Former MSNBC host Krystal Ball criticized the network for its engagement in “hype” over the Russia-Trump issue.
Appearing in the Overtime segment of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Ball explained why she believes MSNBC has “done real damage to the left” during Trump’s presidency.
WATCH (via HBO):
“Do you feel networks like MSNBC … help or hurt progressive causes?” asked HBO host Bill Maher during the segment.
“Overall, I think MSNBC in the Trump era had done real damage to the left and I’ll tell you why,” Ball responded.
“Damage?” asked Maher, seeming surprised.
“And I say that with love,” said Ball. “I mean these are my former colleagues, friends. I mean look, the Russia story and what happened there was important. But it was not all-important. And they went so far into the realm of conspiracy theorizing …”
Countering Maher’s claim that it “was a conspiracy,” Ball brought up the fact that the network “had Jonathan Chait on to talk about how Trump may have been a Russian plant since 1987.”
“He may have been,” Maher responded. (RELATED: Rachel Maddow Spends Opening Segment About Mueller Report On Verge Of Tears)
“This is ridiculous, okay,” Ball pressed. “This is way out from what journalistic facts said, and it’s to the exclusion of other stories that people actually care about.”
“They built up expectations so much that when the report came out you were like, ‘oh, it’s no big deal.’ And it was a big deal,” she added.
To audience applause, Maher eventually pinned the blame on Robert Mueller, saying he “shit the bed.”