A biz journalist’s show is about fixing capitalism
MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi spoke with Philadelphia Magazine’s Tom McGrath about his job during the pandemic.
Here is an excerpt:
You started a new weekend program earlier in the year. How are you thinking about the show?
Well, it’s changed probably 50 times since we first conceived of this toward the end of 2019. We launched, coincidentally, right in the middle of the impeachment. So the show wasn’t what we conceived it as. And then we went right into primaries. And then we went right into the pandemic. So it’s never been what we conceived it to be.
But it has dovetailed with what I wanted it to be. Because the whole point of what I’ve been doing in the past few years is a real emphasis on what I’ve been calling our broken capitalism — social justice and equity in a society that is capitalist, that is a meritocracy. Those two things should be able to co-exist. And as a person who’s a business and economics journalist, and pro-capitalist, I’ve been wanting to marry those things and say, “Why can’t this system, capitalism, which is so good, not have as by-products inequality and inefficiency and the things that we’ve seen? Why can’t we fix this problem?”
I wanted to do that writ large, and I envisioned a show where we talked to the best people in the world about all the things you would fix about society and politics and economics. I’m not doing that show — but I’m actually having the same conversations. And I’m having them with slightly different people. But the goal is still the same: I was striving to play a role in the design of a better society, and now I’m playing a role in the design of a better society inadvertently.
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