by WorldTribune Staff, February 21, 2019
Reports say that CNN has hired a former spokesperson for former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sarah Isgur Flores has been added to the team that will direct the network’s coverage of the 2020 election.
The response was prompt.
Melanie R. Newman, Justice Department spokeswoman under Loretta Lynch during the Obama administration, tweeted: “As a former DOJ Spox, I am flabbergasted by this. Does anyone think I could have gone to CNN after being spox for Loretta Lynch? Anyone? No? Me either.”
Brett Bruen, president of the consulting firm Global Situation Room and a former diplomat under President Barack Obama, said Isgur’s hiring adds to “the continual blurring of what is news, politics and entertainment. It is a really concerning development, one that is put out without any explanation. We ought to be finding ways in which more moderate voices can be part of this coverage.”
So, hiring a Republican doesn’t “moderate” CNN’s coverage?
Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, tweeted: “What I mostly think about this is that either Isgur will not really be doing the job she is described as doing, or CNN will not really be doing journalism during the 2020 campaign.”
Writing for The American Spectator Daniel Flynn, noted that CNN’s hiring of a Republican “leaves its employees in riot mode. They worry that employing Flores as a political editor represents a conflict of interest.”
CNN’s so-called media watchdog Brian Stelter said that “The reaction has been strong. CNN employees are concerned, according to numerous people who reached out to me (on Feb. 19). They are asking what Isgur’s role will be and questioning whether her sudden leap from the Trump administration to the CNN newsroom is an ethical breach.”
Politics, Flynn noted, “did not stop CNN from hiring Andrew Cuomo. How about Ken Bode, who strangely transitioned from a George McGovern activist to a political reporter? Did not Donna Brazile use her position at CNN to leak debate questions to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Democratic nominating contest? Sally Kohn, who serves as a commentator for CNN, was arrested late last year protesting Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Wolf Blitzer worked for a prominent Washington lobbying organization long prior to joining CNN. And how about journalists who never formally worked in politics but instead work politics into journalism? Jim Acosta? Maggie Haberman?”
The Clinton campaign, in an email intercepted by WikiLeaks, boasted of enjoying “a very good relationship with Maggie Haberman of Politico over the last year. We have had her tee up stories for us before and have never been disappointed. While we should have a larger conversation in the near future about a broader strategy for reengaging the beat press that covers HRC, for this we think we can achieve our objective and do the most shaping by going to Maggie.”
Flynn wrote: “Reasons exist for reticence in hiring politicos to serve in journalistic capacities. Strangely, or, perhaps not so strangely, objections arise only when the one making the transition does so from the right side of the political spectrum.”