Yes, yes, it … certainly is outrageous that someone with a track record in partisan politics would be handed influence over “neutral” political reporting by a news organization.
Why, I think this is the first time I’ve heard of such a thing. Impartial news media — employing partisan operatives?
What’s next, news networks hiring aspiring presidential candidates and treating them as pundits while they informally campaign?
Sarah Isgur, who served as the Justice Department’s leading spokeswoman under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is joining the network as a political editor next month, where she will coordinate political coverage for the 2020 campaign.
Isgur joined the administration in 2017 after overcoming resistance from the president, who balked at bringing on a political operative who had trashed him on the campaign trail. As deputy campaign manager for Carly Fiorina’s presidential campaign, and in the months after Fiorina bowed out of the race, Isgur repeatedly laced into Trump…
While it is common for departing administration officials to join cable news networks as analysts or contributors, it is less common for them to oversee news coverage.
The reaction from our ethical betters has not been kind:
You can write the rest of this post as easily as I can.
The incest between the media and Democratic Party politics is an ancient hobbyhorse for activist righties. I’d be surprised if anyone reading this can’t rattle off five to 10 names off the top of their head of news pros who used to work for Democratic politicians. If you need a running start, just click here and enjoy David Rutz’s thread on the subject. We’re not talking about cub reporters, needless to say. We’re talking about George Stephanopoulos shifting from top Clinton advisor to political correspondent at ABC within five years. We’re talking about the brother of the governor of New York hosting a highly anti-Trump “news” show on primetime in CNN. We’re talking about the brother of Barack Obama’s top foreign policy advisor running CBS News.
But adding Sarah Flores to the ranks of political editors at CNN is a scandal, you see.
I think part of the outrage today is due to a misunderstanding of her role. The bit in the excerpt above about her “coordinat[ing] political coverage for the 2020 campaign” makes it sound like she’ll be steering the ship of CNN’s political division. Not so, notes Josh Barro.
People are reading a lot into this “political editor” title for Sarah Flores. CNN has a political director overseeing its coverage and then quite a few people under with editor titles.
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) February 19, 2019
The guy who’ll be steering the ship is the network’s political director, David Chalian. Chalian is best known to conservative audiences for having been caught on a hot mic in 2012 saying of Hurricane Isaac that Mitt and Ann Romney would be “happy to have a party with black people drowning.” He was fired immediately from his job at Yahoo News for it. To the left, it’s Flores’s (much lesser) influence over CNN’s political coverage, not Chalian’s, that’s a bias scandal.
Flores, by the way, hasn’t always been a fan of CNN’s…
Boom–> RT @FreeBeacon: The Clinton News Network is back!
— Sarah Isgur (@whignewtons) June 17, 2014
…but she hasn’t always been a fan of Trump’s either. She worked for the Fiorina campaign in 2016 and had plenty of cutting things to say about the president. Eventually she was hired on for her DOJ job after assuring Trump that she supported his agenda, which some of the more hysterical critics of her hire by CNN today are treating as a “loyalty oath.” The one criticism of her that’s fair is the fact that she’s not just a Republican but someone who worked for one of the people who’ll be on the ballot next year (CNN claims she won’t cover the Department of Justice to avoid any direct conflicts), although my guess is that CNN considers that more of an asset than a liability for the role they’ve hired her for. They know they’re going to be lambasted by the right for anti-Trump bias next year no matter what they do, but they’d like to avoid egregious examples of it if possible and maybe don’t trust their in-house judgment on how to avoid those. Bringing in a Republican and Trump administration veteran to consult on potential bias pitfalls will help them avoid them, and it’s good PR to have handy once the bias accusations begin anyway. (“We hired one of Trump’s own employees!”) That’s the main reason Flores is there, I’d bet — bias-spotting, not handing out campaign-trail assignments to beat reporters. In which case, so what?
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