When we talk about S.E. Cupp, we’re actually talking about ethics in journalism
We haven’t seen a lot of
MSNBC New York Daily News CNN The Blaze pundit S.E. Cupp since CNN smothered her show — the resurrected for no earthly reason Crossfire — with a pillow. Crossfire was just as awful and dumb as her previous The Cycle gig at MSNBC, but I guess CNN thought people would tune in for the sexual tension between Cupp and co-host Newt Gingrich. Would Newt throw over his most recent helmet-haired rictus-faced bride for a new model? Tune in to find out!
So what has television journalist/pundit Cupp been doing with all of her free time besides getting knocked up and killing animals like a good momma bear (whoopsie, killed it) should? Oh, you know, just coaching GOP candidates on what looks stupid on the teevee box, which just so happens to be a major part of her ‘skill set.‘
After the 2012 election, when Republicans candidates answered questions about rape with “LOL, YOLO” followed by several rapey-looking emojis, someone at the National Republican Senatorial Committee said, “Maybe we should teach these morons we’re throwing money at to shut their fucking idiot mouths and stop saying stupid shit.” After acknowledging that it might keep some of them from landing a hosting spot on Fox & Friends, the NRSC launched Operation Shut Up, You Dicks! People Can Hear Us!:
There wasn’t going to be another Todd Akin moment, the NRSC insisted. There was going to be boot camp. And it was going to be rough.
NRSC trackers waited for the candidates at the airports. Training sessions were scheduled to start the next morning, but the ambushes started as soon as they poked their heads through the security doors.
Over the next two days, for eight hours a day, the candidates had to watch each other stumble, stammer, run from the cameras. They were drilled on policy, then had the cameras turned on them. They were briefed on common media mistakes, then had the camera turned on them. They were shown footage of Akin and Richard Mourdock making fools of themselves two years ago, then had the camera turned on them again.
All the major candidates were invited, including those in contested primaries.
And exactly who was on the faculty at Shut The Fuck Up U?
Jon Kraushar, who does much of the on-camera training for Fox News, was there. Mitt Romney’s policy director, Lanhee Chen, briefed them on policy issues. CNN’s S.E. Cupp conducted mock interviews to help prepare them for the grilling they’d get from the media. Brett O’Donnell started with the debate prep he’d do for candidates throughout the cycle.
Oh. Well I guess after getting paid to coach GOP candidates on the fine art of deflecting and bullshitting it was a good thing that S.E. recused herself from commenting on the fortunes of the Republican candidates she schoolmarm-ed for the duration of the campaign and election, right?
Hahaha. Of course she didn’t.
After all, CNN had previously allowed her to conduct a tongue-bath interview with her Blaze boss Glenn Beck, by saying, “Meh. No big. Whatevs” so why get all ethical now?
So CNN had her on Tuesday night as part of their election night coverage, and here is Cupp writing for CNN about Charlie Baker’s win Massachusetts, and here is Cupp’s next-day election postmortem for the Daily News under the headline: ‘The Republican brand survives.’
What you will find in her Daily News column is an ‘attaboy!’ for her former students:
Republicans proved last night that given smart, disciplined, credible candidates, this is a climate in which they can deliver big — even surprising — wins in the bluest of states.
What you won’t find is a disclaimer stating: “I built that.”
Cupps ethical “lapse” has a precedent, most notably when George Will coached Ronald Reagan prior to his debate with Jimmy Carter using stolen briefing papers from the Carter campaign. Following the debate, Will then praised Reagan’s performance on Nightline without ever noting that he had a hand in it. The lesson Cupp undoubtedly learned from Will is that journalistic ethics are for suckers and losers.
After pocketing some sweet NRSC cash, maybe Cupp should offer to coach Will to also not to say stupid shit about rape. I’m sure she probably offers a professional discount along with cheap hourly rates. Best of all — nobody needs to know.
It’ll just be their little secret.