For a news network that aims to appear politically neutral, CNN is struggling to do right with the right.
That’s because, in Variety‘s analysis, the news network’s concerted effort to ramp up the number of pro-Trump voices to answer criticism over its perceived left-leaning biases has often yielded conservatives that have come with off-air baggage.
The latest such PR nightmare is Jason Miller, a former Trump campaign aide, who was forced to leave his role as a CNN political analyst this weekend after accusations emerged of an alleged forced abortion involving a girlfriend.
That exit follows on the heels of the suspension of Paris Dennard over #metoo accusations during his Arizona State University days, and the ouster of Ed Martin, a former Missouri Republican Party chairman, for referring to African-American members of a CNN panel as “black racists.” Then there was the firing of Jeffrey Lord, the network’s highest-profile conservative voice at the time, over a Nazi reference in a tweet.
“Many of the Trump defenders spark controversy and social-media hand-wringing, but they are an important part of CNN’s current programming stance,” writes CNN. “While no one will tell you MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell or Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity come into any debate from a neutral standpoint, CNN’s brand is deeply rooted in staying away from partisan presentation. That stance has been questioned more regularly since Trump’s election in 2016, and CNN has devoted many hours of programming to examining the machinations of the Trump White House along with heated question-and-answer sessions with Trump officials.”
Part of the issue seems to be that CNN is purposely seeking out fiery voices, both for ratings and to deflect criticism of internal biases. But is the network doing a good enough job vetting those voices?
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