Use of campaign surrogates puts CNN on the defensiveIt's called journalism, AP. You would not understand it.
Let me explain. There are two sides to a story. News outlets are supposed to show them both. AP thinks that is bad.
At a time CNN should be riding high, the network is facing the biggest threat to its reputation since Jeff Zucker took over as top executive because of its liberal use of campaign surrogates like Donna Brazile and Corey Lewandowski.
CNN announced on Monday that Brazile, the acting head of the Democratic National Committee, had quit as a contributor two weeks ago. Brazile, who had been suspended at CNN upon taking the DNC job this summer, was exposed in documents released by WikiLeaks as feeding Hillary Clinton's campaign questions in advance of primary debates.
The presence of Lewandowski, Donald Trump's former campaign manager, has also raised questions about whether political insiders hired as contributors are more loyal to the politicians they once worked for than a network and its viewers.
Besides, said a former CNN chief executive, it makes for lousy television.
"It isn't that it's bad journalism," said Jonathan Klein, CNN's U.S. president from 2004 to 2010. "It's that it isn't journalism at all. It's lazy."Klein and the AP are full of crap. Having Brazile and Lewandowski battle it out in clearly marked opinion debates is not only good television but good journalism. It is an efficient and entertaining way to get both sides of a breaking political story out there.
I don't care if Lewandowski and Brazile talk to the respective campaigns every day or even text them during the various shows they are on. I expect them to. Their job is to spin. No one on God's green Earth should imagine them as journalists. They are the guy you call to get the other side of the story.
Which AP failed to do. Its report had no one defend this practice. Plenty of people could have, including the presidents of MSNBC and Fox News. Having campaign surrogates and other pundits duke it out is a staple of cable news, and a useful way to fill airtime.
And AP also failed to grill Klein about James Carville and Mary Matalin, campaign managers for Clinton 42 and Bush 41 respectively. They hosted "Crossfire" and later appeared on other shows as campaign surrogates when Klein ran CNN.
The idea that there are two sides of a story often seems foreign in modern journalism.
The AP story was an obvious attempt to foul out Lewandowski, who poses no threat to the world of journalism.
If AP were really uptight about campaign surrogates affecting news reporting, the story would have centered on George Stephanoploulos.
He was not even mentioned.
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