Some MSNBC stars berated their own network Saturday for firing longtime liberal contributor Joan Walsh just days before Christmas.
Anchor Joy Reid was the most strident, with primetime host Chris Hays calling Walsh “indispensable” in a tweet.
“It’s incredibly short sighted to sideline voices like Joan’s, especially now,” Reid wrote on Twitter. “Especially given the momentousness of next year’s anniversaries: the women’s march, the King and RFK assassinations … we need to be at full strength as media entities, and Joan belongs in the mix.”
In response to one tweet, Reid said she had already let her bosses know how she feels.
The reason for Walsh’s ouster was unexplained and a source of great puzzlement as she was very popular with MSNBC viewers and anchors.
Even more baffling was MSNBC’s statement Saturday confirming her departure.
“Every year we review our paid contributors list across the ideological spectrum. Unfortunately we couldn’t renew Joan, but she and her distinct perspective will still be invited on our shows,” an MSNBC spokesperson told TheWrap via email. “Joan Walsh has been a key voice on MSNBC for years and she’s absolutely still welcome.”
Neither MSNBC nor Walsh responded to a request from Fox News seeking comment.
As word leaked of her exit Friday night, her Twitter followers reacted with shock and support.
She responded to the news in a tweet that said, “Wow. I’m overwhelmed. I didn’t expect this news to break tonight. I’ll have something to say in the morning.”
On Saturday morning she held to her promise.
“So it’s true: after 12 years on MSNBC, six on contract, I learned Friday night they are not renewing,” she said. “I’ve given my heart and soul to the network, from the George W. Bush years through today. I’m proud of the work I did.”
“Yes, it’s Christmas weekend. I was baking pies with my daughter, who is home for the holidays, when I got the news. It didn’t feel too good. But all of your support helps, a lot. I’m grateful to the people who have fought for me.”
Following her ouster, the hashtag “#KeepJoanWalsh” erupted on Twitter, and Walsh responded to some fans who shared their disappointment.
User Emilie Pollack tweeted Saturday, “When you tell your mom about @joanwalsh and she proceeds to call @MSNBC and leaves a message saying “How dare you @MSNBC ,” Walsh quipped, “It’s true: Moms love me”
Walsh also responded to a picture of herself, shared by Ron Perlman, who said she was “a beautiful voice for decency and fair play!”
“Thanks, Ron! xo,” she wrote.