“Morning Joe” co-host Willie Geist on Monday lamented the recent firing of National Religious Broadcasters spokesman Daniel Darling following his “thoughtful” appearance on the MSNBC show earlier this month to promote the vaccination of Americans against COVID-19.
“An outrage that he was fired for something so obvious, something so thoughtful and, frankly, something so Christian as looking out for the people around him, including those he worshiped with,” Geist said.
Geist reviewed the Aug. 18 interview with Darling, a pastor who wrote a USA Today op-ed calling on other Christians to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Darling told NBC News this weekend that he’s “sad and disappointed” his time with the organization is over.
“As someone who has been profoundly shaped by Christian media, it was an honor to work on behalf of our members who strive every day to deliver the Gospel around the world,” the pastor said.
On Friday, Darling was fired as National Religious Broadcasters’ senior VP of communications two days after he refused to sign a letter admitting insubordination for his “Morning Joe” appearance. He had been told by the group — which represents 1,100 Christian communicators — that his statements violated its policy of neutrality about COVID vaccines.
Geist disputed the group’s characterization of Darling. “I was part of that interview with Dan Darling,” he said. He was incredibly thoughtful. He was incredibly respectful of everyone in the organization, of the people in his church.”