In a defense of CNN’s hiring of conservative GOP operative and Trump administration staffer Sarah Isgur Flores as network political director, a columnist for the conservative Bulwark website, said there is a greater problem when the network takes on compromised defenders of President Donald Trump.
According to Jonathan Last, who has a few reservations about the hiring of Flores, CNN should be taken to the woodshed for some of the people they have hired in a stab at “fairness.”
Addressing the hiring of Flores who has no journalism experience, Last wrote: “A lot of people have prostituted themselves to work in this White House. There’s no evidence that I’ve seen that she’s one of them.”
However, “Journalism isn’t rocket science. There’s no exam you have to pass to be a Professional Journalist. They’ll let anyone do this stuff. “
“Consider the case of a different CNN hire: Corey Lewandowski. After Lewandowski was pushed out of the Trump campaign in 2016, CNN hired him as an on-air analyst,” the conservative wrote.
“Lewandowski was a part-time employee with other sources of income—and thus other conflicts of interest. He had almost certainly signed a non-disparagement agreement with Trump, though when asked about it at the time he wouldn’t even give a straight yes or no. And yet Lewandowski was paid to ‘analyze’ his former employer on camera,” he continued. “He wasn’t the only one. CNN hired Jason Miller, too. Though at least Miller acknowledged that he was contractually bound by an NDA to not criticize Trump.”
“Let me tell you a secret: CNN wasn’t paying Lewandowski and Miller to improve its product by giving the audience valuable, candid insights. The network was paying them to make it look like it was being ‘fair’ to the Trump campaign,” he charged.
“That is what false fairness looks like. And it’s insane because it does nobody any good. Except for the guys cashing the paychecks,” he continued.
According to Last, there are reasonable well-informed conservatives who could fill those spots, but CNN — and the other cable networks for that matter — opt for “hacks.”
“There are plenty of quasi Trump-supporting nationalist types in the media who the cable networks could engage to honestly and honorably represent the views of what might approximately be called a new nationalist-conservatism: William Voegeli, Charles Kesler, Christopher Caldwell, Ethan Epstein, Scott Johnson—Ann Coulter, even,” he wrote. “The problem is, these people can’t be counted on to defend Trump, night after night, on everything because they’re not hacks. And that’s what the kabuki dynamics of cable news demand. Which is why we get Jeffrey Lord and Kayleigh McEnany and Diamond and Silk.”
“The problem with cable news isn’t that media executives are suckered by a naive urge to provide fairness or equivalence to all points of view. It’s that the spectacle of broadcast news as practiced for the last 20 years requires conflict,” he concluded. “Conflict requires an endless stream of arguments in which two sides fight for four minutes at a time. And viewers like it.”
You can read more of his scathing critique here.