Monday, June 27, 2016

Which of these does not belong? Russert, Murrow, Lewandowski, Cronkite.

WTF alert: CNN hires Trumps' fired campaign manager. Trump says "you're fired!" CNN says "you're hired!"

That would seem to belong in the cartoons this morning except that it is true. But there are conflicting reports about internal CNN reactions. The first is from pagesix.com.

"CNN is facing a near internal revolt over the Corey hiring,” said a TV insider, who described many in the newsroom as “livid.” “Female reporters and producers especially . . . They are organizing and considering publicly demanding” that Lewandowski be let go.

But that is debunked by the Washington Post story.

CNN sustained a public-relations black eye from critics and commentators last week by adding Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, to its stable of paid pundits. The basic complaint: that CNN was handing a megaphone to a man whose candidate, and whose own actions, were consistently hostile to the press, and specifically CNN, over the past year.

But the criticism doesn’t seem to have found much of a home among one interested party: CNN’s own journalists, who in interviews express guarded optimism that Lewandowski could be an asset to the network’s campaign coverage.

“I get the argument that he was a bully” to reporters before Trump fired him early last week, said a prominent staffer, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity so as not to alienate their employer. “But I also get why we hired him. There aren’t many people who know more than him about how [Trump’s] campaign thinks and works. That could be very valuable to us over the next few months.”

Pardon me, but I doubt it. Lewandowski signed an iron-clad non-disclosure agreement so he can't be saying much if anything about Trump and the campaign.

In addition, he has acknowledged that he signed a non-disclosure agreement with Trump that prevents him from disparaging the candidate or revealing proprietary information about the campaign. That agreement presumably puts some limits on what he might actually reveal to CNN’s viewers about the campaign’s inner workings over the next four months.

So what is CNN getting out of this devil's deal?

The network already has two Trump partisans in its pundit lineup, former Reagan political operative Jeffrey Lord and conservative columnist Kayleigh McEnany. But it needed another to meet the constant demand for Trump surrogates, he added. “There are many baby birds that need feeding” — that is, many programs that want a guest or a panelist to spout Trump’s views, he said.

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