MSNBC’s Alex Wagner was off to a rough start during her first show on the network after taking over for Rachel Maddow, with technical glitches causing her to repeatedly look off-camera, shrug, and vent a look of frustration.
(Video Credit: MSNBC)
Wagner’s headaches started right from the beginning of the broadcast after she was introduced by colleague Chris Hayes. She told Maddow’s fans that she hoped to “live up to the incredibly high standard” Rachel Maddow left in her wake.
“I can’t think of anyone better to do this than you,” Hayes ironically said. “And I can’t think of anyone better prepared to do it.”
As the new host teased the latest news in the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago, footage of Rep. Liz Cheney in the Wyoming primary appeared on the screen instead of the intended video of Trump’s home being violated. The teleprompter outage gaffe was somehow apropos as Cheney fell with a gigantic thud during the GOP contest on Tuesday.
“Tonight, the FBI warrant to search Mar-a-Lago is unsealed. The three potential crimes laid out in that document. We’ll dive into what it means and what could happen…” she began.
Uuumm is someone in the control room not happy Alex Wagner got the job?👀
— Nefarious Aquarius 🍀☮️ (@MissAngSays) August 17, 2022
A long pause ensued before she continued, “…with one of the Wall Street Journal reporters who was first to report on the contents of the warrant.”
At that point, Wagner, who was constantly looking off-camera, shrugged in exasperation.
“Then we’ll…” Wagner started before taking a long pause as she attempted to sync with the control room.
“Go?” she mouthed before continuing.
Omg poor Alex Wagner having a teleprompter fail the first two minutes of her new show. Goooo! #alexwagnertonight
— double entrè (@agingsloth) August 17, 2022
“Then we’ll talk with… we’re going to go right – we are actually going to go right to the top story tonight in Wyoming where polls have just closed as Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney faces the steepest of climbs and the longest of odds to hold onto her seat,” Wagner stumbled before regaining her composure.
She confessed to her viewers that there were problems before the first commercial break. She stated that she hoped the rest of her show would be “smooth sailing.”
“Yes, we sure did have a case of the technical gremlins at the top of the show, but this is the first one so we’ll work it out,” she remarked. “Now I think we’ve gotten it all under control.”
“We hope the rest of the night will be smooth sailing America, but this is live TV and it has its charms,” she added.
Alex Wagner off to an odd start! Someone needs to learn how to work the tel e prompter for this woman.
— John B (@johnslexus77) August 17, 2022
“Alex Wagner Tonight” will air Tuesday through Friday, filling in the gap for “The Rachel Maddow Show,” which now only airs Monday nights at 9 p.m. ET. Wagner was a frequent guest on Maddow’s show but has had definite challenges when it comes to hosting her own.
Her MSNBC daytime program “Now” was canceled in 2015 after a four-year stint. Wagner’s ratings were evidently lousy and the leftist show was cut when the network decided to focus on straight news. At the time, nightly host Al Sharpton was moved to weekends, Ed Schultz was kicked to the curb at the network, and “The Cycle” was canceled as well.
It got even more embarrassing in 2016 when Wagner had a weekend show scrapped that she was set to launch after her show was announced.
Technical issues due to limited budget due to limited audience
— Min (@min887) August 17, 2022
And if a tree falls in the forest…
No worries @alexwagner best guesstimates is that only 10 people were watching you look like a total goof on your 1st day.
But we all see it on Twitter now and in a very heartfelt way… LMAO. Talk about lowering the qualifying bar… #clown
— Joe Sunshine (@JoeSunshine1234) August 17, 2022
Just cancel her already please
— Bill The 🐐 (@Hall0wBeThyName) August 17, 2022
Wagner was evidently brought on board for the MSNBC slot in the hopes she would gin up controversy leading into the 2022 midterm elections. The network is promoting her as the only Asian-American cable news host out there. But considering MSNBC’s in-the-toilet viewership, it is unlikely she will draw enough to compete with Maddow much less other media outlets such as Fox News.
Ever since former President Trump left office and MSNBC no longer had him to fixate on, its ratings have taken a dive. With Maddow cutting way back on her on-air presence, that development seems to be only getting worse.
Maddow announced earlier this year that she was only going to host “The Rachel Maddow Show” once a week, so she could focus on other projects.
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