MSNBC’s new primetime host Alex Wagner suffered a teleprompter outage during her first show as Rachel Maddow’s four-day-a-week replacement on Tuesday.
Wagner began her stint hosting “Alex Wagner Tonight” as she was welcomed into the cable news fold by Chris Hayes, the anchor of the hourlong talk show “All In” which immediately precedes the newly minted program.
Hayes gave a heartfelt introduction to Wagner, noting that the two have been friends for more than two decades stretching back to their days as undergraduate students at Brown University.
“I can’t think of anyone better to do this than you,” Hayes said. “And I can’t think of anyone better prepared to do it.”
But shortly after the handoff from Hayes, Wagner launched into her top-of-the-hour monologue about the biggest headlines of the day that quickly went downhill.
“Tonight, the FBI warrant to search Mar-a-Lago is unsealed. The three potential crimes laid out in that document. We’ll dive into what it means and what could happen…”
A long pause ensued before Wagner continued: “…with one of the Wall Street Journal reporters who was first to report on the contents of the warrant.”
Wagner then stopped speaking for a few more awkward moments. She then made a gesture with her hands as if to suggest to her technical staff that there was a problem.
“Then we’ll…” she said before another long pause. “Then we’ll…”
Wagner then abandoned her planned introduction and segued into politics noting that Liz Cheney, the incumbent Wyoming congresswoman and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, was poised to lose her primary late on Tuesday to a pro-Trump challenger, Harriet Hageman.
A bit later in the show, Wagner revisited the mishap from earlier.
“And one note before we go to break,” she said.
“Yes, we sure did have a case of the technical gremlins at the top of the show, but this is the first one so we’ll work it out.”
Wagner continued: “Now I think we’ve gotten it all under control.”
“We hope the rest of the night will be smooth sailing America, but this is live TV and it has its charms.”
“We’ll be back.”