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Tipsheet

Does CNN's Political Director Even Know His Colleagues?

AP Photo/Ron Harris

It’s too easy to bash CNN. When Jon Stewart helmed The Daily Show on Comedy Central, the program expertly dissected the nonsensical nature of its reporting. The Boston Marathon bombing was a grade-A clown show the network produced. It got a bombshell tip wrong, which was hilariously overcorrected while peppering its audience with some cringe-worthy commentary. Stewart took no prisoners. It’s one of many trip-ups this network has experienced. Now, its political director claims he’s never met any reporter who wants to be a “resistance hero.” Does he know his colleagues? 

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CNN seems immune to discussing how their approach to reporting on presidents is like the month of March. It came in like a lion under Donald Trump and went out like a lamb with Joe Biden. Fox News media reporter Joseph Wulfsohn found that again at a conference over the weekend at the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics. 

He reported on a panel discussion titled "Covering Candidates Who Don’t Want to be Covered," where the focus was on Republicans like Trump and Ron DeSantis, who aggressively push back on liberal reporters. "Notably, there wasn't any mention of President Biden, who has broken norms by the lack of interviews and press conferences he has granted since taking office." But Biden pretends to be "pro-press" as he avoids them like the plague! 

CNN political director David Chalian was asked how reporters can refrain from "accidentally becoming characters in a campaign narrative" when covering combative candidates. He responded by saying journalists must remain "dogged and respectful" when it comes to those who want to ice out legacy media outlets. 

[…] 

Chalian hilariously responded that "no doubt" it's a concern for newsrooms but told Coppins "no reporter that I know of would want what you're saying, to become a folk hero is the political calculus of a certain segment of the voting and political populations." (via Newsbusters)

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As Tim Graham of Newsbusters noted, the elephant in the room is Jim Acosta, one of Donald Trump’s favorite punching bags for his combative, sensational, and outright obnoxious editorializing as the network’s White House errand boy. Mr. Chalian, Acosta got to host a show because of these antics. He wanted to be a “resistance hero,” with Don Lemon playing that role on his show before he was unceremoniously fired last week. 

Lemon was removed from primetime and demoted to a morning program which he was none too pleased about, and it was evident. The drama on the set of that show, genuine or not, only placed an expiration date on the longtime host. The good news for CNN is that noticeable moves are being made to remove the blowhards from the lineup. Brian Stelter, Lemon, Chris Cuomo, John Harwood, and other annoying people have been terminated or have been asked to find work elsewhere, a conscious uncoupling, whereas Acosta remains but on weekends. New network head Chris Licht seems to get that CNN had an issue with the faces of the organization. Will it continue? We’ll have to wait and see, but for Chalian not to recognize that his own employer used to bankroll some of the most visible “resistance” reporters is a lack of self-awareness in keeping with the network’s bumbling style.  

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