Co-host of MSNBC’s daytime show “The Cycle” Touré joined HuffPost Live host Marc Lamont Hill Thursday and defended his network’s all-white primetime lineup.
The cable news industry has come under criticism for its lack of diversity generally, and within primetime in particular. Though MSNBC has several African-American hosts, none of them anchor primetime shows.
But Touré said that within MSNBC’s modern era, there have only been five hosts to fit into three valuable slots — and the current lineup of Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell is “brilliant” and “extraordinary.”
“If you were able to say to me that there is a person who is not brilliant … then you can say something, but we have three extraordinary people,” he said. Asked by Hill whether or not there was an endemic hostility to hosts of color in primetime at MSNBC, Touré said there wasn’t.
“I don’t think that there’s a barrier to where [MSNBC chief] Phil Griffin’s like, ‘I’m not going to hire a black person,’” he said. “We have an openly gay woman at 9:00. We are liberal with a lowercase L. We are gonna open the doors to people. I could surely see at some point the right person come along and get one of the spots.”