Fans of Rachel Maddow are accusing MSBNC of sexism after Brian Williams took over Maddow's 9 p.m. time slot to cover the U.S. missile attack on Syria. When the news of the missile strike on Syria's al-Shayrat airfield broke during Rachel Maddow's nightly show, the network turned over its coverage to Williams, leaving viewers confused, indignant and seething in rage.

Within minutes, social media erupted over the network's 'sexist' coverage of the conflict in Syria. Much of the outrage was aimed not at the network, but at Williams personally -- even though he is the official breaking news anchor for the network.

When major events unfold it is a common practice for news networks to turn over the airwaves to the reporter designated for that purpose.

Nonetheless, fans were livid that MSNBC didn't allow Maddow to cover the Syrian missile strike story on her own.

Triggered by Brian Williams

Some Maddow fans immediately cried sexism. One Twitter user, @girlsreallyrule, tweeted that Brian Williams, in spite of his "sketchiness", was tapped by MSNBC because they felt he was more "competent" than the usual 9 p.m. host. She then demanded the network to put Maddow back on.

Several fans appeared to have no concept of how news networks operate, with many tagging her tweets with the hashtag #EverydaySexism. One such fan, Amy Volz, tweeted:

"Why did you bring in Brian Williams to cover breaking news during @maddow air time?"

Several others asked the same question.

The answer, of course, is because Rachel Maddow is not the person MSNBC hired for the job.

Yet dozens of Maddow fans couldn't grasp this very basic concept, and accusations of sexism at MSNBC peppered Twitter throughout the evening.

Williams, who merely attempting to do his job, faced harsh criticism after he referred to the nighttime video footage from the decks of Navy ships as "beautiful".

Charles Clymer tweeted that Maddow would never describe a missile launch as "beautiful", and wondered "what in the ever living hell" Williams was doing taking her place.

Christina Jacqueline, meanwhile, tweeted the same question, wondering why Williams was even on the MSNBC payroll.

The answer that nobody seemed to be capable of coming up with on their own is that Brian Williams -- not Rachel Maddow -- happens to be the breaking news anchor at MSNBC. That's why they pay him.

Maddow fan blasts Williams for being a white male

Or maybe, as @girlsreallyrule seems to believe, there's a major media conspiracy afoot that reserves every single breaking news anchor job for white males.