to return to the network until he receives an apology — and claims that MSNBC apologized in private, which were refuted by Yang’s campaign — 23 community nonprofit organizations representing Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders wrote an open letter to MSNBC addressing the situation.
The letter highlighted concerns over Yang’s coverage, noting that MSNBC moderators did not let the serial entrepreneur speak for the first 32 minutes of last week’s Democratic presidential debate. The letter also mentioned Yang being excluded by the network in favor of lower-polling candidates.
“We were troubled by these oversights and equally worried about their damage to MSNBC’s credibility, to the American democracy, and to this country’s racial equality,” the letter reads, noting the post-debate media focus on MSNBC’s controversial coverage of Yang.
The letter went on to request that MSNBC provide “fair coverage” for all presidential candidates and “investigate” the causes of Yang’s reported exclusion.
Regardless, MSNBC doesn’t appear to be getting ready to apologize anytime soon, and Yang’s supporters don’t appear to be satisfied with Roberts’ letter.
“Empty words from Comcast,” one wrote.
“Not even an apology,” wrote another.
I'm not a Yang supporter but look at how MSNBC treats his campaign. This is shameful. Anybody who isn't in the club gets scorn and derision. pic.twitter.com/m7mP3sQlXK
— Secular Talk (@KyleKulinski) September 3, 2019
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) previously reported that Comcast is one of the biggest lobbying spenders in Washington. Back in April, the nonprofit organization noted that most of the network’s positive coverage was focused on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden — before and after he announced his presidential run.
FAIR also noted that Comcast is considered a regional monopoly where they operate as they don’t face other competition, similar to internet service providers (ISPs) like Verizon and AT&T. Later in the report, FAIR claimed that even before Comcast acquired MSNBC, the network had a “history of tacking to the right” and “distinct reluctance to challenge entrenched corporate interests.”