Joan Walsh

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Joan Walsh
Walsh at Social Media Weekend 2018
Born (1958-09-18) September 18, 1958 (age 64)
EducationUniversity of Wisconsin (BA)
ChildrenNora Walsh DeVries

Joan Maureen Walsh (born September 18, 1958) is a liberal American political pundit and journalist. Walsh is national affairs correspondent for The Nation, and was previously an on-air political analyst at CNN and MSNBC. She produced the 2020 documentary "The Sit In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show." She is a former editor-in-chief of Salon and author of the book What's the Matter with White People?[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Walsh was born in Brooklyn, New York[2] to an Irish Catholic family.[3] In 1960, her family moved to Oceanside, Long Island.[2] She has one brother and one sister. At the age of 13, her family moved to a northern suburb of Milwaukee where she attended high school.[4] Her mother died when she was 17.[4]

Walsh is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, where she wrote for The Daily Cardinal.[4][5]

Media career[edit]

Print media[edit]

When the online magazine Salon launched in 1998, Walsh became its first news editor.[6] She was editor-in-chief from 2005 to 2010.[7] In 2015, she left Salon for The Nation, and would become the publication's national affairs correspondent.

TV career[edit]

Walsh worked at MSNBC for a total of twelve years, six of them under contract. On December 23, 2017, Walsh said MSNBC had chosen not to renew her contract, which the network described as a decision made because of an annual review. In their statement, MSNBC also said that "Unfortunately we couldn’t renew Joan, but she and her distinct perspective will still be invited on our shows."[8]

MSNBC's decision to not renew Walsh's contract prompted critical reactions from other MSNBC personalities, including Joy Reid and Chris Hayes. Some of Walsh's supporters also protested MSNBC's decision using the Twitter hashtag #KeepJoanWalsh.[9]

Later that day, Walsh tweeted that she would move to CNN in 2018, which was soon confirmed by a CNN spokeswoman.[10][1] While at CNN, Walsh pushed back against former Donald Trump staffer Marc Short for accusing her of being anti-religious.[11]

It was announced on December 14, 2020, that her contract with CNN would not be renewed. Walsh stated in response:

“I’m grateful to CNN for the opportunity. Nobody is promised a decade of paid TV commentary. Arguably, nobody deserves it! I am certainly willing to contribute to my friends’ shows on MSNBC and on CNN too when I’m right for the topic.”[12]

Social media activity[edit]

On April 1, 2018, Kyle Kashuv, a witness of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, tweeted that Walsh "liked" a tweet criticizing him. She replied, "Are you really policing who 'likes' tweets from a grieving Parkland father who lost his daughter? Good luck handling your stress, Kyle."[13]

Personal life[edit]

Walsh is divorced and has one daughter,[14] Nora Walsh DeVries.[15][16]


  • (with C. W. Nevius) Splash Hit! Pacific Bell Park and the San Francisco Giants (Chronicle Books, 2001)
  • What's the Matter with White People? Why We Long for a Golden Age That Never Was (Wiley, 2012)


  1. ^ a b Stevens, Matt (December 23, 2017). "Joan Walsh's Contract at MSNBC Is Not Renewed". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Walsh, Joan (April 16, 2013). What's the Matter with White People?: Finding Our Way in the Next America. p. 72. ISBN 9781476733128.
  3. ^ North, James; Weiss, Philip (April 21, 2011). "Joan Walsh discloses her religious investment in a political issue". Mondoweiss. The choice issue is a very tough issue, especially for those of us raised Catholic
  4. ^ a b c Zeff, Blake (March 19, 2015). ""I've had a really fun life": Joan Walsh opens up on her childhood, career — and online critics". Salon (website).
  5. ^ Rumage, Jeff. "Journalist Joan Walsh among Shorewood alumni honored". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2021-10-12.
  6. ^ Arana, Gabriel (September 23, 2015). "Joan Walsh Leaves Salon For The Nation Magazine". Huffington Post. Retrieved September 24, 2020. The Nation magazine has hired Joan Walsh, a prominent Salon contributor who previously served as Salon's editor-in-chief for six years. Walsh, who started at Salon as the site's first news editor in 1998, joins The Nation as national affairs correspondent. Walsh will continue her role as an analyst at MSNBC
  7. ^ "Salon's Editor-in-Chief Joan Walsh Steps Down". 8 November 2010.
  8. ^ Canfield, David (December 24, 2017). "Joan Walsh joins CNN after being dropped by MSNBC". Retrieved December 24, 2017.
  9. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (December 24, 2017). "Political Analyst Joan Walsh Moves to CNN After Being Dropped by MSNBC". Variety. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
  10. ^ Karlis, Nicole (December 23, 2017). "Joan Walsh will move to CNN after MSNBC contract not renewed". Salon. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
  11. ^ "Joan Walsh Slams Marc Short for Anti-Religious Accusation". Mediaite. October 30, 2018. Retrieved October 12, 2021.
  12. ^ Coleman, Justine (December 14, 2020). "CNN not renewing Joan Walsh's contract". TheHill. Retrieved October 12, 2021.
  13. ^ Borchers, Callum (April 4, 2018). "So, what are the rules of engagement with the Parkland teens?". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  14. ^ Walsh, Joan (February 17, 2000). "Confessions of a former self-hating white person – It took a broken heart to teach me that guilty white liberals aren't the solution to America's racial strife, but part of the problem". Salon. I had a husband, and he was white (Jewish, for the record, which my ex didn't consider white, but my black friends mostly did)
  15. ^ McDermott, Peter (October 31, 2012). "Family's divide mirrors nation's since '60s". Irish Echo].
  16. ^ "Nora Walsh-Devries '08". Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory. Retrieved May 27, 2018.

External links[edit]