There were rumblings that something was up during the great MSNBC purge of 2015, when the network canceled “The Cycle” and sent Touré packing while giving Chuck Todd a show and hiring back Brian Williams. Al Sharpton lost his nightly show and was “promoted” to early Sunday mornings. Then, Melissa Harris-Perry parted ways with the network after giving in to its “culture of fear.”

We never would have mistaken Brian Williams for a conservative, but he was just a little too enthusiastic in his coverage of President Trump’s airstrike on Syria for Alec Baldwin and other progressives.

Recent news that MSNBC had signed on Nicole Wallace, George Will, Hugh Hewitt, and Greta Van Susteren was the final straw, and organizers of a petition to demand MSNBC halt its “white conservative hiring spree” are nearing their goal of 200,000 signatures. Actor Mark Ruffalo hopes his tweet can put that number over the top.

It’s not about skin color — it’s about right-wing hate, which just happens to correspond with pasty white complexions like Richard Spencer and Chris Matthews and Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow.

NBC had troubling ties to Trump during the presidential campaign and gave the racist sexual predator a national platform. Now MSNBC, too, is tilting to the right. We need to let NBC executives know that there will be a sharp backlash if MSNBC becomes another platform for right-wing hate.

Uh-oh NBC, a sharp backlash awaits.

Maybe Maddow has some old cassettes of Air America to ease the pain of watching MSNBC become a hard-right network.

* * *