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How Far is Too Far for MSNBC Hosts?

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Jon Friedman, writing for the New York Post, thinks MSNBC is in “a mighty mess” following a lackluster 2013 in the ratings department and the messy departure of two high-profile hosts — Martin Bashir and Alec Baldwin — and the apology of another, Melissa Harris-Perry, following controversial comments she made about Mitt Romney‘s family.

“We took the appropriate actions,” MSNBC president Phil Griffin tells Friedman. But a crisis-management expert says MSNBC and its parent company might have to rein in outspoken hosts to avoid having additional embarrassing situations.

“Comcast needs to show that everyone at MSNBC, from the president on down, must be held accountable from now on and that this [behavior] cannot continue to happen,” said Mike Paul, a 25-year public-relations strategist known as “The Reputation Doctor.”

“We live in a society where sensationalism is often rewarded. That has to be factored in when we consider why people are constantly crossing the line.”

As MSNBC increases its opinion programming to most hours of the day, the network is putting in guidelines to prevent a repeat of some of the missteps of 2013.

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