MSNBC's Chris Hayes: Covering Climate Change Is a 'Palpable Ratings Killer'

Chris Hayes / YouTube
July 25, 2018

MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes tweeted Tuesday that covering stories about climate change is a "palpable ratings killer" for news shows.

Hayes's admission came when he shared a thread on Twitter about how climate change is making natural disasters like wildfires worse.

"Read this thread. The disaster continues to come for us..." Hayes tweeted.


The tweet sparked criticism toward Hayes for not covering the topic more on his own cable news show. Freelance writer Elon Green replied to Haye's tweet saying, "Sure would be nice if our news network—the only outlets that can force change in this country—would cover it with commensurate urgency. Acting as if there's nothing to be done is not excusable."

Hayes responded to the criticism by saying climate change stories are a "palpable ratings killer."

"[A]lmost without exception. every single time we've covered it's been a palpable ratings killer. so the incentives are not great," Hayes responded.

Numerous reporters and environmentalists responded to Hayes. Some expressed anger at the MSNBC host for worrying more about the bottom line than the "existential threat to human existence."

Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe claimed that she was invited to be a guest on Hayes' show twice but both times her appearance was cancelled.

Hayes appeared to be unaware the cancelations occurred and apologized to Hayhoe.

In past elections, polls showed climate change was not a top priority for most voters.