Ron Reagan to Host MSNBC News/Talk Show

Ron Reagan to Host MSNBC News/Talk Show (Reuters)

Ron Reagan, son of the late president and conservative hero Ronald Reagan, will co-host a new political talk show on MSNBC, the network said on Wednesday. Reagan will host “Connected: Coast to Coast” from headquarters in Redmond, Washington, MSNBC said in a statement. The show, which will air twice daily, will base its other host — Monica Crowley, a former Richard Nixon aide and Fox News analyst — at MSNBC headquarters in New Jersey.

Reagan drew attention last year when he gave a spirited eulogy at his father’s funeral condemning politicians for using their religion for political gain and for a speech on stem-cell research at the Democratic National Convention.

The show will premiere on Tuesday. The early broadcast will present developing news, while the later show will focus more on analysis and debate.

I honestly don’t get it. Though I disagree with his politics, Reagan seems reasonably bright and a likeable enough guy. Nothing I’ve seen, though, demonstrates that he has the skill set to host a political talk show. Certainly, were his name not Reagan, no one would even be considering him for such a slot. Betsy Newmark agrees.

MSNBC lags behind its competitors, despite having the not insignificant advantage of being backed by NBC’s news team and Microsoft’s bankroll. Rather than feature its journalistic staff, however, MSNBC has consistently tried and failed at a bizarre formula of giving shows to people who are famous for something other than anything having to do with the shows. Ron Reagan joins a long line that includes Alan Keyes, Phil Donahue, and Jesse Ventura. For that matter, having shows headlined by people who failed at its competitors–Tucker Carlson, Buchanan and Press, and so forth–also seems a recipe for failure.

Granted, Michael Savage didn’t work out for them either, even though he carries a successful political show on radio and Joe Scarborough seems to be working out fine even though he had never hosted a show before. But picking celebrity names out of a hat and giving them a show is a programming strategy that is likely to fail more often than not.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Bithead says:

    They’re clearly hoping to draw the left.
    Words cannot express properly, how little I think of Junior.

    However, I’ll try.
    Ron Reagan Jr. apparently inherited not smart one from his father. Or, at least, one wonders if he’s still not grown out of the rebellious stage most kids go through. In looking at him we have a practical example of the acorn falling too far from the tree, and thereby not becoming a tree, and in fact never becoming anything more than a nut.

    Then again, the left seems to go in for that sort of thing; Witness Howard Dean.

    Here is someone who was an embarrassment to his father through his life, and who apparently had to use his chance at a eulogy for his father, for one last slight against what his father stood for. He’s been able to parley that snarky little performandce at his father’s expense, into a a number of jobs he’d never have gotten otherwise.
    THe reason he gets them is simple enough; a left wing who is also looking for one more way to slap at the political legacy of this idiot’s father.

    Were The Gipper alive and aware, he would be embarrassed by his kid once again. As it is, Dutch is beyond embarrassment. So too, apparently, is his kid.

    Dutch, at least, has the excuse of being dead.

    MSNBC, meanwhile, has latched onto another losing formula.

  2. Rusty says:

    Dude, boring……

    Mabye if he put on a tutu and began to espouse the merits of socialism once again then I might be induced to watch it.