From MEDIA MATTERS OF AMERICA:
CNN’s decision to hire and pay full-time Trump apologists — supporters who are willing to go on air and defend Trump’s missteps — has resulted in some of the most explosive and viral news segments of the election. But it’s also turned CNN’s election coverage into a series of ridiculous, uninformative screaming matches that mainstream bullshit in the name of “balance.”
Over the course of the 2016 election, CNN hired four Trump supporters — Kayleigh McEnany, Scottie Nell Hughes, Jeffrey Lord, and Corey Lewandowski — to act as full-time Trump surrogates and defend their candidate on-air. CNN has defended its hirings by suggesting that surrogates like Lewandowski are needed to provide “balance,” especially after several of CNN’s traditional Republican commentators expressed their opposition to the GOP presidential nominee.
By the end of most segments, everyone else on the panel is yelling, in shock, or has been flustered to the point of giving up.
This isn’t entirely the fault of the professional Trump surrogates. CNN pays them to be Trump apologists; their jobs depend on them defending their candidate regardless of how ridiculous it makes them sound. In other words, the network incentivizes them to be intractable.
And it all makes for highly entertaining reality television.
But for a news network, these segments are a disaster.
If CNN wants to feature pro-Trump voices in its election coverage, it can rely on guests who actually work for the campaign. But rewarding professional bullshit artists like Hughes, McEnany, Lord, and Lewandowski with CNN salaries and job titles sets a dangerous precedent for a news network: a move toward “balance” even when it comes at the cost of reasonable, useful coverage.
(Video at link above)
And who is driving this shit fire brigade? From DEADLINE:
“I have had a unique relationship with Donald Trump. I’m the one who put him andThe Apprentice on the air at NBC,” Zucker said today, appearing at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum.
“I’ve known who he is and what he is for a long time.”
Zucker’s longstanding relationship with the real estate developer turned reality TV star helped him realize much earlier than did some of his news competitors what a good shot at success Trump had in politics. But he insisted CNN with its whole-hog approach to covering the candidate is not responsible for his GOP nomination.
That said, Zucker acknowledged the cable news network might have gone slightly overboard with its telecasts of Trump rallies in their entirety, in the early days of the race. In the network’s defense, Zucker noted you never knew what Trump was going to say, and the coverage brought good ratings, indicating viewer interest.
And, no, Katrina Pierson is not on CNN’s payroll, but how could I possibly leave her out?