Less than a year after bashing her own network for its war coverage in Iraq, NBC News journalist Ashleigh Banfield has reportedly been given the ax.
The New York Daily News says the Canadian native has been working without a contract since late January, and she’ll no longer be employed at MSNBC where she’s been the last four years.
“Regrettably, we were unable to agree on a new assignment for her,” an NBC News spokeswoman told the paper. “We thank her for her hard work and wish her well.”
Banfield’s manager, Alfred Geller, added, “Since her contract expired, we have been exploring with a variety of NBC components the possibility of future activity that would include cable and network. At the end of these explorations, we were mutually unable to come to an accommodation that was OK with everybody. It didn’t work. Life marches on.”
As WorldNetDaily reported last April, Banfield was officially scolded by network President Neal Shapiro for remarks she made ripping her colleagues in TV news for allegedly sugarcoating Iraq war coverage with patriotism and not showing the realities of the conflict.
Fox News Channel led cable ratings in Iraq war
Banfield, in a speech at Kansas State University, had lashed out at “cable news operators who wrap themselves in the American flag and go after a certain target demographic.”
Banfield also claimed in her speech TV should have shown the gruesome results of coalition force in Iraq.
“We didn’t see what happened when Marines fired M-16s,” Banfield said. “We didn’t see what happened after mortars landed, only the puff of smoke. There were horrors that were completely left out of this war. So was this journalism? Or was this coverage?”
Reporters embedded with troops said there was little or no opportunity to film the “blood and guts” of the war due to logistical reasons. Many did not see much combat action.
Banfield’s address also suggested some cable TV networks skewed their coverage to please advertisers.
“It was a grand and glorious picture that had a lot of people watching,” Banfield said, “and a lot of advertisers excited about cable TV news. But it wasn’t journalism, because I’m not sure Americans are hesitant to do this again – to fight another war, because it looked to them like a courageous and terrific endeavor.”
Banfield hosted “MSNBC Investigates” on the No. 3 cable news network. While MSNBC’s ratings improved during the war, the network still came up short in the ratings game behind No. 1 Fox News and CNN.
Lloyd Grove of the Daily News says the 36-year-old former rock singer, “once a fashion icon for her blond tresses and her ever-present on-air glasses … didn’t try to butter up colleagues and supervisors, and instead cast herself as an enemy of the Establishment. She once showed up for anchor duties at MSNBC’s Secaucus studios in New Jersey sporting a T-shirt that shouted, in garish glitter: ‘Starf–r.'”